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RE: Foundation for text techniques

From: Cynthia Shelly <cyns@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2001 21:18:32 -0800
Message-ID: <7164D4266FD7B94CA59D551C7FE6618D0278C1AD@red-msg-08.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "Adam Victor Reed" <areed2@calstatela.edu>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
This is a good start.  I'm looking forward to your document in January.
 
This bit isn't quite accurate
<quote>
ALT parameter contains text which IS presented whenever the
corresponding visual is NOT being accessed, and that is NOT
normally presented when the visual IS being acccessed.
</quote>
 
In Internet Explorer, when images are presneted, the alt-text is also available as a tool-tip.  You will see it if you mouse over the image (there is probably also a keyboard way to get to tool-tips, but I don't know what it is).  I'm not sure if Netscape does the same thing.  Does anyone know?

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: Adam Victor Reed [mailto:areed2@calstatela.edu] 
	Sent: Thu 12/6/2001 8:34 PM 
	To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org 
	Cc: 
	Subject: Foundation for text techniques
	
	

	I am planning to write the techniques document on accessibility text
	(alt, title and longdesc parameters of tags presenting content that
	would not be universally accessible without those parameters) over the
	winter break, so this discussion cames just in time. I am not claiming
	that my current understanding of the relevant issues is necessarily
	correct, but if I my understanding diverges either from relevant facts
	or from the concensus of this group, I need to know it now. So please
	comment on the following summary:
	
	1. The default (pictorial or animated) content and the ALT text are
	alternatives: when one is presented, the other isn't. Thus the
	ALT parameter contains text which IS presented whenever the
	corresponding visual is NOT being accessed, and that is NOT
	normally presented when the visual IS being acccessed.
	
	Constraint: In common ("visual") browsers, the presentation of the
	ALT text normally uses the same real-estate that would contain, if
	the user chose to load images, the corresponding visual. To maximize
	the likelihood of fitting in the reserved area, the ALT text should
	be as brief as possible.
	
	2. According to the HTML recommendation,
	<http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/global.html#adef-title>,
	the TITLE parameter's function is to "offer advisory information
	about the element". This means that the TITLE text is an optional
	addition to whatever content (visual or ALT) is already displayed.
	The presentation of the TITLE text in the user agent usually depends
	on user actions, or on user-specified browser options. In visual
	browsers, the TITLE text is normally available as a "tool tip", that
	is, as text which pops up when the mouse cursor is positioned over
	the element area, regardless of whether the element area contains the
	default element or its ALT text.
	
	In non-visual (text, auditory etc) browsers, the presentation of the
	TITLE text may depend on whether an ALT text string is also available.
	Such browsers may present the TITLE text automatically if ALT is not
	found. If ALT text is available, the presentation of TITLE text
	depends on a user-set option, or on user input. Users of text browsers
	generally prefer that if ALT and TITLE are both displayed, the TITLE
	be presented in parentheses after the ALT. (I'd like input from list
	users on what is preferred by users of auditory and other browsers.)
	
	4. LONGDESC is a separate resource which provides, for users unable to
	access the visual in full detail, all the information that a user to
	whom the visual is fully accessible would be able to extract from it
	if she examined the visual exhaustively. It should be usable not only
	by users who require ALT, but also by users who can extract casually
	adequate information but not complete detail from the visual itself.
	For example, a colored image might convey information equivalent to an
	adequate ALT even to a color-blind user, but this user then might use
	the LONGDESC resource for access to details that others could deduce
	from colors in the image. The LONGDESC resource should be available
	through a user action, such as a link in a menu displayed when the
	menu button is depressed over the image in a visual browser. (How do
	users of auditory browsers prefer to access LONGDESC?)
	
	Is the above a reasonable starting point for the techniques document?
	--
	                                Adam Reed
	                                areed2@calstatela.edu
	                                
	Context matters. Seldom does *anything* have only one cause.
	
	
Received on Friday, 7 December 2001 00:19:05 GMT

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