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RE: JAWS and name attribute for IMG

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 2 May 2002 19:35:57 -0400 (EDT)
To: "Chris O'Kennon" <chris@vipnet.org>
cc: "'Jim Ley'" <jim@jibbering.com>, john_slatin <john_slatin@forum.utexas.edu>, "WCAG (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0205021930560.9466-100000@tux.w3.org>
The name attribute is pretty rare on img elements, as it is only useful
(hitherto) for scripting involving an image. Using the name attribute for
something else is likely to be a bad idea.

It seems reasonable that JAWS offers users as an advanced 'try to guess
what the author meant from the name attribute' option, but that should not be
a default in my opinion. It is important that there is at least one use mode
which assumes that authors have done the right thing - otherwise there is no
incentive for them to bother.

I think you are better doing the correct thing - putting in alt="" where that
is what you mean thatn putting in some extraneous characters to work for
particular error recovery strategies at the expense of systems that use


Charles McCN

On Thu, 2 May 2002, Chris O'Kennon wrote:

  This brings up a discussion I recently had at a conference in New Orleans.
  We had a visually impaired presenter tell us that she prefers that images
  used solely for layout and convey no information be identified with ALT="".
  I maintain the Commonwealth of Virginia portal, and we use ALT="#" (with the
  first image identifying what the # stands for).  The reason we do this is
  because there didn't seem to be any way for a blind user to tell the
  difference between an image with an empty ALT tag and an image someone
  FORGOT to ALT tag.  Has there been any discussion (and I apologize if there
  has been, as I'm a newbie here) on how to best address this?  Does the NAME
  attribute work on all browsers?

  Chris O'Kennon
  Commonwealth of Virginia Webmaster/
  VIPNet Portal Architect

  "This had better work."
  	-Grand Moff Tarkin

  > -----Original Message-----
  > From: Jim Ley [mailto:jim@jibbering.com]
  > Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2002 8:19 AM
  > To: john_slatin; WCAG (E-mail)
  > Subject: Re: JAWS and name attribute for IMG
  > "john_slatin" <john_slatin@forum.utexas.edu>
  > > I just discovered something surprising (at least to me):
  > >
  > > For IMG elements, JAWS 4.01 reports the *name* attribute when
  > >  ALT="" and there is no TITLE attribute.
  > I think this would make a lot of sense in the case where
  > there was no ALT
  > attribute at all. You don't say which browser you're using
  > with JAWS but
  > it's possible that the browser doesn't expose the difference between
  > ALT="" and no ALT in the DOM, in which case it would still
  > need to do the
  > repair activity.
  > Jim.

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI  fax: +33 4 92 38 78 22
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Thursday, 2 May 2002 19:36:01 UTC

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