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RE: JAWS and name attribute for IMG

From: Alan J. Flavell <flavell@a5.ph.gla.ac.uk>
Date: Sun, 5 May 2002 19:37:44 +0100 (BST)
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
cc: "WCAG (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.44.0205051919400.27958-100000@a5.ph.gla.ac.uk>
On Thu, 2 May 2002, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

> 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 than putting in some extraneous
> characters to work for particular error recovery strategies at the
> expense of systems that use standards.

And again, "hear, hear".

What doesn't seem entirely satisfactory is, as was said earlier on the
thread, that images are often used to stand for empty space; but
alt=" " (quote space unquote) is apparently deprecated or unsupported
for this purpose.  I'm never quite sure whether to code alt=" "
anyway, and ignore the deprecation, or code alt="&nbsp;" or
equivalent. Sure: ideally one shouldn't be using images for that
purpose anyway, but sometimes there are other constraints.

Now, excuse me for a bit of a digression, but as for the suggestion
earlier on this thread, to code alt="#" and have it read as "pound
sign", might I point out that according to international standards the
"pound sign" is iso-8859-1 character number 163, expressed as &pound;
in HTML.  If I heard "pound sign" read out, I would not associate it
as some irrelevant placeholder, but a rather important indicator of
"money".  *smile*

According to international standards (the us-ascii code falls into
line with iso-8859-1 and Unicode in this regard), the official name of
the "#" character is "number sign".

But that was a digression, as I don't believe we should be doing that
anyway, as you apparently agree.

best regards
Received on Sunday, 5 May 2002 14:37:57 UTC

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