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RE: Issue #1305

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 12:34:38 -0600
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B290681@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Chris Ridpath" <chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca>, "Joe Clark" <joeclark@joeclark.org>, "WAI-GL" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Chris Ridpath wrote:
<blockquote>
> use the anchor's title attribute to describe the link destination. 
> Keep the alt text as a replacement for the image.

> There *is* a user agent problem...
> Current screen readers speak
> *either* the alt attribute *or* the title attribute...
>
We are trying to avoid catering to user agents and it appears to me that
our new requirement would not create a huge problem. Older user agents
would get at least some information and new user agents would have
access to both types of information. Having access to both chunks of
text, each with a different purpose, would be an improvement over what
we have now.

John - Is our new requirement something you could live with?
</blockquote>

Chirs, I'm not sure what the "new requirement" is.  If you mean what you
say above-- use the title attribute to "describe the link destination"
and keep the alt attribute to "replace the image," I can "live with
that" in theory.  But if the example you used in yesterday's message--

Alt="drawing of house"
Title="Go to home page"
-- is an illustration of what's supposed to be good practice, then I'm
*not* happy with it. "Drawing of house" is not an adequate "replacement"
for an image that is used as an icon to represent the home page.   And
"Go to home page" may be better than "Click here," but it's still not
good practice.

About user agents: I understand that we don't want to limit ourselves
only to current user agents, especially when these don't implement the
specifications fully (including UAAG 1.0).  But we do need to be mindful
of how user agents operate.  I've done a quick survey regarding links
lists, and here's a summary of what I've found:

- JAWS, Window-Eyes, HAL, and IBM Home Page Reader all feature links
lists that can be navigated by using the up and down arrows or by
pressing the initial letter of each link in the list;
- Opera, Mozilla, and Firefox for Windows also provide links lists that
can be navigated either by scrolling or by pressing the initial letter
of each link
- the screen readers default to the alt text when listing graphical
links; I'm not certain how this is handled in Opera, Mozilla, and
Firefox.

- The list above focuses on Windows applications. There is no publicly
available screen reader for the current Macintosh operating system
(OSX). The Gnopernicus OpenSource screen reader/magnifier/virtual
keyboard for Linux is still in beta; emacspeak has a small user base and
requires significant technical knowledge and skill.

- And one more note: JAWS 6.0 is scheduled to be released later today
(15 December 2004).

John

> Also, I would argue strongly against using
> a phrase lke "Go to the" at the beginning of what
> a user might hear as link .
>
This is another issue. What is good link text? We have a test (number
19) for that and I'll put it on the list for discussion next week:
http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/tests/test19.html

Here's what the W3C's QA says about link text:
http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/noClickHere

Chris


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John M Slatin" <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Chris Ridpath" <chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca>; "Joe Clark"
<joeclark@joeclark.org>; "WAI-GL" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2004 4:23 PM
Subject: RE: Issue #1305


>
> Chris Ridpath wrote:
> <blockquote>
> So use the anchor's title attribute to describe the link destination. 
> Keep the alt text as a replacement for the image. This seems to follow

> the spec more closely.
>
> Example:
>
> <a href="home.html" title="go to home page"><img src="house.png" 
> alt="drawing of a house"/></a>
>
> Is there a user agent problem with this?
> </blockquote>
> There *is* a user agent problem with the example Chris gives above-- 
> at least for current-generation screen readers.  Current screen 
> readers speak *either* the alt attribute *or* the title attribute; as 
> yet there is no option to have the screen reader speak both. The 
> default setting is to speak the alt attribute. So the screen reader 
> user who encountered the example above would hear something like "Link

> graphic  drawing of a house" or (for Home Page Reader) "Drawing of a 
> house" in a differen voice signalling the presence of a link.
>
> Also, I would argue strongly against using a phrase lke "Go to the" at

> the beginning of what a user might hear as link .  Links lists like 
> those provided by JAWS and Home Page Reader, and by at least some 
> Firefox extensions, allow users to move through the list by pressing 
> the initial letter of the link text.  Thus if I go to a library Web 
> site and hope to learn the hourstext when they're open, I would bring 
> up the links list and press "h" (especially if I happened to know the 
> page well enough to know that such a link was there).  This is a rough

> approximation of point and click.  If all the links in the list begin 
> with the same letter (Go to x), then people using links lists will 
> have to scroll through all the links to find the one they want.  (If 
> the screen reader is set to speak the title attribute, that's the text

> that would show up in the links list.)
>
> The href attribute "describes" the link destination by providing the 
> URI.  If the graphic showing a picture of a house is used as a link to

> the home page, the alt text should serve the same purpose as the image

> (Guideline 1.1 L1 SC1) and the alt text should say "Home."  ("Go to 
> the home page" is also acceptable by this criterion, but I'd like to 
> discourage such wording.)
>
> John
> Chris
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Joe Clark" <joeclark@joeclark.org>
> To: "WAI-GL" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2004 1:21 PM
> Subject: RE: Issue #1305
>
>
> >
> > > Test 15 - ALT text for images used as links must describe the link

> > > destination
> >
> > No, it must not. Alt text replaces the image; <a> describes the 
> > destination, as with title="". Quit trying to rewrite the spec.
> >
> > <http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/objects.html#adef-alt>
> >
> > <http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/links.html#adef-href>,
> > additionally, states that the href attribute "specifies the location

> > of a Web resource, thus defining a link between the current element 
> > (the source
> > anchor) and the destination anchor defined by this attribute."
> >
> > What defines the destination is <a>, not <img>. By spec. It's 
> > cut-and-dried; the Working Group's attempts are incorrect and must 
> > be removed.
> >
> > If I'm not mistaken, I got this wrong in my book. Let's not keep 
> > getting it wrong.
> >
> >
> > --
> >
> >      Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
> >      Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
> >      Expect criticism if you top-post
> >
>
>
>
Received on Wednesday, 15 December 2004 18:34:41 GMT

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