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RE: Tests 59,

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2004 16:22:06 -0600
To: "'WAI WCAG List'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <auto-000189709511@spamarrest.com>

Hi Chris,

The alt text was never intended to provide a description of the image.  Just
its function.   A 'stand in' if you will if the image is missing.    The
test is 
"If you replace the image with the text - would everyone do the same thing -
receive the same information - etc.  as best as possible."   

If the search button is a magnifying glass or binoculars its alt text should
be 'search' or  'find'  not 'magnifying glass' or 'binoculars' 

If the image is meant to convey an image - then a description is

If it was meant to convey data - then that is what is appropriate.

If it was meant to convey a function then that is what should be there.

"alt" text was not called "desription" or "Desc".  It was not meant to be a
description per se.    Just when appropriate.


 -- ------------------------------ 
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
Professor - Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Ridpath [mailto:chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca] 
Sent: Monday, December 20, 2004 3:41 PM
To: John M Slatin; Gregg Vanderheiden; WAI WCAG List
Subject: Re: Tests 59,

> But "Submit" or "Submit form" aren't appropriate alt when the image on
> the button is an image of text (such as Go or Search or Find or Done or
> whatever). In those cases, the alt should match the word that's
> displayed in the image.
OK. Test 11 checks for that (text within image must be in alt text):

> The word "button" need not (should not) be included in
> the  alt text because the user agent already makes it
> evident that it's a button, either by displaying it as a
> button or by inserting the word button.
We don't have a test for this yet.

> The purpose of the *button* is to submit the form.
> The purpose of the *image* is to convey that information
>  to the user
What we're losing here is the description of the image.

Shouldn't we use Alt text as described by success criteria 2 (guideline 1.1,
level 1) "convey the same information" as the image? Why not use the INPUT
element's title attribute to describe the purpose of the INPUT element? This
seems to be more semantically correct. It's a similar to what test 191 is
all about:

The basic idea is to keep Alt text as a description of the image. Use the
title attribute for these other purposes.

Received on Monday, 20 December 2004 22:22:17 UTC

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