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Re: ALT and TITLE Clarification

From: Roberto Scano (IWA/HWG) <rscano@iwa-italy.org>
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 19:40:36 +0100
To: <michele@diodati.org>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <200501071337187.SM03348@Inbox>

We are creating big  noise for nothing.

Alt text = alternative text = text with the same scope of the image

Title= use for <a> element to specify destination/action

So, for eg:
A) image with text, where text is important (eg. A button,a logo, etc)
B) image with text not importa for the scope of the image (eg, text in background, like "matrix" movie...)
C) a picture, like gioconda. In this case, alt shuld be "Gioconda Picture" and eventually a longdesc that describe it
D) a graph with bar and number (text). Alt text should be "graphic: graphic title" with longdesc that should contain a graph desc plus a data table with graph values.

Morale: alt attribute hasn't common rules, but only a common rule: must be alternative to the image, not descriptive.

----- Messaggio originale -----
   >Da: "Michele Diodati"<michele.diodati@gmail.com>
   >Inviato: 07/01/05 19.11.02
   >A: "w3c-wai-gl@w3.org"<w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
   >Oggetto: Re: ALT and TITLE Clarification
   >Chris Ridpath <chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca> wrote:
   >> > Think to a menubar: alt text for every image is
   >> > an alternative text for it, not a description.
   >> This is the way things are done now. I'm proposing that we change a bit.
   >> If the menu button was a picture of scissors the alt text should be
   >> "scissors". The title would be "cut". User agents could tell the user "cut"
   >> and "picture of scissors".
   >It seems to me your proposal adds an unnecessary cognitive burdening.
   >Accessibility for non visual users has to aim at keeping as low as
   >possibile noise in the content. For example, a sighted chess player
   >may find pretty and funny a web page containing a graphical
   >sophisticated chessboard, as long as he can easily distinguish the
   >pawns from the bishops or the rooks from the queens, and play with
   >ease his game. But the same chessboard and the same chess set can
   >become very problematic, if you presume to describe with alt texts
   >every single snip in the graphic environment of the page. A blind
   >chess player wants simply know that the queen pawn moved to D4! All
   >the rest is noise.
   >So I think alt texts, if they have to be valid substitutes for images
   >(as requested in [1]), should contain the smallest piece of
   >information meaningful enough to allow non-visual users to understand
   >the content and use it to the best advantage. To this end, in some
   >cases we may need to put in alt texts a description of the image
   >content, in some cases we rather may need to put in them a description
   >of the image function. In any case a description of the image is not
   >necessary in order to make understandable and correctly usable the
   >content, why not use longdesc to provide non-visual users with a full
   >description of the graphic content?
   >Michele Diodati
   >[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-html401-19991224/struct/objects.html#adef-alt
   >   >

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Received on Friday, 7 January 2005 18:40:42 UTC

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