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Re: ALT and TITLE Clarification

From: Chris Ridpath <chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 11:33:10 -0500
Message-ID: <00be01c4f732$12986820$e29a968e@WILDDOG>
To: "Jim Thatcher" <jim@jimthatcher.com>, "WAI WCAG List" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Cc: <geoff_freed@wgbh.org>, <andrew_kirkpatrick@wgbh.org>

My "avant-garde" alt text proposal has met with enormous resistance and
little support so I'll drop it. Thanks for all your comments that have
helped to clarify what good alt text should be.

Now on to the "traditional" alt text proposal...

The scope of this proposal covers the 4 elements that can contain an ALT
attribute (same as before):
IMG, INPUT, AREA and APPLET

IMG element (not used as an anchor)

1) Alt text must be the empty string ("") if image is decorative.
2) Alt text must convey the same information as the image. (from guideline
1.1 SC 2)
3) Alt text must contain any text in the image unless the text is
decorative. e.g image of blocks on http://www.btyahoo.com/internet (Are
there any other cases where image text should not be in Alt text?)

pass condition:  rule 1 or (rule 2 and rule 3)

IMG element (used within an anchor)

1) Alt text must be the empty string ("") if image is decorative. (This
allows links that contain both an image and text avoid redundant link text.
Should we require that Alt text be empty if anchor contains both image and
text?)
2) Alt text must describe the link destination.
3) Alt text must contain any text in the image unless the text is
decorative.

pass condition:  rule 1 or (rule 2 and rule 3)

For discussion, our ATRC site (http://atrc.utoronto.ca) contains 2 images
used as anchors. The Alt text on the first image describes the link
destination, does not describe the image and does not contain text within
image. The Alt text on the second image does not describe the link
destination but does describe the image and does contain the image text.
Which image, or both, has correct Alt text?

INPUT element (with TYPE of "image")
1) Alt text must describe the purpose of form. e.g. "search" or "find" (If
not "purpose of the form" then how do you label the submit button?)
2) Alt text must contain any text in the image unless the text is
decorative.


pass condition:  rule 1 and rule 2

AREA element
1) Alt text must describe the link destination.
2) Alt text must contain any text in the image unless the text is
decorative.


pass condition:  rule 1 and rule 2

APPLET element
- deprecated so ignore

This proposal seems closer to the way Alt text is used now and fits with
many of the comments received on the earlier proposal.

Comments appreciated.

Cheers,
Chris
Received on Monday, 10 January 2005 16:33:32 GMT

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