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RE: nbsp ok for decorative alt?

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2006 12:45:10 -0500
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B0124928B@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: <jim@jimthatcher.com>, "Michael Cooper" <michaelc@watchfire.com>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

<p>The question in my mind is how screen readers will handle a
non-breaking space character in an alt attribute when an image appears
inline surrounded by text. Will it break the reading <img
src="clear.gif" alt="&nbsp;"> order, for example?</p> 



I know JAWS isn't the measure of all things screen reader. But in the
example above, JAWS says "graphic" between the words "reading" and
"order."

If other screen readers do the same thing, then alt=&nbsp;" fails 1.1.1
because it doesn't cause assistive technology to ignore the non text
content.

John

"Good design is accessible design." 
John Slatin, Ph.D.
Director, Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin
FAC 248C
1 University Station G9600
Austin, TX 78712
ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu
web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility/


 


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Jim Thatcher
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2006 11:55 am
To: 'Michael Cooper'; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: RE: nbsp ok for decorative alt?


Michael cooper said:
<quote>
no negative effect that I know of
</quote>

How about fact that it appears visually as [] on mouse over in IE?

It is a simple mathematical fact that alt=" " is not empty. It is a
sting of length one consisting of the space character. So, repeating, it
is not empty alt-text. It is not null alt-text. It is alt-text
consisting of one character and should not be a recommended technique in
the case you want empty alt text. It is sloppy thinking!

However that does not stop someone from enhancing their text view by
using alt=" " as Michael suggests. In other words it is ok to use alt="
" if you have a reason for doing so but should not be recommended for
"empty or null alt-text."

Oh well, I do have a thing about the importance of alt=""!

Jim
 
Accessibility Consulting: http://jimthatcher.com/
512-306-0931
Received on Monday, 10 April 2006 17:45:18 GMT

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