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RE: nbsp ok for decorative alt?

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2006 14:25:05 -0500
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B0124928F@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Gregg Vanderheiden" <gv@trace.wisc.edu>, "Johannes Koch" <koch@w3development.de>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Michael had proposed an example in which two chunks of text are
separated by a spacer graphic; he argued that using null alt (alt="")
would make the text run together. Joannes then argued that in that case
the non-text content is not purely decorative, so null alt would be

Michael's example raises another issue as well-- if the only thing
separating those two chunks of text is a decorative graphic or a spacer,
then there's something wrong with the way word boundaries (or sentence
boundaries or paragraph boundaries or some other boundaries) are bing
marked. Seems like there would be some semantically appropriate way to
separate <txt1> from <text2>. Even if it's only an old fashined <hr/>
tyled to look like a fancy piece of scrollwork. We have documented
failures about using white space to create multiple columns in plain
text (ditto to create the appearance of tabular information). And
there's a failure about inserting white space in the interior of a word
since doing so can render the word unrecognizable.


"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 Gregg Vanderheiden
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2006 1:24 pm
To: 'Johannes Koch'; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: RE: nbsp ok for decorative alt?

I think the text says 'images that should be ignored".

But from this comment it looks like it should not be ignored (or the
text will run together).  

Nice thought Johannes. 

We may need to look at our guidelines so that decorative and spacer are
not considered the same - and may have different recommendations.  



 -- ------------------------------
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
Professor - Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Player for my DSS sound file is at http://tinyurl.com/dho6b 

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Johannes Koch
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2006 11:44 AM
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: Re: nbsp ok for decorative alt?

Michael Cooper wrote:
> Text<img src="spacer.gif" alt=" " />Text
> The whitespace alt ensures the text does not run together, if you had 
> only null alt you'd get "TextText" in the text view.

In this case it's not a decorative image. So there's no need for a null
text alternative.
Johannes Koch
Spem in alium nunquam habui praeter in te, Deus Israel.
                          (Thomas Tallis, 40-part motet)
Received on Monday, 10 April 2006 19:25:21 UTC

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