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RE: ALT-attribute usage (fwd)

From: Chuck Letourneau <cpl@starlingweb.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 08:37:44 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
We will have only one difficulty in making a guideline for the use of
ALT-text:  the difficult part will be to make it concise - because both
Gregg and MZ are correct.  

I think Gregg's quick example of using ALT="bullet" for a bullet graphic
was unfortunate, since he has elsewhere used much better examples of
ALT-text choices.  

In practice, I have used something like ALT="Item 1", ALT="Item 2", etc. on
bullets when the lists are fairly short or where I really want the reader
to notice the distinction.  Then I have used the null ALT when there are
numerous list items.  When I do the latter, I include an alt-text
disclaimer stating that images without ALT-text are strictly decorative.  

And yes, including that statement has annoyed some people who dislike the
thought that I am deciding what is important for them.  However, having
used screen-readers myself, and from training screen-reader users to use
the Web, I agree with MZ that if the choice of ALT-text is not truly
meaningful or is repeated ad nauseam, then to quote something Dr. Norm
Coombs said to me recently "It may be accessible, but it isn't useable!"


MZ wrote
>No - that is one of the most annoying, worst uses of ALT on the web.
>bullet product one
>bullet product two
>bullet product three
>You should not use ALT text to describe the image.  Describe the meaning
>of the image, and if it is decoration, use null text - ALT=""

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Received on Thursday, 23 October 1997 08:37:32 UTC

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