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RE: ALT-attribute usage (fwd)

From: David Poehlman <poehlman@clark.net>
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 07:37:49 -0500 (EST)
To: "Charles (Chuck) Oppermann" <chuckop@MICROSOFT.com>
cc: "'po@trace.wisc.edu'" <po@trace.wisc.edu>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.3.96.971105072128.28184A-100000@clark.net>
the alt tag in this instance will be needed till a new coding scheme for
web pages hense new browsers are developped.  There will be browsers out
there a plenty which cannot and will not take advantage of either active
accessability or java access.  We must keep the broadest perspective in
mind when proposing and writing guidelines.  If I called the website by
phone or accessed it by email or from a third world country's only
computer on their shaky phone system, what would I get.  It is important
to remember what we mean when we talk about who we reach and who will
benefit.  I suspect, if I got the page by mail, I'd get a blank screen if
anything at all and I suspect if I was calling around on a developping
phone technology and hit the web page you describe, the voice would say
nothing or blank page.
If anyone would like to test this from both of the above angles ie phone
and email, I'd be happy to participate.
one thing we seem to need in our effort to develop access guidelines is a
lab or at least some way of getting the right kind of testing done.
Someone if it hasn't been done also needs to write short easily obtainable
widely advertised free instructional materials on how to effectively use
the various browsers for accessing the web.  much of what has been termed
inaccessible by some consumers out there has been termed so because of
lack of knowledge of the capabilities and function of the browser.  this
was me a while back and probably still is with some browsers to some
extent  Annother way it could be approached is to make the browsers so
easy to use that they don't need instruction, but then we'd have to make
sure it was available simply to all.  one more thing.  this is not new,
but it would also be helpfull if websites more of them I mean had
instructions on how best to access their sites with the browsers.  I've
seen this done nicely in several places and it helpped me a lot because I
read a few paragraphs on a website about lynx and learned things I didn't
learn anywhere else.
sorry for the ramble, but this should help a bit to bring us back down to
earth.  I think in the instance you describe Chuck that the alt tag
"spinning red globe" is appropriate.
I think there should be however some explanation of the reason it is there
such as the word logo or perhaps the alt tag should read "companyname
logo", and there should be a short desc or d link.
 On Tue, 4 Nov 1997,
Charles (Chuck) Oppermann wrote:

> ALT attributes will be needed for the foreseeable future.  For example.
> Let's say I have a web page with a spinning red globe and nothing else using
> the following source code:
> 
> <HTML>
> <BODY>
> <A HREF="http://www.foobar.com"><IMG SRC="globe.gif" TITLE="this is the
> entry to the Foo Bar"></A>
> </BODY>
> </HTML>
> 
> Note that there is no ALT attribute for the image.  Existing screen readers,
> using Active Accessibility (which exposes the HTML object model of IE3 and
> soon IE4) will know the following about the image:
> 
> Type = Graphic
> Name = "this is the entry to the Foo Bar"
> Description = blank
> Value = http://www.foobar.com <http://www.foobar.com> 
> State = focusable, link
> 
> If TITLE wasn't present, the name wouldn't be known either.  My point is
> that ALT is needed to give a *description* of the image.  In this example,
> that could be ALT="spinning red globe".  With the advent of TITLE, we can go
> back to using ALT for it's original intention.
> 
> Of course, they don't have to use Active Accessibility - a screen reader
> could talk to the existing object models present in the major browsers.
> 
> Charles Oppermann
> Windows NT User Interface Group, Microsoft Corporation
> mailto:chuckop@microsoft.com http://microsoft.com/enable/
> "A computer on every desk and in every home, usable by everyone!"
> 
> 	-----Original Message-----
> 	From:	David Poehlman [SMTP:poehlman@clark.net]
> 	Sent:	Tuesday, November 04, 1997 3:51 AM
> 	To:	Charles (Chuck) Oppermann
> 	Cc:	'po@trace.wisc.edu'; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> 	Subject:	RE: ALT-attribute usage (fwd)
> 
> 	those browsers which are developped to be truly accessible will not
> need
> 	alt tags.  browsers which are here now have been and will be here
> for a
> 	long time to come need a text map of some sort which can be totally
> 	ignored by those who do not need them.
> 
> 
> 	On Mon, 3 Nov 1997, Charles (Chuck) Oppermann wrote:
> 
> 	> I disagree with this - so if I have a picture of a furry dog as my
> list
> 	> item graphic, I as an HTML author need to always use "Item" as the
> ALT
> 	> attribute?  Isn't this a misuse of the ALT attribute?  
> 	> 
> 	> Via the HTML object model and Active Accessibility, screen readers
> will
> 	> know they are talking to a list item already.  This guideline only
> helps
> 	> down level browsers and certain screen readers with the *visual*
> 	> presentation of the list item.
> 	> 
> 	> I fear that this kind of guideline only makes adoption less likely
> by
> 	> being confusing.
> 	> 
> 	> Charles Oppermann
> 	> Windows NT User Interface Group, Microsoft Corporation
> 	> mailto:chuckop@microsoft.com http://microsoft.com/enable/
> 	> "A computer on every desk and in every home, usable by everyone!"
> 	> 
> 	> 	-----Original Message-----
> 	> 	From:	Gregg Vanderheiden [SMTP:po@trace.wisc.edu]
> 	> 	Sent:	Monday, November 03, 1997 1:11 PM
> 	> 	To:	w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> 	> 	Subject:	RE: ALT-attribute usage (fwd)
> 	> 
> 	> 	Perfect.  Just the feedback we needed.
> 	> 
> 	> 	Unless I hear otherwise the guidelines will recommend
> 	> 
> 	> 	1)  that any graphics used as bullets have the alt text
> "Item"
> 	> With a 
> 	> 	character to cause a pause after the word.
> 	> 
> 	> 	The two candidates are Comma and Semicolon.   Possibly with
> a
> 	> space 
> 	> 	afterward to keep the word from running into the next word.
> 	> 
> 	> 	Couple of questions to close this one off
> 	> 
> 	> 	 - Is there a consensus that there should be "item"?  (I
> thought
> 	> I got one 
> 	> 	but am not sure)
> 	> 	- Is comma the proper character for a pause.  It is longer
> but
> 	> longer may 
> 	> 	not be better.  And Semicolon looks better visually and more
> 	> natural so it 
> 	> 	might get included more.     Should we use Semicolon or
> comma?
> 	> 	- Is the space needed?  Can someone confirm?  Is it needed
> for
> 	> comma?   Is 
> 	> 	it needed for Semicolon?
> 	> 
> 	> 
> 	> 	Thanks much.
> 	> 
> 	> 	Gregg
> 	> 	-- ------------------------------
> 	> 	Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
> 	> 	Guidelines Scribe and Compiler
> 	> 
> 
> 	Hands-On-Technolog(eye)s
> 	touching the internet
> 	voice: 1-(301) 949-7599
> 	poehlman@clark.net
> 	ftp://ftp.clark.net/pub/poehlman
> 	http://www.clark.net/pub/poehlman
> 

Hands-On-Technolog(eye)s
touching the internet
voice: 1-(301) 949-7599
poehlman@clark.net
ftp://ftp.clark.net/pub/poehlman
http://www.clark.net/pub/poehlman
Received on Wednesday, 5 November 1997 07:38:08 GMT

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