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RE: Help me with Bobby??!

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 14:09:39 -0400
Message-ID: <01BD7441.9F215520@bbailey.clark.net>
To: Prof Norm Coombs <NRCGSH@ritvax.isc.rit.edu>
Cc: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Alt text in MS IE and Netscape shows up by default when graphics are not 
loaded.  The alt text is writen in the "hole" left by the graphic.  This 
means that a small graphic leaves room for only a few characters of text. 
 The RIT graphics are large, so there's room for the alt text.  I found the 
site to be usable without graphics or mouse MS IE  3.02 (4.70.1300).  I 
also tried two versions of Lynx and was surprised that the page came up 
since there is a disclaimer about Java being a prerequisite.  Screen 
readers and talking web browsers "see" the alt text, even if it doesn't 
fit.  When graphics ARE loading, alt text is available only as a tool tip.

Still the page is NOT accessible, it is missing alt text in two places, and 
Bobby should catch this.  Perhaps Bobby is choking on the Java.  An 
inspection of the html file reveals the lines:
<img src="Graphics/today2.gif" width="310" height="80" border="0"> and
<img src="Graphics/bottombar.gif" width="500" height="9">
Bobby normally flunks a page for this.  I put the page through the w3c 
validator -- it failed.  I would hazard a guess that if the html code is 
cleaned up to parse through 3.2/4.0 validation Bobby would highlight the 
accessibility errors.

From: 	Charles McCathieNevile
Sent: 	Thursday, April 30, 1998 1:55 AM
To: 	Prof Norm Coombs
Cc: 	w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: 	Re: Help me with Bobby??!

I think this is not a Bobby problem, but a problem with the browsers
which should be referred to 1. the UA group, and 2. The people from
Microsoft and other browser manufacturers on this list (I don't think
Netscape are at the moment :(, but Microsoft certainly are)

The problem is that in Communicator, and presumably other browsers, ALT
text ONLY shows up as a tool-tip - ie the browser assumes that people use
graphics out of habit. (bad assumption - Lawyers on $400/hour generally
don't want to wait for the images any more than blind users do, as I was
reminded last night)

There is not much else that can be done about this - it is _possible_ for
authors to solve some of the problems, but it seems a stupid way to
approach them, and many designers will (rightly in my opinion) blame the
browser producers for poor design and (wrongly in my opinion) refuse to
work on the problem themselves.

Charles McCathieNevile
Received on Thursday, 30 April 1998 14:03:24 UTC

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