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Re: Microsoft's response on the ALT attribute and how Frontpage deals with it

From: Brian Kelly <lisbk@ukoln.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 12:38:00 -0000
Message-ID: <00ea01be4928$b9326640$3c92268a@bath.ac.uk>
To: dd@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, "B.K. DeLong" <bkdelong@naw.org>
Hi Daniel
    Thanks for the reply, and pointing out what the guidelines say.
    I must admit that I think the guidelines are wrong :-(  Forcing all
automatically generated ALT information to contain a null string means that
nobody is provided with information which can be useful in circumstances.
To be it seems intuitively wrong for an authoring / conversion tool to throw
away resource metadata.  I would argue it would be better for the
information to be provided and then filtered out if necessary.
   I'd also argue that the guidelines should at least say that authoring
tools should provide options for creating null or automatically generated
ALT text, so that an organisation has some choice in this matter (e.g. the
BBC might choice to provide this information as they have their Betsie tool
for stripping out information).
Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus
UKOLN, University of Bath, BATH, England, BA2 7AY
Email:  b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk     URL:    http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/
Homepage: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/ukoln/staff/b.kelly.html
Phone:  01225 323943            FAX:   01225 826838
----- Original Message -----
From: Daniel Dardailler <danield@w3.org>
To: Brian Kelly <lisbk@ukoln.ac.uk>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>; B.K. DeLong <bkdelong@naw.org>
Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 1999 12:24 PM
Subject: Re: Microsoft's response on the ALT attribute and how Frontpage
deals with it

>> I think you're being unfair in yopur response.  An authoring tool has
>> options for providing defaults ALT values - give a null string, give a
>> standard chunk of text "This is an image" or provide information
>> automatically derived from the image file "Size =100 Kb".  Of these
>> alternatives, I think the latter is preferable.
>> What concrete suggestion would you make to vendors of authoring tools?
>The WAI has a Working Group working on Guideliens for Authoring Tools,
>here's what they say in the latest draft (Jan 12)
>  http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/WD-WAI-AUTOOLS
>2.5.8: [Priority 1]
>  The authoring tool must never insert rule-generated description
>  text into the document (default "alt"-text) or a properties field
>  (place-holder "alt"-text). Automated processes may only place
>  pre-authored (by a person) text when the meaning or function of the
>  described object is known with certainty.
>In other word, default alt values is a no-no, mostly because it then
>makes it very hard for repair tools of all kind to do their job
>effectively, since they cannot really look for missing data.
Received on Tuesday, 26 January 1999 07:39:37 UTC

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