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RE: Tool Tip behavior

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2000 06:56:30 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Cc: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>, "Bruce Bailey" <bbailey@clark.net>, WAI Interest Group Emailing List <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

I realize it can be hard to define something that already ingrained in your 

Would you give a few examples of images which need ALT text, a title, and a 
long description, and say what all those should be?

Then we can look at the experience of a blind and a sighted person with 
those pieces of info.


At 02:49 PM 2/25/00 -0800, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>At 02:38 PM 2/25/2000 , Leonard R. Kasday wrote:
> >Kynn,
> >What are you saying the purpose of a title other than the circular 
> explanation that it's to
> > > provide -- ta da -- a "title."
> >The HTML 4.01 spec http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/global.html#h-7.4.3 
> doesn't define it.
>I agree that it's undefined.  Which is why we need to look at the
>natural language definition of "title" -- and nearly any appropriate
>definition I can think of would -not- include "and we'll get
>back to you!" (or whatever it was) as an appropriate "title."
> >I'm saying now matter how titles are rendered, it's frequently 
> poor  style, for the title of an image to redundantly express what's in 
> that image.  Therefore, it's not enough to make only the title available 
> to a blind user.  You've got to make both ALT text and the Title 
> available.  Does your definition of Title contradict that?
>No, but it does mean that you use title to indicate, well, a title.
>The only times _I_ use title are when it's not clear, from the
>other content (text and/or ALT text), what the link will do.
>Therefore, I title the link appropriately.
>If it -is- clear, then I believe TITLE can (and should) be excluded.
> >If  you agree with the bottom line, that both pieces of info need to 
> available, then I'd consider that for all practical purposes we're in 
> agreement.
>If they exist, then clearly they need to be available in some way,
> >However, you're right. I should have been more careful wording
> >"My understanding is that Title is what's supposed to pop up for sighted 
> folks. "
> >I should have said
> >          visual browsers frequently display the title as a "tool tip" 
> (a short message that appears when the pointing device pauses over an object).
> >That's a quote from the HTML 4.01 spec BTW.   <grin>
>Fair enough.  Although I think the HTML 4.01 spec is poorly written
>at that point; in any case, it's explaining common usage, and is not
>necessarily providing this as a formal recommendation in my opinion.
>If that's the goal, then I think HTML 4.01 spec needs correction;
>TITLE should not be -equated- with TOOLTIP.
>(Again, TOOLTIP attribute doesn't exist, but it -could- as part of
>an XHTML module.)
>Kynn Bartlett                                    mailto:kynn@hwg.org
>President, HTML Writers Guild                    http://www.hwg.org/
>AWARE Center Director                          http://aware.hwg.org/

Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Department of Electrical Engineering
Temple University
423 Ritter Annex, Philadelphia, PA 19122


(215) 204-2247 (voice)
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Received on Saturday, 26 February 2000 11:12:48 UTC

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