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Re: Title attribute

Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 17:56:55 -0500
Message-Id: <sb0410f4.069@hqf2.hq.eeoc.gov>
To: <timsp@ssbtechnologies.com>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
I think you're missing my point. A textual link can serve two purposes:

1 - A link (and information about what's at the other end of that link)
2 - Text that provides valuable information in the context of the current document

Let's assume there's a paragraph of text. In the middle of that paragraph, there is a phrase that could link to additional information. It's not the main purpose of the current page, it's just one item that appears in the document that users might want to learn more about. So, the web designer makes that phrase a link to another web site that contains good information on the topic. Being a considerate web designer, he includes a title that says something like 

    title="Link to XYZ corporation's information about topic X"

so that users will understand that this is an off-site link, not a link to a definition or some other internal information.

How should a user agent (screen reader or speech-based browser) handle this? Should the agent:

a - read just the link text, and ignore the title? Of course not - the title contains useful information.  

b -read just the title, ignoring the link text? Again, of course not - the title may be more useful in the context of describing the function of the link, but the title is not useful in the context of the current document. The original link text is what's needed.

A user agent should read both the text of the link, and any title associated with it, not substitute one for the other.

>>> Timothy Stephen Springer <timsp@ssbtechnologies.com> 05/17/01 04:32PM >>>

> But very commonly, a link is one or more words in the middle of a paragraph. When that occurs, reading the title attribute and ignoring the text is absolutely not the desired behavior. I'd actually consider it brain-dead behavior on the part of whatever tool does this.

When you have a textual link that has link text that is descriptive 
enough you would not include a title.  When the link text is 
insufficient to communicate function you would override it with a title.

What we are talking about is the ability to override the default text of 
a link in the case that the text does not accurately describe what a 
link does.

Received on Thursday, 17 May 2001 17:50:22 UTC

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