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RE: ALT tag preferences

From: Charles F. Munat <chas@munat.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 11:31:07 -0700
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
David Poehlman wrote:

  item is a descriptive word.


Yes, but it is descriptive of the list item (li), rather than of the bullet
itself. In a sense, a bulleted list is a list of items and the bullet before
each item *means* "item." So using the word "item" for a bullet *is* an
accurate translation of the bullet, *not* a description of the bullet. (A
description might be "solid dot").

That this is true is even more obvious when we expand on the bullet to
include "new item" and "discontinued item," which information might be
encoded in the bullet by shape, color, etc. Clearly it is not the bullet
that is new, but the list item which it precedes and modifies.

I would use alt="item: " on images of bullets. Hearing "item" before each
list item is certainly no more tiresome than hearing "hyphen" or "hyphen
hyphen" before each item, and better than hearing nothing at all.

Then again, another question to ask is whether it might not be better to use
a numbered (ordered) list instead.

Charles F. Munat
Seattle, Washington
Received on Saturday, 30 June 2001 14:29:16 UTC

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