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Re: lynx & title attribute

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 10:55:50 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF7385AC3E.58A2BB31-ON86256ACD.0055933A@raleigh.ibm.com >
The problem as I see it is that authors and users are confused by the
various ways that user agents [browsers] and assistive technology render
the title and alt attributes.  Some users ask for it in a certain order
because that is the order that their assistive technology renders it.
Other users ask for it in a different order.  Sighted users see it another
way.  Sighted users with graphics off see it another way. Lynx users see it
another way.  HPR users see it another way.

I believe it is spec'd correctly
     alt is the alternative
     longdesc is the description
     title is additional information

The user agent has the responsibility to render all three, but not
necessarily at the same time.

HPR's default renders the alt first, if no alt, it renders the title, if no
title it renders the source URL.  HPR will render the title in addition to
the alt if the users asks for more information about the item; which is
similar to a sighted user moving the mouse over the image to get additional

Internet Explorer 4 I think and definitely 5 and above renders the title
attribute as the tool tip first, if no title attribute, then it renders the
alt attribute, if no alt attribute it doesn't render a tool tip.  If the IE
5 users doesn't move the mouse over the item, no tool tip is rendered.

It was reported to me that Mozilla (Netscape 5) only renders the title as
the tool tip and never the alt attribute in a tool tip.

I believe the Lynx browser should add a user interface method to allow the
user to ask for more information about the item.  I've heard the argument
that the HPR or Lynx user may not know to ask for more information - that's
true, but the sighted mouse user doesn't know to move the mouse over the
item to get additional information either.

It would be useful for the WCAG techniques and Education & Outreach working
group to address all the various levels of support and recommend the best
approach.  I believe IE and HPR are two browsers that do it correctly per
the HTML, WCAG, and UAAG specs.

P.S. The is not the same as JavaScript mouse overs on links.

Phill Jenkins
IBM Research Division - Accessibility Center
11501 Burnet Rd,  Austin TX  78758    http://www.ibm.com/able
Received on Thursday, 20 September 2001 11:57:02 UTC

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