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RE: mugshots

From: Charles F. Munat <chas@munat.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2001 07:28:22 -0800
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Rebecca Cox wrote:
> On Web sites I have been asked to view, I suggest putting in the
> name as alt
> text, eg alt="Rebecca Cox". The longdesc attribute could be used
> to describe
> any detailed inormation (eg age, clothing ...). Otherwise, for further
> essential information (contact ...) I would suggest placing text near the
> photo for all to read.

I disagree with this technique because a name inserted into the flow of text
doesn't mean anything. Charles Munat What I would recommend is this:

1. Start by putting in a simple label, such as "Photo of Joe Blow." (This is
only temporary!)

2. Go to a text only browser such as Lynx and read the page.

3. When you get to the line, "Photo of Joe Blow," ask yourself what
information that photo is providing to the viewer. Then write a short
description of Joe and put it in the alt attribute instead.

4. Go back to Lynx and see how it reads.

5. If you need to put in more information than will fit in the alt attribute
(likely), then introduce that information with a one-liner in the alt, and
add a link to a fuller description using longdesc and, for backward
compatibility, either a D-link, and invisible D-link, or by making the photo
itself link to the description. On the link, add a title attribute with
"More about Joe."

6. Repeat the above steps until you're satisfied that it reads well in Lynx
(and any screen readers/self-voicing browsers you have access to).


<img href="joe.jpg" height="220" width="100" longdesc="joe.html"
    alt="Joe is a funny looking guy." /> [<a href="joe.html"
    title="More about Joe.">D</a>]

You can also move the image up or down as necessary to get the alt text into
the right place in the flow of text.

You can do this for all photos on the page at once to save time. Begin with
just a note about which photo it is so you'll be able to tell them apart in
Lynx. Then write alt attributes that flow with the text for those images
that need them, delete the alt attribute value completely (alt="") for those
that don't need explaining, if any, and add longdesc/D-links for those that
need more explanation than will fit into the alt attribute.

Works for me.
Charles F. Munat
Received on Monday, 5 November 2001 10:27:54 UTC

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