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RE: Bobby inaccuracy?

From: Scarlett Julian (ED) <Julian.Scarlett@sheffield.gov.uk>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 17:09:06 -0000
Message-ID: <F9BE3B1AB649D311A573009027852E4D018966A7@EDUC_MXS>
To: "'Charles F. Munat'" <chas@munat.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

> Unfortunately, your decision to keep the word "logo" 
> indicates that you 
> still do not quite understand the function of the alt 
> attribute. The alt 
> attribute text is used to *replace* the image. That means 
> that it serves 
> the same function as the image. It is *not* a label for the image.


<sound class="penny_drop">
I think deep down I did actually grasp what alt text was for but I was just
being a bit dense today. 

I see now what everyone has been saying and have learned a good lesson. 

thanks Charles et al for your patience and help.

Julian


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Charles F. Munat [mailto:chas@munat.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2002 5:00 PM
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Bobby inaccuracy?
> 
> 
> 
> Scarlett Julian (ED) wrote:
> 
> > Not sure about leaving out the word logo though. To my mind 
> if the alt text
> > was just Sheffield City Council there would be no telling 
> whether it was a
> > photo of all Councillors or the Council's crest/coat of 
> arms, or a photo of
> > the town hall...you get the idea. I think the combination 
> of alt text and
> > title that you suggest solves it nicely but for 
> succinctness I think I'll
> > stick with including "logo" in the alt text.
> 
> 
> Reply:
> 
> Unfortunately, your decision to keep the word "logo" 
> indicates that you 
> still do not quite understand the function of the alt 
> attribute. The alt 
> attribute text is used to *replace* the image. That means 
> that it serves 
> the same function as the image. It is *not* a label for the image.
> 
> I can tell you right now that the majority of your users do 
> not give a 
> damn that there is a Sheffield City Council logo on your page. The 
> information of importance to them is that this page is 
> associated with 
> the Sheffield City Council. This function is provided exhaustively by 
> the words "Sheffield City Council" alone.
> 
> If you believe that the word logo is necessary to 
> disambiguate the logo 
> from a picture of the council members, then you are 
> mislabeling photos. 
> If you have a picture of the Sheffield City Council members 
> or the town 
> hall and you label it with a simple "Sheffield City Council," 
> then what 
> is the point? What information does this convey to the user who can't 
> see the photo?
> 
> Effectively, you are saying to this user, there is a photo of 
> something 
> here but you can't see it. Too bad for you, eh? IMO, that's simply an 
> annoyance. If you're not going to provide any real information, why 
> bother? Just leave the alt attribute blank.
> 
> A better solution is to provide a description of the photo 
> (via longdesc 
> and/or a d-link), so that the non-visual user can get similar 
> information to that provided by the user. For the logo, the alt 
> attribute should be "Sheffield City Council". If you want to 
> make users 
> aware that this is a logo, simply add title="Logo". But if 
> you do that, 
> go the extra mile and add a description (longdesc and/or 
> d-link) leading 
> to a description of the logo. Otherwise, you are just telling 
> non-visual 
> users that there is information there worth knowing, but that 
> you're not 
> going to bother to provide it to them.
> 
> Similarly, with a photo of the council members or the town 
> hall, add a 
> d-link with a description of the image and leave the alt 
> blank -- unless 
> there is some key tidbit of info the image is supposed to 
> provide, e.g., 
> alt="Note: There are five women and three men on the 
> council." Be aware, 
> however, that not all browsers expand the alt attribute text 
> completely, 
> so if the text is larger than the image, some sighted users 
> with images 
> disabled will not be able to read it: yet another reason to keep your 
> alt attributes succinct.
> 
> Hope this clarifies things a bit. While the alt attribute is widely 
> misunderstood, its intended use is not controversial.
> 
> Sincerely,
> Charles F. Munat
> Seattle, Washington
> 
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Received on Tuesday, 15 January 2002 12:11:19 GMT

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