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Re: Creating accessible tables for layout and data

From: Jim Byrne <j.byrne@gcal.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 12:28:15 +0000
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B87D975F.D8B2%j.byrne@gcal.ac.uk>
on 30/1/02 12:01 pm, Jouni Heikniemi at jth@dns.mikrobitti.fi wrote:

> On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Jim Byrne wrote:
> 
>> I am eager to get some feedback - I am sure not everyone will agree with my
>> conclusions.
> 
> I only quickly skimmed through the text, and I agree mostly. It's good to
> see an accessibility article that is ready to accept compromises with the
> HTML tables versus CSS dilemma.
> 
> However, I find it quite amusing that a fine accessibility article written
> with considerable expertise fails in one basic way: the purely decorative
> images have descriptive alt texts. After the first heading "Table
> Manners", my Lynx says "Street Sign: Stop". Further down, there's one I
> like even more: "These data tables generally have headings along the top
> or down the side, or both. Pink flowers". Yeah :-)
> 
> 
> Best regards,
> 
> Jouni
> 
Thanks for your feedback Jouni,

You are right the pictures are purely decorative. I am trying to get this
right; are you saying that decorative graphics should not have descriptive
alt texts? I take it you are not - but pointing out to me that I could use
my alt tags to add more appropriate descriptions. Am I picking you up
correctly?

One of the problems I think about when adding alt tags to photos that are
purely decorative is the problem of how to make them short. I could put the
words 'decorative photo:' in front of all my alt tag descriptions but this
would probably extend the text beyond the width of the picture - which is
far as I know can make the alt tags unreadable in browsers with graphics
turned off.

I can use the alt tag to give a short description and the title to provide
something a little longer - and in addition use the longdesc attribute to
provide even more info.

I want to get it right - so if it is clear to you how what the best approach
is please point me in the right direction.

Thanks,
Jim
-- 
Jim Byrne Project Director, The Making Connections Unit, Glasgow Caledonian
University, Glasgow G4 OBA, 0141 331 3893

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Web.

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Received on Wednesday, 30 January 2002 07:28:44 GMT

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