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Re: Creating accessible tables for layout and data

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@home.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 07:45:53 -0500
Message-ID: <004f01c1a98c$0dfa2f20$6f8c3244@cp286066a>
To: "Jim Byrne" <j.byrne@gcal.ac.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
in summary because this has been covered before, alt is not description,
it is substitution.  if the images have any meaning at all, put the
meaning there.  if not, use alt="" or alt=" " and there is even some
debate over which of these is best.  An alternative approach would be to
put a string of characters such as alt="|||||" to cover them up really
well, but this could get tedious.
Happy reading.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Byrne" <j.byrne@gcal.ac.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2002 7:28 AM
Subject: Re: Creating accessible tables for layout and data


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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the
Web.

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Received on Wednesday, 30 January 2002 07:45:57 GMT

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