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Re: alt size can depend on the specific image (was: RE: Alt has to be short ...)

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2003 12:00:31 -0500 (EST)
To: WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.BSO.4.53.0312171156090.3950@mail.veldt.ca>


I recommend no more than 1K for alt text, but there could be cases where
more is justifiable.

<http://joeclark.org/book/sashay/serialization/Chapter06.html#p-905>

(My advice there could stand updating based on recent browser history, as
we shall see.)


The following reasoning, however, does not make sense:

> Opera (and probably other browsers) will try to honor a layout
> (or stylesheet) even when graphics are turned off.

Well, they shouldn't. The Mozilla/Safari method of simply styling the alt
text without bounding box for an image that isn't there in the first place
makes more sense. Hence, in a clear example, <h1><img></h1> will be styled
as an <h1> if <img> is absent. There is no bounding box for the image that
isn't there.

Opera's (and other browsers') method is arguably incorrect. It could be a
selectable preference, though.

And in any event, visual rendering of alt text is a rather extraneous
issue for *most* readers who rely on alt text. A user agent should always
make it possible to read the full alt. IIRC, IE on Windows lets you choose
that very option.


--

  Joe Clark  |  joeclark@joeclark.org
  Author, _Building Accessible Websites_
  <http://joeclark.org/access/> | <http://joeclark.org/book/>
Received on Wednesday, 17 December 2003 12:03:17 GMT

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