W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 2004

RE: alt text & punctuation - best practice?

From: <Kurt_Mattes@bankone.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 07:33:39 -0400
Message-ID: <B239BEDED044074C8E2CCC3A9162F2A90A26D88F@swilnts804.wil.fusa.com>
To: <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> As a web page user, I would be glad not to have the ads. 

The love hate relationship of advertising.  We all hate them, unless they
bring us information about a product or service we are interested in or
would benefit from.  The advertising industry has a few decades of maturity over the Internet.  If images with text were not adding value to the 
advertisement, the expense to create them would cause their demise.  
Advertising is all about return on investment.

> However, if I am a bit more realistic, I realise that the editorial only > exists because it is paid for by the ads.

None of the ads on the sites I develop are paid placements.  Rather, they are designed to inform users about products and services offered by the
corporation.  Yes, when customers partake in the offering, the corporation does profit.  Last time I checked, corporations are supposed to profit
from their offerings.  The world does not run on not-for-profit companies.

A clear majority of the visitors to these sites go for the information
about their finances.  I do not believe this would be considered editorial
content.  The benefit of the web for most banks is a reduction in cost, not
an increase in gross revenue.  Cost reduction translates directly to fewer
fees paid by the customer - a benefit to all.  But advertising is not the issue 
here, graphics with text is.

> Personally, if an advertiser fails to reach his audience because he fails
> to use text, It doesn't worry me.  For me, ads on web pages are for the
> benefit of the content provider, not the audience.

Once again, unless the ad provides information about something you are
presently interested in or would benefit from.

> Note that Google adverts have traditionally been text only, although I believe
> they now allow some images.

Not sure what Google has to do with this, but you should read this page -
https://adwords.google.com/select/imageads.html

We could advocate that the web should be nothing but black and white text,
but few would be interested in it.  I believe the overriding intent of WAI
is to make the web accessible for all, not to make it a boring medium of 
black and white text.  Graphics with text [of which ads are only a part]
enrich the Internet experience and encourage use for a large majority of 
the people on the planet.  I believe attempts to deny use of graphics with words discourages designers/developers from attempting to create
accessible sites.  As with the use of scripting, graphics with words exist and will never be eliminated.  Shouldn't the goal be to find a way to make them accessible?  Perhaps screen magnifiers should render and enlarge alt
text.

Based on your comments, are the W3C home page and most other pages on their
site, including those at http://www.w3.org/WAI/ considered inaccessible
because it uses a graphic with text [not an ad] as the first element?
Additionally, why does the W3C provide a graphic with text to indicate
conformance with the WAI guidelines?  Seems to be ironic that the very
item used to show conformance would itself be considered inaccessible.
For whose benefit does this graphic exist?

Kurt Mattes
Application Development Analyst
Technical Lead - Web Accessibility
[302] 282-1414 * Kurt_Mattes@BankOne.com


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of David Woolley
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 4:57 PM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: alt text & punctuation - best practice?



> And in the interim we should...?  There are millions of ads on the web
**** that use images.  Are you suggesting all of these should be eliminated?

As a web page user, I would be glad not to have the ads.  However, if
I am a bit more realistic, I realise that the editorial only exists because
it is paid for by the ads.

Personally, if an advertiser fails to reach his audience because he fails
to use text, It doesn't worry me.  For me, ads on web pages are for the
benefit of the content provider, not the audience.

Note that Google adverts have traditionally been text only, although I believe
they now allow some images.

It was certainly clear to me that the version one guidelines aimed towards the
elimination of text as images, although this was qualified by a temporary
permission.  The aim of downloadable fonts was to reduce the need for text
as images, but, of course, pages are designed for primarily visual use,
and just using fonts would make page styles too alike for the designers.

Text as images is almost always logically styling and should not be done in
the HTML if you really buy the separation of form from content.  (There are
some, relatively rare cases, where the document wants to represent a languague
script (including maths) for which the recipient's browser doesn't have 
proper support (e.g. providing the Chinese characters of a hotel's address
for Western visitors, to show to a taxi driver - they don't need to be able
to read it themselves).



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Received on Tuesday, 22 June 2004 07:34:39 UTC

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