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RE: Web Forms: Usability and Accessibility Question.

From: Geoff Deering <gdeering@acslink.net.au>
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2004 19:22:29 +1100
To: "David Woolley" <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NBBBJPNFCLNLAADCLFJBGEBGFMAA.gdeering@acslink.net.au>

-----Original Message-----
From: David Woolley

* incorrectly.  I agree that it might not be necessarily good to have all
> graphics turned on, but labeled graphics is certainly within the realm of
> expectation for a user of a graphical environment.

Surely the problem here is the level of abuse of alt attributes.

If you ignore the sites that don't use them at all, you will find a large
number of sites that treat them as a Netscape 4 tooltip feature, and a lot
that apply token accessibility compliance by providing alt text that matches
image file name, or which is a description rather than an alternative.  You
will also still find sites (I hit one recently) that use them for keyword
stuffing (for search engine manipulation).

I'm about at the point that the whole alt text thing is doing more damage
for WAI than good.  It was relevant years ago, but the landscape has changed
and it just should not be much of an issue if developers understand formal
grammar, its benefits and just placing appropriate alts on images used
appropriately.  If developers are still filling their sites with images for
filler, etc, they are living in the past and being counter productive.

Received on Wednesday, 4 February 2004 03:29:14 UTC

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