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Re: The title attribute is 99% bad

From: David R. Stong <drs18@psu.edu>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 16:19:24 -0400
Message-Id: <p0610050bbd5bd6f12e55@[]>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Jesper wrote: "Until user agents render the title attribute in such a 
way that...<snip>...web content authors must not rely on the title 
attribute for supplying
additional information... <snip>"

>Kynn responded in part: "This is a bad suggestion, not to mention a 
>misguided one."

I like the spirit of Jesper's comment; it points out that the title 
attribute is rendered differently in different browsers, and if 
relied on to provide access, may as yet, not succeed. Kynn's brief 
response sent me to the standards to check a few things.

I believe Jesper points out a real problem, but Kynn seems to be 
correct. The HTML Techniques standards  clearly state the title 
attribute is used for supplementary material. There is an editorial 
note: "It is expected that the Techniques Gateway will define what 
"supplementary information" is and how it should be used."

I think this places a share of the burden on the user agent, which is 
addressed in the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines as "Render 
conditional content."

I can't seem to find a parallel to the opening phrase "Until user 
agents..." in the User Agent guidelines; a guideline that begins, 
"Until Web designers start...". Seems to me like the WCAG 2.0 
standards are heading in a good direction.

David R. Stong
Microcomputer Information Specialist (Graphic Designer),
Education Technology Services, a unit of
Teaching and Learning with Technology
Information Technology Services
The Pennsylvania State University
Phone 8148651843

212  Rider Building II
227 W Beaver Avenue
State College, PA   16801-4819

Working for Universal Design: http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/accessibility
Received on Wednesday, 1 September 2004 20:19:28 UTC

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