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Re: Alt is not a description (was Re: when to use longdesc for images)

From: Matthew J. Giustino <mjg@giustiweb.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2004 09:12:57 -0500
Message-ID: <41C82F69.3060705@giustiweb.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

David Dorward stated:
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"The prose suggests giving a description of images which are
decorative. Why? What benefit does it bring to users to know that
there is a "Drawing of a house" somewhere in a document if they cannot
see it and the only purpose of the image is to _look_ nice?"
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That would be a good example to include a blank "alt" attribute ( alt="" ). 

A reason to include a blank attribute is due to the fact that 
some screen readers will read the image's file name ( ie; image.jpg ) if "alt"
is excluded from your code.

I have seen MANY examples where gif images were used for bullets and there was NO "alt"
included. So while reading the page the screen reader also read out loud "bullet.gif",
"bullet.gif", "bullet.gif", "bullet.gif", etc" .

As stated this could have been avoided if the webmaster simply included alt="" 
so that the screen reader would not read the file name.


Matthew J. Giustino
mjg@giustiweb.com
Received on Tuesday, 21 December 2004 14:13:19 GMT

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