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Re: ALT-text and LONGDESC presentation

From: Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com>
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 1998 16:04:20 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Jaap.van.Lelieveld@inter.nl.net (jaap van lelieveld)
Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
At 08:44 PM 05/04/98 +0100, jaap van lelieveld wrote:
>On Wed, 25 Mar 1998 19:22:59 -0500 Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com> wrote:
>> >Proposal for UA guidelines:
>> >
>> >Presenting an ALT-text or LONGDESC to the user
>> > -    It must be clear when an ALT-text is available/presented.
>> I disagree.  ALT text is replacement text for the image.  Good ALT text
>> fits seamlessly into the context of the document, without the need to
>> announce "Hey, there's an image here!".  ALT text should be presented as if
>> it were normal text and there was no image.  Let's look at a common
>That is the ideal situation.

Right.  Let's not make the ideal impossible to reach by assuming that
authors can't write good ALT text.  We can recognize that some authors
can't write good ALT text and accommodate this by providing a user option
to render ALT text distinctly.  But requiring a distinct rendering for ALT
text would make it impossible for us to achieve the kind of seamless
device-independence that would make the Web truly accessible.

>I would like to know when a posible pitfall is nearby and
>there for I do not want to trust on possible good ALTs.

Which means that you can never enjoy the clean presentation of a page with
good ALTs.  Users should have the option to trust or not trust the author
to provide a device-independent document.  Perhaps browsers could save
these trust relationships for future visits so that the user doesn't have
to bother switching between the two modes.


Liam Quinn
Web Design Group            Enhanced Designs, Web Site Development
http://www.htmlhelp.com/    http://enhanced-designs.com/
Received on Sunday, 5 April 1998 16:04:29 UTC

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