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Re: Images as alternatives to text instead of the reverse

From: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 12:55:44 -0400
Message-Id: <1.5.4.32.19960821165544.0094a028@csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
To: Steve Knoblock <knoblock@worldnet.att.net>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
At 11:57 AM 8/21/96 -0400, Steve Knoblock wrote:
>Chris,
>in traditional printing, as you probably know, titles are sometimes in
>specially cast display type. I feel this is like using a graphic.
>
><h1><img src="title.gif" alt="Title"></h1>

But traditional printing is not platform indendant. In the example you have
just sited, this page will most likely NOT get indexed under "Title", users
cannot use the browser's "find" feature to find "Title", "Title" will not be
spell checked. In other words, the computer has no idea that the graphic is
REPRESENTING text, so it cannot do intelligent textual things with it. In
books, this is obviously not a problem, but on the Web it is.

>I see nothing wrong with using images in the same manner they have been for
>many years, as display type. I don't see it as an alternate rendering of
>text content. I understand that if no textual description is provided, the
>content of the logo can not be indexed or searched for. Maybe that is unique
>to the web and has to be addressed, but we do have alt text and as you say
><object> coming.

Alt text says: "the image is the 'real' version of the idea, the text is
secondary." Because of this, alt text is not usually indexed (AFAIK). The
proposal under discussion says the opposite. "This is really text...treat it
like text...but graphic clients may want to use this stylzed version." Since
they are opposites, they should have different HTML representations.

 Paul Prescod
Received on Wednesday, 21 August 1996 12:57:44 GMT

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