W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > August 2002

Re: ideas for alternative text

From: Glenn Kusardi <gkmail@stylix.de>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 13:45:40 +0200
Message-ID: <3312953976.20020820134540@stylix.de>
To: "M Chamlee" <developer@pobox.com>
CC: www-validator@w3.org

> The problem with the current ALT attribute for graphics is that it shows up
> as an onmouseover effect in many graphic browsers, and can cover or distract
> from the usability of graphic navigation on the page.

This is a problem of the browser. Mozilla for example doesn't show
the ALT attribute as long as the image is displayed.

> If I want to give a fully-functional explanation of the graphic that will be
> legitimately useful to a visitor who does not see the graphic(s), the
> explanation itself ends up being condescending or redundant to graphic users
> because this distracting provision of alt tag information cannot be
> separated from the graphic browser versions due to the onmouseover display
> of alt information on top of the graphic.

See above... There are two attributes available: "title" which
_should_ be displayed as tool tip and should provide a _additional_
description to a picture and "alt" which _should_ only displayed if
the image itself can't be shown and should provide a "image-replacing"
description.

> I'm not sure -and I'd like to know- what the convention is for commenting.
> I'm guessing commented information in an html page does not show up in
> screen readers, and I'm not suggesting it should.  However, it would be
> incredibly useful to have a comment-like tag that is only picked up and read
> by the screenreader, but remains hidden in the source code away from the
> graphic browser.

Why?

> While this information could be put in the normal page text, in an effective
> commercial site there would likely already have been an image giving this
> description visually and so the information would have been redundant to a
> sighted user.  The image may also have been placed somewhere in the layout
> that made visual sense to a sighted visitor, but the description is more
> coherent in the text somewhere else on the page for the screen-read visitor.

You are just talking about "alt" and "title".

> In text links, something like this would be useful:
> <a href="link.php" SCREENNAME="Apply to receive brochure">Apply Now!</A>

Why, text browser and GUI browser should display the same in this
example.

Further there exists a "title" Attribute for a Elements so you can
provide additional information to a link.

> Once again, the graphic positioning on the page would have provided enough
> additional navigation cues to the sighted visitor to allow for the "apply
> now" to be self evident as tied to the brochure offered.  When screenread it
> may not be, and such a tag would help make the connection much more assured
> for a screen-read visitor.

Then you have a wrong structured document. It should be, in both type
of browser, clear what you mean with "Apply Now!".

-- 
Sincerely,
Glenn Kusardi                            mailto:gkmail@stylix.de
Received on Tuesday, 20 August 2002 07:45:36 GMT

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