W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2008

Re: Images and alternative text

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Thu, 07 Aug 2008 16:42:16 -0400
Message-ID: <489B5E28.7070509@mit.edu>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Thu, 7 Aug 2008, Philip Taylor wrote:
>>   <img src="..." alt="{x \over y} = {1 \over {y \over x}}">
>    <img src="..." alt="The fraction x over y is equal to 1 divided by the 
>    fraction y over x.">

I'm not sure how things would work when listening (not much experience 
trying to listen to even moderately complicated math unaccompanied by 
visual representation here, and I suspect both approaches Really Suck 
for anything complicated, if only because working memory fills up), but 
if I were browsing in lynx I'd definitely prefer the former to the

Of course the real question here is target audience.  If this is a 
general-population-targeted document, with presumably simple equations, 
then the second alternative is better.  If the document is targeted at a 
more technical audience, and as the equation complexity increases, the 
first option becomes more and more readable compared to the second one.

Received on Thursday, 7 August 2008 20:43:02 UTC

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