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Re: Microsoft's response on the ALT attribute and how Frontpage deals with it

From: Daniel Dardailler <danield@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 14:55:25 +0100
Message-Id: <199901261355.OAA01932@www47.inria.fr>
To: Brian Kelly <lisbk@ukoln.ac.uk>
cc: w3c-wai-au@w3.org, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

[I suggest this is the last message on this thread on IG, and this
should continue on WAI AU group list]

> To be it seems intuitively wrong for an authoring / conversion tool to throw
> away resource metadata.

This is equally wrong to use the ALT attributes to store metadata that 
is not meant to be there.

>  I would argue it would be better for the
> information to be provided and then filtered out if necessary.

But this would need more convention/syntax for the filtering to work
(how to recognize this is metadata about the image, not the
This is not impossible (use ALT with some specific sugar syntax
recognized by all "FileName=foo.gif; FileSize= 100K" just it hasn't
happen yet and it's also hackery more than good design (For Metadata,
look at w3.org/Metadata, and RDF)

> I'd also argue that the guidelines should at least say that authoring
> tools should provide options for creating null or automatically generated
> ALT text, so that an organisation has some choice in this matter (e.g. the
> BBC might choice to provide this information as they have their Betsie tool
> for stripping out information).

I agree ALT="" has some utility (for images with no function, like
decoration) but content that is meant to be served as is, in HTML,
should be correct HTML, and ALT=filesize is not right. In your
example, Betsie is just one way of accessing BBC Online, so the HTML
has to be correct in all cases.
Received on Tuesday, 26 January 1999 08:58:55 UTC

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