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RE: nbsp ok for decorative alt?

From: Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2006 16:12:13 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>


Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:
Hi Gez, Andrew, Johannes,


First - yes I meant  "&nbsp;"  (I have been typing in the WIKI too long)

Second - let me rephrase the question better.

Our technique currently says

ALT="" is preferred
ALT=" " is acceptable but not preferred
ALT="&nbsp;"  is not.

Michael said "why is "&nbsp;" not acceptable if " " is acceptable.

I think we were trying to reduce the number of options but allow ALT=" " due
to past and current Web content.  And might be easier to get some GUI tools
to actually put the ALT attribute in.  (having some content causes it to be
added).   (and I think we may even have told people to use ALT=" " at some

So the question is

Should we also allow  "&nbsp;" ?

Gez - were you saying 'yes'?
Johannes, Andrew, John,   I logged your answers as being 'no'.

Do we want to continue to allow " " to make it easy to force tools to put
the ALT in without people having to know how to hand doctor their code?
(Hopefully - all tools will have a means for forcing a null ALT="" someday.)

A non-breaking space is written as an entity reference (&nbsp; or &#160;) 
keyboards don't have a key for it. When markup goes through some 
processing, however,
it is possible that the entity reference is converted into the actual 
space, which looks just like a normal space in the source code. Conversely, 
it is
possible to enter a normal space by means of an entity reference (&#032;), 
but we
don't do that because it's a waste of time. Why is the normal space treated 
from the non-breaking space (and other kinds of spaces, such as en space 
(&ensp; or
&#8194;), em space (&emsp; or &#8195;), etc.)?
It seems more consistent to treat all types of spaces the same: either all 
are allowed,
or none are allowed. I would not advocate normal spaces in so-called "null" 
attributes, because then you would have to allow other types of spaces, too.



Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Departement of Electrical Engineering - Research Group on 
Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 - 3001 Leuven-Heverlee - BELGIUM
tel: +32 16 32 85 51

Disclaimer: http://www.kuleuven.be/cwis/email_disclaimer.htm
Received on Monday, 10 April 2006 14:12:36 UTC

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