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Re: "tool tip" - alternate use of ALT

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 12:10:12 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199710201610.MAA18275@access2.digex.net>
To: Jaap.van.Lelieveld@inter.NL.net (jaap van lelieveld)
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
I should be more concrete.

In my experience, tool tips are used to answer the question "What does
this button do?"

I believe that you were referring back to the controversy over what
text should go in the ALT string when an IMG functions as a button
to activate a hypertext link.  

In this case, if the author things of the ALT as a tool tip, they
are more likely to answer the question

  "What happens when I activate this link?" than to answer

  "What does this image show?"  

So, if the eyes-free Web browser is more concerned about the link
target than the image description, having sighted authors think of
ALT as a tool tip is probably friendly.

It is still possible that they want to answer either or both of
those questions in a tool tip.

I think that the presence of tool tips in the GUI presentation of
a page is on the whole a positive influence on our success in 
getting needed information into HTML pages.

People using GUI screen readers need to have the capability to
turn them off, and things like that.  But I think that we can make
the tool tip a friend if we approach it right.

-- Al
Received on Monday, 20 October 1997 12:10:39 UTC

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