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RE: ALT-attribute usage

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 15:35:44 +1000 (AEST)
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.95.971023151759.18254C-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
For the most part, Gregg Vanderheiden's summary captures precisely the
distinction between the respective purposes of ALT and LONGDESC. There
will probably be exceptions to such generalisations however. For instance,
in a previous discussion of this topic, Al pointed out the difference
between a third party description of an image, which is to a significant
degree independent of its function in the document, and a description
supplied by the author of the page, which may be more concise and relevant
to the intended purpose of the graphic.

I would tend to prefer functional descriptions. Unnecessarily detailed
accounts of visual appearance are generally not useful, and in most cases
it should be possible to taylor the description ;to the purpose of the
image. Essentially, what is needed ;is a ;textual substitute ;for the
;graphical resource.

The HTML specification does not provide an appropriate context in which to
engage in a detailed treatment of this distinction; but it should be
discussed in the markup guidelines.

Gregg Vanderheiden's formulation is the best that I have read so far.
Received on Thursday, 23 October 1997 01:36:08 UTC

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