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Re: DRAFT: Now with URL included!

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 14:23:15 -0700
Message-ID: <3766C443.E37DB6FF@gorge.net>
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
CH:: "CAST also provides a basic introduction to alternative
representations for images (alt tags and long descriptions) at:


WL: This is good for pix-to-text but much of our recent (seemingly
endless) discussions have been an effort to make text-to-pix somehow
become a part of the guidelines.  A site like the above called
text_barrier.html is IMHO very unlikely to be as clear-cut a success. I
cannot yet imagine any way to do this because my brain just doesn't work
that way and I've seen no evidence of anything showing how this can be
and certainly nothing from a set of vague guidelines: "use illustrations
where helpful" sort of urgings.  What illustrations?  A picture of a
rose means "rose", "spring semester schedule", "Rose", and if there
aren't a few more, I would be very surprised.  But when the picture is
used on a Web page the author should know what she was up to and
ALT="text" becomes a proper subject for a guideline.  My guess is that
it will be decades (if ever) before this can change and when it does the
learning process will be just as difficult for folks with learning
disabilities as it is now for them to learn to read text.  There is no
"intuitively obvious" reason why a circle with a diagonal should mean
"not" or a stick figure with certain garment styling should signify a
particular gender's rest room.  These conventions had to be learned
laboriously and are far from universal.  We have spent megabytes of
bandwidth discussing this stuff and the proposals are still so vague as
to present authors with no clues as to which set of clip art will become
the heiroglyphs of the future.  A football picture can be anything from
meaningless to a depiction of a watermelon seed and associating it with
the financial statement of the Green Bay Packers has zero informative
value for the document in question.  
Received on Tuesday, 15 June 1999 17:22:50 UTC

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