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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 13:24:07 +0100
Message-Id: <199901261224.NAA01333@www47.inria.fr>
To: Brian Kelly <lisbk@ukoln.ac.uk>
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, "B.K. DeLong" <bkdelong@naw.org>

> I think you're being unfair in yopur response.  An authoring tool has three
> options for providing defaults ALT values - give a null string, give a
> standard chunk of text "This is an image" or provide information
> automatically derived from the image file "Size =100 Kb".  Of these
> alternatives, I think the latter is preferable.
> What concrete suggestion would you make to vendors of authoring tools?

The WAI has a Working Group working on Guideliens for Authoring Tools, 
here's what they say in the latest draft (Jan 12)
2.5.8: [Priority 1] 
  The authoring tool must never insert rule-generated description
  text into the document (default "alt"-text) or a properties field
  (place-holder "alt"-text). Automated processes may only place
  pre-authored (by a person) text when the meaning or function of the
  described object is known with certainty. 

In other word, default alt values is a no-no, mostly because it then
makes it very hard for repair tools of all kind to do their job
effectively, since they cannot really look for missing data.
Received on Tuesday, 26 January 1999 07:27:46 UTC

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