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Re: Microsoft's response on the ALT attribute and how Frontpage deals with it

From: David Poehlman <poehlman@clark.net>
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 07:48:41 -0500 (EST)
To: Brian Kelly <lisbk@ukoln.ac.uk>
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, "B.K. DeLong" <bkdelong@naw.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.05.9901260744420.17881-100000@shell.clark.net>
I'd make two suggestion:
1> do not allow an altless image or other element which requires it:
2> explain with the error message in a short para how to construct a
proper alt tag.
It's time creation tool developpers got more involved in how products of
their tools will represent them.  And before anyone asks lest I leave
something out, yes, check for all accessibility and do not allow
construction till they are done.  simple.  notes along the way for
corective messages.  it can serve as a learning tool as well.  when you
hit a wrong key or click the mouse in appropriately in windows, it lets
you know.  This is quite effective.

On Tue, 26 Jan 1999, Brian Kelly wrote:

_----- Original Message -----
_From: B.K. DeLong <bkdelong@naw.org>
_To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
_Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 1999 1:29 AM
_Subject: Microsoft's response on the ALT attribute and how Frontpage deals
_with it
_>My comments interspersed.
_>>From: A Microsoft Product Manager
_>>To: "'bkdelong@naw.org'" <bkdelong@naw.org>
_>>Subject: FW: ALT attributes default to filesize and filename
_>>There is no way for software to know that a magnifying glass is for
_>>searching.  There is a way in the image properties dialog box to put
_>>whatever alt text you want in for an image.  We have to pick a default.
_>>benefit to having the file size over nothing is that users who have their
_>>browsers set to not download images will be able to see how big (read: how
_>>long it will take to download) each image on the page.
_>My question was why would they care what the image size is if they have
_>images turned off. Note she didn't address text-browsers or people using
_>screen readers.
_>B.K. DeLong                  360 Huntington Ave.
_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?
_Brian Kelly
_Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus
_UKOLN, University of Bath, BATH, England, BA2 7AY
_Email: b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk URL: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/
_Homepage: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/ukoln/staff/b.kelly.html
_Phone: 01225 323943 FAX: 01225 826838

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Received on Tuesday, 26 January 1999 07:48:48 UTC

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