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About Priority 1.1

From: Charles F. Munat <charles@munat.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 19:54:05 -0700
Message-ID: <000601bed484$b57b97a0$1f611c26@ujj9y>
To: "WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Priority 1.1 states "Provide a text equivalent for every non-text element .
. . This includes . . . spacers . . . ."

A while back I was involved in a heated discussion on this list regarding
providing alt text for such things as spacer images. I had put up a site and
the spacer images had ALT="spacer". I got an earful (eyeful?) from some
members of this list about that.

The general consensus seemed to be, if the alt text doesn't contribute to
the accessibility of the page, use alt="" or alt=" ". Although I was
skeptical at first, after trying it both ways, I decided that alt="" was a
worthwhile option and began to use it.

But Priority 1.1 doesn't mention this, and seems to rule against it.

Can anyone clarify this for me? Is it permissible to use alt=""
(judiciously, of course) and still meet Priority 1.1?

Also, the example suggests using alt text for form inputs. If I've already
used labels and associated them with their inputs properly, and/or I'm using
explanatory placeholder text, the alt text seems like overkill (how many
times does the user of pwWebspeak need to hear the name of the input?).

Does Priority 1.1 require the use of alt text on form inputs?

Charles F. Munat
Received on Thursday, 22 July 1999 16:57:13 UTC

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