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documenting the description and role of a background image

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 17:02:08 -0400
Message-Id: <200007192101.RAA2094934@smtp1.mail.iamworld.net>
To: karl.hebenstreit@gsa.gov, HECHT@SCSU.CTSTATEU.EDU
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
[Just as a note about XML trends and the future]

The problem with explaining the BACGROUND image is much like the LONGDESC
Logically, these descrptions are about things that are themselves
attributes, whereas the SGML tradition only allows us to add attributes to
give information about elements.  Not to give information about attributes.
 Except via unpopular technologies such as architectural forms.

A clue as to a possible solution to this dilemma is the way that the title
information item in the SVG syntax is no longer an XML attribute but is an
XML subelement, even though its function is to give information about its
parent element.  This allows us to support international titles better.  It
lets us incorporate RUBY and other markup in the title that one needs
beyond UniCode text to present literate titles in a wide variety of
languages.  It also allows us to then come back and give information about
the TITLE by attributes within the TITLE element or by RDF metadata which
is then able to point at the TITLE element as what it is talking about.

So we should be thinking about migrating the background image to a
subelement in XHTML 2 as opposed to an attribute so we can associate a
description with it just as with any other image.


At 03:11 PM 2000-07-19 -0400, karl.hebenstreit@gsa.gov wrote:
>Jan -
>My recommendation would be to add a link to an "About this site" pageto the
>menu at the bottom.   You could even put the contact information (see
>below) on that page as well.   This page could then include a description
>of the background graphic: (Zeus(?) with his left arm around ??? reaching
>out with his right index finger to touch the index finger of a robot)
>                       The Research Center on Computing & Society
>                         at Southern Connecticut State University
>                        501 Crescent Street ? New Haven, CT 06515
>                Director: (203) 392-6790 ? e-mail:
>Karl Hebenstreit, Jr.
>US General Services Adminstration
>Office of Governmentwide Policy
>"JAN HECHT" <HECHT@SCSU.CTSTATEU.EDU>@w3.org on 07/19/2000 06:04:20 PM
>Sent by:  w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org
>To:   w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
>Subject:  Moving on...
>I have a question about a site on our campus I was asked to look at. The
>dedsigner used graphics in the background. The graphics reflect the subject
>of the site (computers and society) and visually are an interesting part of
>the experience of the site, though they don't impart any information per
>Those using the text version of this site or using a screen reader do not
>know there are graphics they're not seeing. I'm concerned (as are the
>designers) that there is no indication or description of the graphics for
>such users. Is there a way to add ALT tags to background graphics? Any
>other suggestions on adding descriptions of the graphics?
>The site is: http://www.computerethics.org
>Janice Hecht
>Coordinator, Adaptive Technology Services
>Southern Connecticut State University
>501 Crescent Street, EN5
>New Haven, CT 06515
>Phone: 203-392-5797
>Fax: 203-392-5796
Received on Wednesday, 19 July 2000 16:57:55 UTC

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