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Re: FAQ - where are the FAQs for this list?

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 10:33:56 -0500
Message-Id: <200202221533.KAA136642@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: WAI IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 03:34 PM 2002-02-18 , Charles F. Munat wrote:
>2. It would be nice if we were careful to use correct terminology. For
>example, I ran across a couple of references to "alt tags." Here is an
>opportunity to correct those misaprehensions.

While this point is likely to gain consensus backing on _this list_ this illustrates why this list is not recognized in the workplan of the WAI as a consensus body.

This is a gold-plated bad idea for FAQs.

One of the key principles in FAQs is to respect and bond with the street language by which people with questions express their questions.

In this case, "ALT tags" is the incumbent street language, and there is no reason to try to 'correct' it.  The ALT attribute is a 'tag' in a natural language sense that is more important to bind to in the FAQs than to fight against.  Yes, the FAQ should explain that to find this question in the technical literature one will need to use the language "ALT attribute" so that when the reader searches for more information they can dig up the technical discussions as well as those who have taken the trouble to meet real people on their own terms.

In practical terms there is no problem with "ALT tags" because if you Google for "ALT tags," you get Alan Flavell's excellent discourse that explains the technical niceties without talking down to the reader.  If you search with this street language you get better-filtered tutorial literature than if you use the technically 'correct' dialect.  Go figure.


For more info:

read why RTFM.mit.edu was insanely great.  Archived at

Received on Friday, 22 February 2002 10:33:39 UTC

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