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Re: tooltip onfocus

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2003 14:09:25 +0200 (EET)
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.50.0301210956110.27717-100000@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Tue, 21 Jan 2003, Jonathan Chetwynd wrote:

> Do you appreciate that keyboard users currently cannot get access to
> abbreviation and acronym information.

Tooltips are not the way to give essential information. If something
is important, it should be said in document content proper. I'm afraid
all the talk about <acronym> and <abbr> has made authors forget
to present essential explanations, imagining that title attributes
would magically handle such things. This is tragicomic, especially
considering the rather poor browser support to the markup that is
supposed to do miracles.

It was time for me to put together my thoughts on this topic,
to compose the page "Explaining abbreviations, acronyms and symbols
on Web pages",

> It's not just image links without
> labels that would benefit*.

Similar considerations apply to image links that are not accompanied
(or part of) textual links. The use of an image as a link suffers
from several problems even if the <img> element has an alt attribute.
I don't believe that universal access to alternate information (such
as alt attributes) would solve this problem, though I agree with the
idea that such access should be implemented. It is not sufficient that
the user _can_ access some information. Anything that is essential
should be presented in the main flow of content or via explicit
links with descriptive links. Hints and tooltips aren't enough.
(Besides, they typically vanish completely in printing - something
that people easily forget, despite the fact that we know that people
seldom read long pages on screen.)

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Tuesday, 21 January 2003 07:09:28 UTC

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