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Re: ALT as required attribute

From: Jim Ley <jim@jibbering.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2003 16:07:20 -0000
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <b1ooc2$nls$1@main.gmane.org>

"Bill Mason" <w3c@accessibleinter.net> wrote in message
>But it does clearly say that the attribute
>is to "specify alternate text to serve as content when the element
>cannot be rendered normally."  Thus in scenarios where the image
>has rendered normally, the ALT content should not be presented
>by a user agent in any fashion, tooltip or otherwise.

That would suggest an ALT text of "This image will be available tomorrow" is
ok (it doesn't mention users ability to percieve the image, purely the UA's
ability to render it, I don't think anyone would agree with that.  UAAG
clearly states that all content of all types should be made available to the
user including showing alternatives at the same time.  So there's plenty of
support, and as a user who requires this, I fail to see how you can argue
against it?

>If the user wants to find a way to make it so, whether via plug-in or
>some advanced CSS in a user style sheet, good for the user.

If the user is perfectly justified in doing it, then the user agent is also
perfectly justified in providing it by default, the default
rendering/configurations are just some arbitrary defaults designed to best
serve the users, you seem to be saying that because the showing of ALT on
tooltip does nothing to serve your needs the default is wrong, I can't see
how you're justified in coming to that conclusion.

> At 02:14 AM 2/4/2003, Jim Ley wrote:
> >Why are specifications mandating how semantic mark-up be rendered,
> >that just make it visual mark-up?
> The specification is not mandating how.  It's mandating when, where ALT is
> concerned.

I thought you just agreed it mandated no such thing, and a UA (a
browser+plugin or CSS) would still be compliant to the specification.

>>Why, I'm pretty rare in not understanding icons, and a
>>graphic designer would not change things, I've discussed this
>>with others in large groups and I'm alone in not understanding
>>the icon.  Using the TITLE would be wrong,
> Providing that sort of *additional* information is exactly what TITLE is
> specified for.

It is not _addtional information_ it is the information, if someone uses the
common men at work road sign, the ALT is "men at work", the title could
easily be "An example of a UK road sign", I need the ALT to understand it,
not the title, I need the alternative, I simply do not understand the image.

I do struggle to see why people are so dogmatic on this point, we're in a
group where everyone is presumably aware of accessiblility, and aware that
the most important thing is that users are able to get to the content they
need to understand the document.  I'm a user, my requirements are simple
compared to a great many of the use cases we see, but I'm still told that my
User Agent is wrong, despite it doing exactly what I require to access a
well marked up document.  Like the people who need voice browsers don't want
to force everyone else to use a voice browser, I don't want to force you to
see ALT on tooltip.  I just want people to acknowledge that accessibility
needs are different for every person, and User Agents should be free to show
the content any way they please.

My user agent is not wrong to show ALT on tooltip, neither is yours wrong
for not doing so, mine's just making the content I need available to me in
the best way possible, and in following the conventions of my operating

Received on Tuesday, 4 February 2003 11:08:01 UTC

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