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Re: Alt is not a description (was Re: when to use longdesc for images)

From: david poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2004 08:51:33 -0500
Message-ID: <000301c4e764$30cc2e90$6401a8c0@DAVIDPC>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

I might add that though alt as used is a description, it is often miss used 
as in "link to the home page" or "image of my ugly face" when if you think 
of a web page as a story told in words, would not make sense.  "home page or 
"my ugly face" if you will would be quite sufficient.

Thanks david for keeping the candle burning on this one <image: flame going 
out><alt="flame off"

Johnnie Apple Seed

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Dorward" <david@dorward.me.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 8:42 AM
Subject: Re: Alt is not a description (was Re: when to use longdesc for 

On Tue, Dec 21, 2004 at 07:52:52AM -0500, Matthew J. Giustino wrote:
> 1) How exactly are you meaning that "alt" is a replacement?

In that it is the content users get instead of the image, and should
therefore replace the image (which may not describe it).

The prose suggests giving a description of images which are
decorative. Why? What benefit does it bring to users to know that
there is a "Drawing of a house" somewhere in a document if they cannot
see it and the only purpose of the image is to _look_ nice?

> 2)The second example of that page;
> <A HREF="home.htm"><IMG SRC="home.gif" ALT="Link to the Home page."></A>
> Yes your browser would know that the image is a link. "alt" is merely
> being used to "describe" where the link will bring you.

Scratch "merely", it is also telling the user that the link is a link
- which they already know.

There is nothing special about images in links. The alt text should be
a suitable replacement for the image, and both the image and its
alternative should (independently) "Clearly identify the target of
[the] link" (Checkpoint 13.1)

> Which is a clear example of how "alt" is a description.

It isn't a description of the image.

David Dorward                                      http://dorward.me.uk
Received on Tuesday, 21 December 2004 13:52:10 UTC

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