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Re: Is an empty alt attribute ok when...

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 15:05:37 +0200
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.sqptbns3w5l938@widsith.local>

On Fri, 13 May 2005 14:30:26 +0200, Jon Hanna <jon@hackcraft.net> wrote:

> Such descriptions (or even more detailed perhaps) belong in longdesc  
> pages.
> The graph and the diagram of a water molecule are images that could
> particularly benefit from longdesc pages.

I agree with Jon and Patrick's responses. (Note that this is something of  
the art of communication, which has some scientific underpinnings such as  
the number of times you need to communicate things, and some areas where  
style and creativity are difficult to describe, such as the best  
description of a plate of noodles).

If an image already has a title, such as your Mona Lisa, I would be  
inclined to leave the alt blank although I would include some kind of  
longdesc. For the Mona Lisa I would be equally content to point to some  
WikiPedia page or similar as a longdesc - there are probably a lot of  
smart people out there describing the Mona Lisa and using their work is  
better than repeating it. It also helps to make it clear that this is a  
well-known thing you are pointing to, rather than just relying on your  
say-so that it is.

Although I would check what happens in the software that does support  
longdesc if the alt is blank...



Charles McCathieNevile                      Fundacion Sidar
charles@sidar.org   +61 409 134 136    http://www.sidar.org
Received on Friday, 13 May 2005 13:05:53 UTC

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