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Re: empty alternatives?

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 19:50:29 -0500
Message-Id: <4.1.19991115194220.00a34db0@pop3.concentric.net>
To: thatch@us.ibm.com
Cc: User Agent Guidelines Emailing List <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
aloha, thatch!

you spoke sooth when you wrote:

  I think it is very important to give authors the opportunity to be
  constructive. We (IBM) advocate (http://www.austin.ibm.com/sns/guidelines)
  the use of alt="" for images that are redundant or unimportant.

a picture may be worth a thousand words, but i don't necessarily want to hear
each one of them!

there are definitely places where ALT="" (with no space between the quotes or
with a white space between the quotes) is the only logical way to ensure that
the user doesn't become distracted from the content being presented by an
endless litany of meaningless ALT text, such as:

blank space
        (if it is blank, why tell me about it?)

decorative graphic
        (thanks, but no thanks)

horizontal rule incorporating all of the colors of the rainbow
        (why not quote section separator unquote or quote 
        End First Section / Begin Second Section unquote 
        or something equally semantically sensible?)


ABSURDITY, n.  A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with 
one's own opinion.       -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devils' Dictionary_
Gregory J. Rosmaita      <unagi69@concentric.net>
Camera Obscura           <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html>
VICUG NYC                <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/>
Read 'Em & Speak         <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/books/>
Received on Monday, 15 November 1999 19:43:43 UTC

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