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Re: ToolTips: bug or feature?

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2007 15:43:42 -0400
Message-ID: <002d01c7d218$c50585b0$0401a8c0@HANDS>
To: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, "Lachlan Hunt" <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Cc: <public-html@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>

Tooltips as they are implemented using title and alt is a bug.  alt and 
title are addative for many and necessary for others.  The way they should 
work is by user choice either through suppression of the content they 
represent or via user agent configuration to meet other needs.  In other 
words, by default, it should never be possible to see title or alt or 
perhaps only alt unless certain conditions are met.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>
To: "Lachlan Hunt" <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Cc: <public-html@w3.org>; <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2007 9:52 AM
Subject: ToolTips: bug or feature?

lachlan wrote, quote:
> The alt attribute is only rendered as a tooltip in IE, and
> that's considered a bug for a variety of reasons. See this article.
> http://hixie.ch/advocacy/alt-tooltips

i find hixie's arguments, decidedly unconvincing.  there ARE valid
reasons why @alt and @title should be exposed to the user
onMouseOver -- as i indicated, what you perceive as a logical icon
may not be understood by a sighted visitor from a vastly different
culture, so a tooltip exposition of ALT text is actually beneficial
to users of all stripes.  in the end, all hixie really addressed is
author complaints, which have far more to do with user agent
implementations than anything defective in the markup.

if authors are so worried about ToolTips "cluttering" their pages,
then they should be able to set their user agent to display ALT as
tooltips, display TITLE as tooltips, display ALT and TITLE as
tooltips, display no tooltips -- this is a user agent issues,
better addressed by the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working


than the HTML working group.

ABSURDITY, n.  A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with
one's own opinion.      -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devils' Dictionary
Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net AND unagi69@concentric.net
         Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
UBATS: United Blind Advocates for Talking Signs: http://ubats.org
Received on Sunday, 29 July 2007 19:43:58 UTC

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