W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > August 2002

Re: ideas for alternative text

From: M Chamlee <developer@pobox.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 09:23:20 -0400
Message-ID: <003501c2484c$c3429430$0200a8c0@wanderer>
To: <www-validator@w3.org>

> No, displaying more than one representation at the same time (the ALT,
> and the image) can be very helpful to some users (it's something I find
> extremely useful for images I don't understand, and for this reason on
> mouseover my browser, displays TITLE and ALT, and is one of the reasons
> why Mozilla is basically inaccessible to me.)  So whilst yes in general
> what you say is a good suggestion for default rendering - there's nothing
> wrong with showing ALT when there is not a TITLE attribute. Should in
> your description is excessive, I don't like disobeying _should_s but
> would be forced to.

> Jim

Hmm.  Whenever a sighted visitor sees the graphic as intended and doesn't
understand it, that's more a separate issue of clarity in graphic design.
If a designer simply isn't clear in a graphic representation, the presence
of an onmouseover alt tag is more a crutch than a better solution of clear
communication in the first place.

There are instances, such as with online photo albums and "here's me"
pictures where alt tags can be useful in popup onmouseover descriptors.  But
that is best reserved for when the image is displayed for its own sake, and
not when the graphic designer is using the image to cue navigational
purposes.  I believe webpagesthatsuck.com refers to requiring an onmouseover
animation to get basic information about a link as "mystery meat"
navigation.  Something to be avoided in commercial websites, anyway.

-Melody Chamlee
Received on Tuesday, 20 August 2002 09:23:48 UTC

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