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Links and accessibility

 
 
Chris Beall
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      07-21-2003
Consider the following HTML fragment:

<a href="one/html"><img src="http:some.url" alt=""><br>One</a>

Both the image and the text label link to the same place. The alt
keyword is present to pacify the W3C HTML 4.01 strict validator, but is
empty, which Bobby objects to.
It seems to me that if I code alt="One", a screen reader would reach the
link and say, "One One", which is confusing, rather than just "One"
which isn't (assuming 'One' is a more meaningful label).

Assuming that my intent is to give the page the best possible
accessibility rather than to obtain Bobby certification, which is the
best approach?

Chris Beall


 
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nice.guy.nige
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      07-21-2003
While the city slept, Chris Beall <(E-Mail Removed)> feverishly
typed:

> Consider the following HTML fragment:
>
> <a href="one/html"><img src="http:some.url" alt=""><br>One</a>
>
> Both the image and the text label link to the same place. The alt
> keyword is present to pacify the W3C HTML 4.01 strict validator, but
> is empty, which Bobby objects to.
> It seems to me that if I code alt="One", a screen reader would reach
> the link and say, "One One", which is confusing, rather than just
> "One" which isn't (assuming 'One' is a more meaningful label).
>
> Assuming that my intent is to give the page the best possible
> accessibility rather than to obtain Bobby certification, which is the
> best approach?


The alt attribute is there to provide a textual alternative to the image.
That is what it is there for. If the image is a number '1', then let the
user know that, otherwise they will just be informed by their user agent
that there is an image there, but they don't know what it is.

Cheers,
Nige

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DU
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      07-21-2003
Chris Beall wrote:
> Consider the following HTML fragment:
>
> <a href="one/html"><img src="http:some.url" alt=""><br>One</a>
>
> Both the image and the text label link to the same place. The alt
> keyword is present to pacify the W3C HTML 4.01 strict validator, but is
> empty, which Bobby objects to.
> It seems to me that if I code alt="One", a screen reader would reach the
> link and say, "One One", which is confusing, rather than just "One"
> which isn't (assuming 'One' is a more meaningful label).
>
> Assuming that my intent is to give the page the best possible
> accessibility rather than to obtain Bobby certification, which is the
> best approach?
>
> Chris Beall
>
>


Go to Delorie's Lynx viewer.
http://www.delorie.com/web/lynxview.html
and then examine your page as if you were using a screen reader. That's
the best option available for you here. Bobby recommends, gives you
hints, checkpoints, etc... The alt attribute must be a valid, sensible
text alternative to the image: no more, no less. And in some cases, I
personally do not see such text alternative.

DU
--
Javascript and Browser bugs:
http://www10.brinkster.com/doctorunclear/

 
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Bill Mason
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      07-21-2003
On Mon, 21 Jul 2003 00:36:29 GMT, "Chris Beall"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Both the image and the text label link to the same place. The alt
>keyword is present to pacify the W3C HTML 4.01 strict validator, but is
>empty, which Bobby objects to.


As others have already pointed out how to assess whether or not you
need an ALT, I'll just stick 2 cents in to say that Bobby flagging any
instance of alt="" as an error is a bunch of crap. It's a perfectly
valid thing to do if warranted by the page's/image's context.

Bill Mason
Accessible Internet
http://www.accessibleinter.net/
 
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Isofarro
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      07-21-2003
nice.guy.nige wrote:

> The alt attribute is there to provide a textual alternative to the image.
> That is what it is there for. If the image is a number '1', then let the
> user know that, otherwise they will just be informed by their user agent
> that there is an image there, but they don't know what it is.


If the alternative text for the image is what is already visible, then
alt="" is the correct way to go. Duplicating already accessible content
isn't good.

This is a case where Bobby is wrong to complain about empty alt attributes.


--
Iso.
FAQs: http://html-faq.com http://alt-html.org http://allmyfaqs.com/
Recommended Hosting: http://www.affordablehost.com/
Web Standards: http://www.webstandards.org/
 
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Isofarro
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      07-21-2003
EightNineThree wrote:

> The alt attribute is intended to supply a text alternative for those who
> are unable to see the image or who have images turned off.
> If your image does not present any important contextual information, then
> the alt attribute should be used, but kept empty.


also the case with "If your image does not present any _additional_
contextual information".

The typical situation in this case is a gallery of images of employees with
a caption containing their name. Now the reasonable alt attribute for a
picture of someone is who they are. Since this is already available in the
form of an accessible caption, alt="" is sufficient.


--
Iso.
FAQs: http://html-faq.com http://alt-html.org http://allmyfaqs.com/
Recommended Hosting: http://www.affordablehost.com/
Web Standards: http://www.webstandards.org/
 
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