Re: [WSG] Speaking of alt tags . . .

2007-09-11 Thread nroper
Thank you for your email. I shall be away from the office between September 8th 
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01749 676798 in my absence.

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Nick Roper




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RE: [WSG] Speaking of alt tags . . .

2007-09-11 Thread Mohamed Jama
Hey all,

First of all isn't ALT an attribute not a TAG?

 1.  When should one use an empty tag?  

I don't think you should empty attribute to start with, its all noted
down in your DTD if you open it up for example the strict.dtd and search
through you'll find this paragraph 

!--
   To avoid accessibility problems for people who aren't
   able to see the image, you should provide a text
   description using the alt and longdesc attributes.
   In addition, avoid the use of server-side image maps.
   Note that in this DTD there is no name attribute. That
   is only available in the transitional and frameset DTD.
--

!ELEMENT img EMPTY
!ATTLIST img
  %attrs;
  src %URI;  #REQUIRED
  alt %Text; #REQUIRED
  longdesc%URI;  #IMPLIED
  height  %Length;   #IMPLIED
  width   %Length;   #IMPLIED
  usemap  %URI;  #IMPLIED
  ismap   (ismap)#IMPLIED
  


 What is the recommended syntax of the empty tag?

Why would you have an empty attribute, just write something inside it if
you already took the time to add the attribute.

M. Jama

big:interactive
91 Princedale Road
Holland Park
London W11 4NS
Email: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Direct: +44 (0)20 7313 2262
www.biggroup.co.uk

-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
On Behalf Of Designer
Sent: 11 September 2007 09:43
To: wsg@webstandardsgroup.org
Subject: [WSG] Speaking of alt tags . . .

Hi all,

What is the current wisdom about the syntax of alt tags?  I believe that

if I have a decorative image I am supposed to put a blank tag. But I've 
also been told that the tag should be alt=  , NOT alt=, because with

no spaces (or one) the screen reader will announce 'blank' whereas with 
two spaces it remains silent.  Other folk have said that logo's etc 
should have a descriptive alt tag whereas some say  a blank should be 
used.  Google answers vary somewhat.

So, in summary, my questions are:

1.  When should one use an empty tag?  and, more importantly,
2.  What is the recommended syntax of the empty tag?

Thanks,
-- 
Bob

www.gwelanmor-internet.co.uk



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Re: [WSG] Speaking of alt tags . . .

2007-09-11 Thread Tee G. Peng

Hi Bob,
On Sep 11, 2007, at 1:42 AM, Designer wrote:



What is the current wisdom about the syntax of alt tags?  I believe  
that if I have a decorative image I am supposed to put a blank tag.


If it's decorative image, why not make it to background image? This  
is most appropriate way to handle it, and you don't need to worry  
about blank alt tag.


regards,
tee


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Re: Re: [WSG] Speaking of alt tags . . .

2007-09-11 Thread nroper
Thank you for your email. I shall be away from the office between September 8th 
and September 17th. If your enquiry is urgent, then please call my assistant on 
01749 676798 in my absence.

Kind regards,

Nick Roper




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Re: [WSG] Speaking of alt tags . . .

2007-09-11 Thread Jamie Stewart
Hi Bob,

Excellent question and I am sure you are going to receive many different
answers which may confuse the matter more!!

From my point of view I would suggest any decorative images should be styled
as CSS background images, granted this brings with it the issue of losing
it's place within the document and it becomes very hard when working with a
CMS to allow a user to have varying heights.  However, there are ways around
this.  My reasoning behind this is purely based on the fact that if an image
has no semantic meaning to a page it shouldn't exist on the page.

With regards to your logo question, I am of the belief a logo should have
alt text as this is probably the most important thing about a page, it
indicates to the user who is providing the information and they can
determine from that whether or not it is a trusted source.

Jamie.

On 11/09/2007, Designer [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 Hi all,

 What is the current wisdom about the syntax of alt tags?  I believe that
 if I have a decorative image I am supposed to put a blank tag. But I've
 also been told that the tag should be alt=  , NOT alt=, because with
 no spaces (or one) the screen reader will announce 'blank' whereas with
 two spaces it remains silent.  Other folk have said that logo's etc
 should have a descriptive alt tag whereas some say  a blank should be
 used.  Google answers vary somewhat.

 So, in summary, my questions are:

 1.  When should one use an empty tag?  and, more importantly,
 2.  What is the recommended syntax of the empty tag?

 Thanks,
 --
 Bob

 www.gwelanmor-internet.co.uk



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Re: [WSG] Speaking of alt tags . . .

2007-09-11 Thread David Dorward

On 11 Sep 2007, at 10:00, Mohamed Jama wrote:

First of all isn't ALT an attribute not a TAG?


Yes, it is.

(but see Part 5 of NOT the comp.text.sgml FAQ http:// 
www.flightlab.com/~joe/sgml/faq-not.txt :)



1.  When should one use an empty tag?


I don't think you should empty attribute to start with, its all noted
down in your DTD if you open it up for example the strict.dtd and  
search

through you'll find this paragraph

!--
   To avoid accessibility problems for people who aren't
   able to see the image, you should provide a text
   description using the alt and longdesc attributes.


See also the description of the attribute recommendation, which is  
normative and not a comment:


http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/objects.html#adef-alt

In particular:

  'this attribute specifies alternate text'

Note that it says alternate not descriptive.

and:

  'Do not specify irrelevant alternate text when including images  
intended to format a page, for instance, alt=red ball would be  
inappropriate for an image that adds a red ball for decorating a  
heading or paragraph. In such cases, the alternate text should be the  
empty string ().'


Which positively embraces the use of an empty string.

Why would you have an empty attribute, just write something inside  
it if

you already took the time to add the attribute.


Because the attribute is mandatory but the image might be decorative,  
or present information that appears elsewhere in the page in a visual  
manor, so a non-empty string would not be an appropriate alternative.  
alt= effectively says The author has considered this image and  
determined that if it can not be displayed then nothing should be put  
it its place. A number of user agents (Lynx included) take a missing  
attribute (which is a syntax error) to mean The author has not  
considered alternative text at all, so the user agent should present  
as much information as is known (such as the file name) to the user  
in the hope they can infer some meaning from it.


--
David Dorward
http://dorward.me.uk/
http://blog.dorward.me.uk/




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Re: [WSG] Speaking of alt tags . . .

2007-09-11 Thread Patrick H. Lauke

Quoting Designer [EMAIL PROTECTED]:



What is the current wisdom about the syntax of alt tags?  I believe
that if I have a decorative image I am supposed to put a blank tag. But
I've also been told that the tag should be alt=  , NOT alt=,
because with no spaces (or one) the screen reader will announce 'blank'
whereas with two spaces it remains silent.


I believe that this is outdated information. Current best practice is  
to use alt=, which should not create any issues in current screen  
readers.


P
--
Patrick H. Lauke
__
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
http://redux.deviantart.com
__
Co-lead, Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
http://webstandards.org/
__
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__



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Re: [WSG] Speaking of alt tags . . .

2007-09-11 Thread Matthew Pennell
On 11/09/2007, Patrick H. Lauke [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 For hand-crafted pages, done by a web artisan...


Is that what we're calling ourselves now? ;)


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RE: [WSG] Speaking of alt tags . . .

2007-09-11 Thread Nick Fitzsimons
 tag. But I've 
 also been told that the tag should be alt=  , NOT alt=, 
 because with 
 no spaces (or one) the screen reader will announce 'blank' 
 whereas with 
 two spaces it remains silent.

David Dorward has already posted the definitive answer to your questions, so
I won't repeat what he said. I just wanted to point that the term the
screen reader seems to imply that there is One True Screen Reader, which is
far from the case. There are many different screen readers, and their
behaviour varies, even among different versions of the same software. {car
analogy warning} Saying that the screen reader behaves in a certain way is
like saying The car does 0 - 60mph in 5.6 seconds; it may in fact be true,
but unless we know _which_ car is being spoken of, it is completely
uninformative.

So if somebody has told you that you should do something a certain way
because of the screen reader singular, you can be reasonably certain that
they don't actually understand what they're talking about, and can assess
the worth of their advice on that basis.

(Aside: It should also be borne in mind that screen readers aren't the only
assistive technologies out there, just as total blindness is not the only
disability. Accessibility isn't just about screen reader behaviour.)

Regards,

Nick.
-- 
Nick Fitzsimons
http://www.nickfitz.co.uk/



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RE: [WSG] Speaking of alt tags . . .

2007-09-11 Thread Mohamed Jama
 For hand-crafted pages, done by a web artisan...

 

Is that what we're calling ourselves now? ;) 

 

 

Funny you mentioned it , I instantly googled it and checked if the
domain was available too sounds cool.

 

M. Jama

big:interactive
91 Princedale Road
Holland Park
London W11 4NS
Email: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Direct: +44 (0)20 7313 2262
www.biggroup.co.uk
file:///C:\Documents%20and%20Settings\mohamed.jama\Application%20Data\M
icrosoft\Signatures\www.biggroup.co.uk 

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Re: [WSG] Speaking of alt tags . . .

2007-09-11 Thread Tee G. Peng


On Sep 11, 2007, at 2:16 AM, Patrick H. Lauke wrote:


Quoting Tee G. Peng [EMAIL PROTECTED]:

If it's decorative image, why not make it to background image?  
This is

most appropriate way to handle it, and you don't need to worry about
blank alt tag.


Depending on the situation, it's not always possible to add images  
as non-repeating CSS. For instance, think of a CMS environment with  
multiple, non-technical authors using a WYSIWYG plugin/editor. It's  
unrealistic in those situations to expect those authors to assign  
an ID to a container element, add appropriate padding, and set the  
image as CSS background (also often they won't even be able to add  
CSS in the first place).


For hand-crafted pages, done by a web artisan, it's true that using  
CSS is the more elegant solution. It's just not appropriate in all  
situations at this point.




Hmmm, I didn't think about that. My clients asked me how to add  
*decorative* images by themselves, I asked are they any meaning/ 
purpose of those images, are they echo to your content, they said no  
I just wanted my page looks nice in certain area. I told them sorry  
you can't do that, because if it's decorative purposes I already took  
care of it in the CSS.


To me, an decorative object is something that pleases or upsets my  
eyes, it may bring up an emotion, but taking it away (or without  
adding extra later on), the purpose of the 'website' is still  
complete. Those photos in Flicker, are not decorative images to me.


I guess this is just how one interprets 'decorative' :)

tee


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Re: [WSG] Speaking of alt tags . . .

2007-09-11 Thread Patrick H. Lauke

Quoting Tee G. Peng [EMAIL PROTECTED]:


If it's decorative image, why not make it to background image? This is
most appropriate way to handle it, and you don't need to worry about
blank alt tag.


Depending on the situation, it's not always possible to add images as  
non-repeating CSS. For instance, think of a CMS environment with  
multiple, non-technical authors using a WYSIWYG plugin/editor. It's  
unrealistic in those situations to expect those authors to assign an  
ID to a container element, add appropriate padding, and set the image  
as CSS background (also often they won't even be able to add CSS in  
the first place).


For hand-crafted pages, done by a web artisan, it's true that using  
CSS is the more elegant solution. It's just not appropriate in all  
situations at this point.


P
--
Patrick H. Lauke
__
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
http://redux.deviantart.com
__
Co-lead, Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
http://webstandards.org/
__
Take it to the streets ... join the WaSP Street Team
http://streetteam.webstandards.org/
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Re: [WSG] Speaking of alt tags . . .

2007-09-11 Thread Patrick H. Lauke

Quoting Matthew Pennell [EMAIL PROTECTED]:


On 11/09/2007, Patrick H. Lauke [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


For hand-crafted pages, done by a web artisan...


Is that what we're calling ourselves now? ;)


Yup :)

Watch out for my opinion piece the artisan and the mass producer in  
next month's .net magazine, which funnily enough touches on exactly  
this issue (CMS environments devaluing the web artisan's skills).


P
--
Patrick H. Lauke
__
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
http://redux.deviantart.com
__
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http://webstandards.org/
__
Take it to the streets ... join the WaSP Street Team
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RE: [WSG] Speaking of alt tags . . .

2007-09-11 Thread Patrick Lauke
 Tee G. Peng

 Hmmm, I didn't think about that. My clients asked me how to add  
 *decorative* images by themselves, I asked are they any meaning/ 
 purpose of those images, are they echo to your content, they said no  
 I just wanted my page looks nice in certain area. I told them sorry  
 you can't do that, because if it's decorative purposes I 
 already took  
 care of it in the CSS.

For small/medium sites, it may be possible that you've already catered for all 
decorative situations in your CSS. But if your CMS solution is far more 
generic, and you need to accommodate for a wide variety of content pages, all 
with different decorative needs that may not be known from the start, this may 
not always be the case.

 I guess this is just how one interprets 'decorative' :)

I don't think we're in disagreement here. Just that I'm thinking of far more 
generic CMS deployments on large scale sites.

P

Patrick H. Lauke
Web Editor
Enterprise  Development
University of Salford
Room 113, Faraday House
Salford, Greater Manchester
M5 4WT
UK

T +44 (0) 161 295 4779
[EMAIL PROTECTED]

www.salford.ac.uk

A GREATER MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY  


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