E-mail List Archives

RE: alt text subtleties - D-link excursion


From: Jamie Mackay
Date: Jul 17, 2001 4:40PM

Just extending Paul's comments about square brackets on 'D' links
(apologies for thread drift).
I have generally used both the longdesc tag and the 'D' tag for image
descriptions; when you use a screen reader that can recognise longdesc
(such as IBM Home Page Reader) then you end up with it reading out two
lots of description links - having square brackets around the 'D' helps
to un-murk this situation (and, of course, stops the dreaded consecutive
links error).
By the way, anyone out there in a position to judge how long it might be
until using 'longdesc' will be enough on its own? At the moment having
to use both is not ideal for anyone and is just the sort of thing to put
off over-worked webmasters having to confront the 'accessibility issue'
for the first time.
Jamie Mackay
Ministry for Culture and Heritage
New Zealand
-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Bohman [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Wednesday, 18 July 2001 4:14 a.m.
To: WebAIM forum
Subject: Re: alt text subtleties

> I'm still interested in comments on the question of [].
I don't use brackets with alt tags, and most people in the accessibility
field don't either -- not that the popular thing is always the right
to do, but I think it makes sense to leave them out, at least from the
perspective of screen reader rendering. Most screen readers will read
brackets like this:
"Left bracket, products and services, right bracket."
A long list of links can get somewhat tedious when listening to all of
If we expand the topic a little beyond alt tags, then there is one place
where I have seen brackets used which I don't mind too much: the "D
(For an explanation of the D link see
http://www.webaim.org/howto/graphics2f). For an example of a D link with
brackets, see www.corda.com. The reason that I don't mind it here is
that a
"D" by itself is just a single letter that can look a little lonely, if
know what I mean. Still, I don't really have an strong opinion either
With or without the brackets, the link still performs its function.
In the end, the brackets on alt tags don't add much of anything to their
accessibility, and their presence doesn't really harm anything, except
it takes longer to listen to the links.
Paul Bohman
Technology Coordinator
WebAIM: Web Accessibility in Mind (www.webaim.org)
Center for Persons with Disabilities (www.cpd.usu.edu)
Utah State University (www.usu.edu)