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Re: Dreamweaver 8 first impressions


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Sep 14, 2005 4:40AM

On Tue, 13 Sep 2005, Jared Smith wrote:

> - DW still prompts for and inserts labels for form buttons and image form
> elements. These elements should not have and do not need labels.

Although most buttons, including image submit buttons, do not need labels
and should not have labels, and although it's a poor idea to prompt for
them by default, I have to disagree on the general statement.

An explanation that is closely related to a button is best written as a
label for it, e.g.

<label for="sub">Subscribe to our weekly newsletter:</label>
<input id="sub" type="submit" value="Subscribe">

Putting the explanation into the button itself is one possibility, but
often a poor one. Button texts should be short, concise and verb-like,
expressing that something will happen if you click on the button.
But often the button needs an explanation, just like a text input field
for example.

> - You can now add title when inserting hyperlinks, form elements (even hidden
> ones!?!), and media objects, but not images.

I hidden field with a title attribute sounds odd, but it complies with
specifications, and in some situations, the attribute could work as
comment-like documentation and information to a person who reads the HTML
source. It has nothing to do with accessibility, of course.

> For instance, EVERY image
> on the page returns warnings for each of the following:
> * ensuring sufficient contrast
> * "non spacer IMG with equivalent ALT" (why does the report think that only
> spacer images should have alt=""?)
> * "non spacer IMG needs LONGDESC"
> * "use markup rather than images" (with a description that talks about MathML
> and stuff)

Sounds very bad. It's sufficiently harmful that specifications and some
tutorials recommend LONGDESC in the first place (it's wasted work at best,
but it often leads to wrong decisions, like putting essential information
into LONGDESC _only_), but an unqualified advice "non spacer IMG needs
LONGDESC" is a really big disservice.

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/