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Re: Alt text (was VIKI - text transcodeing)


From: Alastair Campbell
Date: Jan 22, 2007 12:30PM

Patrick H. Lauke wrote:
> Because the web is still, for the majority of users, a visual medium.
> Do you offer alternatives for the choice of colour of your
> background or links? No? Then why bother with colour at all?
> Same reason.

I know what you mean, but from talking to people using screen readers, I would go with including an alt if for no other reason than so they know it is there. If they talk to someone about the site, then the playing field is more level, and the experience more equivalent.

With regards to the square brackets, surely this is something that should be left upto the user agent?

I've added things like "Portrait of " when applicable, and I've added full stops at the end to make alts read better, but square brackets? I believe (and LĂ©onie will elbow me if I'm wrong) that square brackets aren't read by Jaws on default settings, and other UAs may add them or something similar already.

I guess I just feel rather uncomfortable adding something to the content that may be a passing phase (like alt="*" thankfully was). If it is a good idea, the UAs may start adding it...

Still, I do find screen reader's habit of reading images as part of the document flow rather unintuitive (i.e. without pause unless you use punctuation).

Kind regards,


Alastair Campbell | Director of User Experience

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