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ALT text: WAS=> Re: [NH] ID/Target # => will not work in FF 2.0.9

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  • WV-Mike
    ... I wanted to revisit the necessity of using ALT tags . ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alt_attribute Alternative text is especially useful in the
    Message 1 of 12 , Nov 8, 2007
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      At 11:33 AM 11/7/2007 , you wrote:
      >N.B: Your page is terrible with graphics turned off and there are no ALT
      >tags. I get 28 validation errors and 3 warnings.


      I wanted to revisit the necessity of using ALT "tags".

      Reading this:
      ----
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alt_attribute
      "Alternative text is especially useful in the following situations:

      * For people with low bandwidth connections, who may opt not to load
      graphics
      * For people using handheld devices
      * For people with disabilities who use assistive technology, such as
      refreshable braille displays or screen readers
      * For people using a pay per transferred data connection
      * Search engine optimization: most search engines interpret the
      meaning of objects by analysing their alt attribute"

      And this:
      http://htmlhelp.com/feature/art3.htm
      "Why should authors bother with ALT texts?

      Well, from the fact that you're reading this article, I hope you already
      think it's a good idea, but I have written some notes [3] on this topic.

      Some of the biggest "casualties" on the information dirt-track are
      documents whose authors didn't take the indexing robots seriously. Every
      step that you take towards text-mode accessibility is, at the same time, a
      step towards being friendly to those indexing robots, so (whether or not
      you care about minority audiences such as the blind or users of text mode
      terminals) I'd say it's in your own interest to keep text-mode
      accessibility in mind. "
      ----

      These gave me some food for thought about not using ALT text in my pages.
      My previous post on this was a justification for not using them because I
      felt all the info needed was in the text comments, quotes and links.
      This seemed to me to make using ALT text superfluous.

      But, search engine optimization does seem to be reason enough to use ALT text.

      I wish I had a better idea how useful sight impaired users find ALT tag info.

      I can't end this without stating another reason I stopped using ALT text.
      Laziness.
      All my pages have lots of images and I just never seemed to get around to
      adding the ALT text because it was too much trouble and slowed the already
      sluggish pace at which I work.

      -Mike

      p.s. Is the "N.B:" above an abbreviation for nota bene, a latin expression
      meaning "note well"? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NB
      I confess to being ignorant as to it's meaning.
    • Axel Berger
      ... No, a semantic element is one, that tells you something about the content and must or should be there irrespective of layout like: this is a paragraph this
      Message 2 of 12 , Nov 8, 2007
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        WV-Mike wrote:
        > A semantic tag would be <p>, etc and
        > unsemantic element would be <img and ???

        No, a semantic element is one, that tells you something about the
        content and must or should be there irrespective of layout like:
        this is a paragraph
        this is a heading
        this is an image
        this is a table (of tabular data)
        this is a list
        and also this is a link to something else

        Unsemantic are all elements that are there for reasons of layout rather
        than content, i.e. all DIVs and SPANs, tables if they're there for
        layout, and of course all deprecated nonsense like FONT or CENTER (I
        sometimes use the latter to cater for browsers without styleshets).
        Internal anchors are a borderline case, but no doubt an ID attribute
        inside a tag, that needs to be there anyway, makes for cleaner code.

        In HTML I'm often pulled both ways by the two important rules I try to
        comply to:
        1) Always write totally standards conformant code and shun anything
        deprecated or proprietary.
        2) Never use anything newer than you absolutely have to to achieve your
        goal. Always be compatible to the oldest version of anything that your
        content allows.

        Axel
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