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Subject:Re: Alt text for images with callouts From:Char James-Tanny <charjtf -at- gmail -dot- com> To:Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net> Date:Fri, 11 Dec 2020 05:52:31 -0500
Back in the "old" days ;-), when our 200 baud dial-up modems meant that
images took a long time to show up, people would disable images in their
browsers to save time. Alt text let us see a description of what we were
missing (and then we could decide if we wanted to wait while the image was
When you hover over an image and text appears (at least in Edge and
Chrome), that content is coming from the image's title text.
Alt text will never provide a detailed explanation because there aren't
enough characters (and "long description" was never fully adopted...it was
listed as "obsolete" when HTML5 was first released but later became a
If the content in the image is important, the surrounding text should
explain why. Decorative images, which only need a blank alt (""), means
that the image doesn't provide any important content and can be skipped.
On Thu, Dec 10, 2020 at 9:22 PM Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
> On Thu, 10 Dec 2020 20:36:30 -0500, Syed Zaeem Hosain
> <Syed -dot- Hosain -at- aeris -dot- net> wrote:
> > (I am assuming here that this text is intended to "show" when you hover
> > a mouse or pointer on the actual image, right?)
> No, that is not correct. Instead the alt text is displayed in some manner
> provided by the particular browser in use. The clearest illustration is
> with the text-based "lynx" browser, which does not show pictures at all.
> Instead it attempts to show the alt text in the spot where the picture
> would be in our "normal" view. The usual assumption is that blind or
> partially-sighted persons are using a text browser that renders the text
> on a Braille display or through a text-to-voice reading system.
> Here is some very good info on the Braille display:
> Here is the lynx browser: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynx_(web_browser)
> The alt text is often necessarily insufficient if rich or complicated
> material is shown in the picture. For such a situation it might possibly
> be necessary for a blind person to seek additional explanation. There
> could even be an additional document that covers an approach to the
> material in some way that is more suited to a non-seeing audience.
> Using an empty alt text entry for an illustration does two things. (1) It
> fills the usual requirement that an alt text entry be provided, and (2)
> shows that the entry was not avoided, but instead was deliberately
> provided with no content.
> The difficulty of seeing the illustrations extends on occasion to sighted
> persons. At a technical talk I attended, one speaker presented a dreadful
> slide full of dense text. He said, "As you can see on this slide, or
> rather, as you might see if you could read it, ..."
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