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View Poll Results: Your view on the ALT attribute!

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  • I don't know what it is

    2 0.94%
  • I know what it is but I don't use it

    29 13.62%
  • I use it but for my own purposes (i.e misuse of ALT for search engine optimisation)

    11 5.16%
  • I am very aware of its use and I try and use it appropriately and as sensibly as possible

    171 80.28%
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Results 76 to 100 of 117
  1. #76
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Think they do know - I'm sure I've nagged before at some point....

    H
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
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  2. #77
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    So is anyone in or near London going to go to that seminar?

  3. #78
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    I'll be there if I can convince the powers that be that I really NEED to go on yet another seminar!
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
    922ee590a26bd62eb9b33cf2877a00df
    Currently delving into Django, GIT & CentOS

  4. #79
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    Cool, that's what I am trying to do at the moment too I'll post here if I can confirm that I am going.

  5. #80
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    I'd just like to say thanks again for everyone who took part in this thread. I just got notification that the submission has been accepted as part of the conference. I wil be displaying it as an interactive poster and it will also be published in the proceedings. I will also conduct further research and convert it into a full paper later on this year.

  6. #81
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    I don't think image links are complete without alt tags. I feels the work it takes to implement them is well worth it. But I also think people over do it sometimes. I have seen sites that use the alt tag for a long description of something barely related to the link. I don't like that to much. I also think that a sites target audience should be considered when dealing with alt tags.

  7. #82
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    The only reason that I include alt tags is that I can display the W3C valid HTML button on my site. Otherwise I don't add alt tags because it's simply too much work (I have a giant list of things that I want to do to my site, soem of which would improve accessibility, manually adding alt tags is not at the top of my list).

  8. #83
    SitePoint Enthusiast Fringey's Avatar
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    I read through all four pgaes of this poll! Uhm, yesm and i still couldn't decide which to vote on. I always use alt tags because.. I can but I use it for different reasons. For image links a always put something pratical, especially because I;m really bad about navigation sometimes so my links may be images and not have any hint about where it goes besides that window status bar so i like the tool tips. But then on regular images a lot of the time i will write out a sentence, more likely some song lyrics (i use lyrics on my sites a lot.) I don't think of that as a practical way to use alt tags though...
    Alone last
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  9. #84
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    I am pretty good with ALT tags. Most things that I upload to the Internet has ALT tags. Large images always have ALT tags, but I don't use ALT tags for spacers or corners. I don't abuse the ALT tag, but I try to put in relevent keywords without looking bad.

  10. #85
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    I don't understand why the Royal Society for the blind recommends that an object that doesn't need an alt tag have alt="." instead of alt=""

    It would seem to me that alt="" is the better solution because then people won't receive something cryptic like "description: period" in an audible browser and in Internet Explorer when people mouseover that element they'll not get a popup rather than getting a period (none is better than soething useless)

  11. #86
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    Yes, but I wouldn't have an empty ALT tag I would actually put a space in it so that the speech browser pauses, letting the user know that there is a space there like so:
    ALT=" "

  12. #87
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    Originally posted by Nicky
    Yes, but I wouldn't have an empty ALT tag I would actually put a space in it so that the speech browser pauses, letting the user know that there is a space there like so:
    ALT=" "
    Do you have any idea why a . or * is suggested? Does this have special meaning to the speech browsers?

    I prefer to leave out the space in alt tags, again, so that Internet Explorer doesn't show an empty tooltip. Basically, I'm catering to the majority of users who come to my site, giving them the optimal experience. If speech browsers were designed that way, they could be programmed to pause when reading alt=""

  13. #88
    SitePoint Enthusiast STEVENS's Avatar
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    I only use it on navigational graphics and large images. Using it on spacers and smaller elements wrecks the layout of the page. I will try the "x" in the future...
    Mike Stevens
    Student Web Designer and Developer

  14. #89
    SitePoint Member sedesign's Avatar
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    i use them for se optimization and descriptive purposes as well... in addition, when i'm feeling inspired, i use the "title" tag on text links for the same purpose... especially to give a quick summary of where that link will go, or explain the term before sending the user to the link.
    btw... chami's html-kit is great for finding/fixing missing alt tags www.chami.com
    kera mchugh
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  15. #90
    SitePoint Enthusiast Atrus's Avatar
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    Hi!

    I like the new ways Mozilla is introducing. It is ONLY displaying the value of alt= if the graphic is not there. Instead the title= value is used for tooltips if you want them. Tooltips using title= also now (in Mozilla) work on almost all tags in addition to only images.

    @ lynlimz: I'd recommend using alt=" " instead of alt="". My reasons are simple: Some text based browsers (don't laugh, this is what the alt attribute is made for in the first place) display an ugly [ img ] string instead of the graphic when using alt="". Now alt=" " is actually recognised as a non empty value and being displayed as a space. This does not further disturb the text flow and actually hides the existence of the image which is what you want if it's only a color bullet for example that text-only-users don't mind missing.

    Keep on designing for minorities, too! Right on, alt-users!

    Atrus.
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  16. #91
    SitePoint Zealot LunaC's Avatar
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    I've aways skipped alt in spacer images but have used it everywhere else... I'd never thought of using "." or "x". Is that better for the blind browsers?

  17. #92
    SitePoint Enthusiast Atrus's Avatar
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    Hi!
    As I said, I prefer using a space (alt=" ") instead of a dot or an x, since a space is not messing up the view in a 'blind browser'.
    Regarding leaving out alt on spacer graphics: This is allowed no more in XHTML which I take pains obeying. Since alt is now a required attribute to the img tag. Also leaving out alt alltogether causes blind browsers to display '[ img ]' or the like which I don't want.

    Regards,

    Atrus.
    Webmaster - Stefan Meier KG TABAKWAREN - Pfeifen, Premium-Zigarren, ... (_Ger)

  18. #93
    SitePoint Enthusiast montroze's Avatar
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    Arrow ALT=

    An old post but you should be using them, they will also fortify you Meta-Keywords, and if you don't use them, run your code though and HTML validator and you can see all the ALT= error messages.

  19. #94
    My precious!!! astericks's Avatar
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    * Do you all use it? YES
    * Or do you even know what it is? YES
    * Do you misuse it? NO...so i think
    * Is it important to you? YES

  20. #95
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    I use the alt attribute since it is a W3C Technical Recommendation, however one cannot say that I have always used suitable descriptions within the alt="..." although on the whole I know when it is appropriate to apply null alt, i.e. alt="".

  21. #96
    SitePoint Wizard Bill Posters's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Atrus
    Regarding leaving out alt on spacer graphics: This is allowed no more in XHTML
    While I am aware of (and code to) the XHTML standard, I am not so up-to-speed as to the consequences of not adhering to standards (specifically in the case of omitting alt tags).
    (I personally tag everything and use a " " value for spacer gifs.

    What actually happens (or will happen) if an alt tag is omitted?
    At the present time the page will still function fine without tags for spacer gifs for most (if not all) 'regular' web browsers.
    Are there plans to change the regular browsers to make more of an issue out of something such as omitted alt tags?

    Am I right in thinking that the only browsers that will be affected will be 'blind' browsers?

    As I understand it so far, all they get is a "no alt tag" spoken message (or equivalent).

    Is that right?

    If so, why has it not been the case that the blind browser developers have not simply allowed the browser to pass by images without alt tags?

    To my mind this would make a simpler solution for coders wishing to specify what is and isn't important image content on their sites.
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  22. #97
    SitePoint Enthusiast Atrus's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bill Posters
    Are there plans to change the regular browsers to make more of an issue out of something such as omitted alt tags?
    Hi! I forgot where I had read this but yes, future html is supposed to be valid according to its dtd which among other things demands the alt attribute.

    Originally posted by Bill Posters
    [...] To my mind this would make a simpler solution for coders wishing to specify what is and isn't important image content on their sites.
    I guess it would but altered UA behavior wouldn't make your code standards confoming after all. Errors that don't show anymore are still errors, aren't they?

    Regards,

    Atrus.
    Webmaster - Stefan Meier KG TABAKWAREN - Pfeifen, Premium-Zigarren, ... (_Ger)

  23. #98
    SitePoint Enthusiast Atrus's Avatar
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    Hi!

    Sorry, it seems I have to take back one thing...
    http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/#uaconf says:
    1. In order to be consistent with the XML 1.0 Recommendation [XML], the user agent must parse and evaluate an XHTML document for well-formedness. If the user agent claims to be a validating user agent, it must also validate documents against their referenced DTDs according to [XML].
    So it seems a future browser has to check well-formedness (tags appropriately nested and all that) but doesn't have to validate accordance to the dtd.

    Don't get me wrong here, though, as IT people you nevertheless want to welcome standards. Adding some tags to waterproof your publications is a good thing.

    Regards,

    Atrus.
    Webmaster - Stefan Meier KG TABAKWAREN - Pfeifen, Premium-Zigarren, ... (_Ger)

  24. #99
    SitePoint Addict w3exit's Avatar
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    If it's there .. why not use it to reinforce the message in your graphic

  25. #100
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    Not going to happen

    No widely-used web browser, as we know them, is ever going to reject HTML that is not well-formed. How would such a browser ever gain traction given that it would be incompatible with most sites and that it would offer no benefits to end-users?


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