> I feel the WCAG gives us too little info on that subject
right. i haven't looked but if what you've posted is the bulk of it then yes. i don't think their alt text in their example is much good either. i haven't seen the image but going from what's above i'd have thought something like
alt="Sales for 1997 monthly bar chart. January up 10%, December down 3%."
although, slight change, with the word equivalent in mind maybe this instead:
alt="Sales for 1997: January up 10%, December down 3%."
would be more useful than 'Sales for 1997' to someone viewing the page without images. seems a better replacement to me (although what it should be depends on the context as stated below).
> bah... I have no idea what's going on...
the main thing i got from AutisticCuckoo's faq (linked to above) is, what the alt text should be is *very* dependent on the context -- varies radically depending on what the context is. i still don't fully get it but that helps. also what he said: "a text equivalent. It should convey the same information as the image, not describe it." (although according to his faq in some contexts describing it literally is appropriate -- again; it's v. dependent on context).
> I sometimes try to put the same text in to ALT as I would put in title="" (what appears when you mouseover the element)
yes having decided an alt text should be the equivalent not a description of the image it's very likely that if you are putting a title on the image they're going to end up being the same i reckon. eg i have an image of a sealant gun with the word SEALANT written on the tube, with a large red cross over it. the alt text was a description of the image, and the title text was "No need for sealant". now, i guess the alt text should also be that -- same as the title text.
i bet a lot of alt text is miswritten, with the wrong intention in mind, although i could be wrong.