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Re: Empty vs no alt attribute (was Re: Baby Steps or Backwards Steps?)

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 03:16:14 +0100
Message-ID: <46CB9C6E.8090007@splintered.co.uk>
To: Marghanita da Cruz <marghanita@ramin.com.au>
CC: HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org

Marghanita da Cruz wrote:

> As an HTML author, I use the alt text as a caption - the kind of 
> additional information I tend to provide is Photographer or Artist's 
> name.

However, that is not the intended purpose of ALT based pn the HTML 4.01 
spec. It's ALTernate text, to be rendered in situations when the image 
itself cannot be loaded/perceived. It's not a field for metadata, but an 
alternative form of the same content.

> I would like to see all browsers display the alt text and other 
> attributes as a
> "mouseover" rather than with a right click for properties.

Again, when looking at the ALT's real purpouse according to the spec, 
though, this may arguably not be logical behaviour. If an image was 
successfully displayed to a sighted user in a visual client, the textual 
alternative format may be regarded as redundant. Of course, if you're 
instead using ALT for additional/advisory information (the domain of the 
TITLE attribute), then I can see why you'd wish this behaviour to be 

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Co-lead, Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
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Received on Wednesday, 22 August 2007 02:16:28 UTC

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