W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2007

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

From: Marghanita da Cruz <marghanita@ramin.com.au>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 09:31:47 +1000
Message-ID: <46CCC763.5010202@ramin.com.au>
To: HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>

David Poehlman wrote:
> I was under the impression that alt was replacement.  perhaps we should have 
> an attrib called replace=.

I have now reproduced the alt information in a title field and tested the page
in Iceweazel and IE...

IE defaults to the ALT text on mouseover when no TITLE present
Iceweazel does not display ALT text when no TITLE present
Both display TITLE on mouseover, if it is present.

My excuse for using ALT instead of TITLE, is that many of my webpages pre-date
HTML 4. Given that there are other HTML 3 pages out there live or archived. Care
should be taken when introducing or changing the purpose of existing tags.

With images turned off...the alt text is displayed...mousing over the
pre-allocated alt labelled space on the page provides the Title/Alt text as above.

When bandwidth is limited it would be useful to know the size (in bytes) of the
image and be able to download/view optionally....this could also be relevant to
video, audio and large documents.

As a sighted person, I don't believe that the use of graphics/buttons to hide a
hyperlink adds to the web experience - but it would be difficult to convince
many of this.

With this attitude, I believe images should be used to enhance the text - in
which case they cannot be described satisfactorily. For example, I described the
ideas which Joel, an illustrator, translated into "Illustration of Corporate 
Governance of ICT by Joel Tarling" 

Some do argue that this information should be in the metadata of the image
itself not in the HTML. Note in the above example, the copyright notice is in
the image itself.


> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>
> To: "Marghanita da Cruz" <marghanita@ramin.com.au>
> Cc: "HTMLWG" <public-html@w3.org>; <wai-xtech@w3.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 10:16 PM
> Subject: Re: Empty vs no alt attribute (was Re: Baby Steps or Backwards 
> Steps?)
> 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
> implemented.
> P

Marghanita da Cruz
Phone: 0414 869202
Received on Wednesday, 22 August 2007 23:34:29 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Thursday, 29 October 2015 10:15:25 UTC