W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > October to December 2001

when display ALT + image

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Fri, 07 Dec 2001 15:11:43 -0500
Message-Id: <200112072002.PAA3336023@smtp1.mail.iamworld.net>
To: WAI-GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 02:32 PM 2001-12-07 , Joe Clark wrote:
>>>In Internet Explorer, when images are presneted, the alt-text is 
>>>also available as a tool-tip.
>Such behaviour is counter to the spec and should be discouraged. I 
>think they fixed it in Windows IE 5 and later anyway. Netscape 4 
>remains broken in an unending list of ways.
>>Netscape Navigator 4 had the same behaviour, Mozilla (last time I checked
>>0.9.5) completely hides the ALT information if the image is displayed -
>>this is certainly a bug in Mozilla,
>This is certainly the *correct* behaviour in *all* visual browsers. 
>alt is an *alternative*. Just as summary on table should never be 
>presented visually, alt should never be presented visually if the img 
>or area is actually present.


When this came up before, the sense of the meeting in the User Agent
Group was that there are at least two articulable disability conditions where
simultaneous display of image and ALT should be available.  These are
low-vision cases and people with certain cognitive difficulties.  As, for
example, all my left-brained friends who can't for the life of them grok the


The general model that appears to fill all needs is that the
semantic model recognizes the correspondence; and behavior such as replace vs.
show both is view control that should ultimately lie in the user's span of
control, even 'though it is supplied with default ordering from the author

Since we see IMG going away and being replaced by OBJECT or some derivative of
OBJECT throughout, it is good also to review the discussion of OBJECT in the
thread starting at


>   Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org |
>   Accessibility articles, resources, and critiques
Received on Friday, 7 December 2001 15:02:04 UTC

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