Re: <IMG> inside <FIG>?

Chris Tilbury (C.J.Tilbury@estate.warwick.ac.uk)
Fri, 14 Jul 1995 09:40:21 BST


From: "Chris Tilbury" <C.J.Tilbury@estate.warwick.ac.uk>
To: www-html@www10.w3.org
Date:          Fri, 14 Jul 1995 09:40:21 BST
Subject:       Re: <IMG> inside <FIG>?
Message-Id: <E5A9EE31B0@forest.estate.warwick.ac.uk>

On 13 Jul 95 at 15:02, bsittler@prism.nmt.edu wrote:

> From reading the draft proposal for HTML 3, I get the 
> impression that one could do something like the following:
> 
> <FIG SRC="MyPicture.GIF">
>   <P>
>     You can look at <a href="MyPicture.GIF">my picture</a>, too. In
>     fact, those with inline images enabled can see it right here:
>     <IMG SRC="MyPicture.GIF">
> </FIG>
> 
> Now, how should this be rendered by a FIG-capable browser?
> Obviously, non-FIG browsers can just ignore the <FIG ...> and </FIG>
> tags, but what about those than do understand it? Should it be
> rendered like this:

[snip]

> That is, should the browser display text between <FIG> and </FIG> if
> it also displays the FIG image? 

From [1] (the HTML 3 draft, third paragraph in the "Figures" section)

"The figure description text is intended to convey the content of the figure for
people with non-graphical user agents, while the figure caption and credit are
rendered on both graphical and non-graphical user agents. The FIG element
improves on the IMG element by allowing authors to use markup for the
description text. The content model allows authors to include headers, which
is appropriate when the headers are part of the image data. It also allows
graphical hypertext links to be specified in the markup and interpreted by the
user agent rather than the server."

So, the answer is no, it shouldn't. The text within the <FIG> element 
is intended as a description, to be used on browsers which either 
lack graphical capabilities, or in environment's where the notion of 
"displaying" information is inapplicable (speech synthesis, etc). The 
key difference, as the draft indicates, is that this descriptive text 
can now contain markup, and can thus be more structured and a far more 
valuable information resource.

> If so, FIG is barely more useful than <IMG>... if not, on the other 
> hand, it is an extremely valuable addition to HTML, as it would 
> allow complex overlays to be rendered as a series of <IMG>s in 
> existing (non-FIG) browsers, or as a single image in more modern 
> browsers, giving everyone the necessary information and taking 
> advantage of more advanced techniques where available.

Hmm ... I wasn't quite sure what you were getting at here,

> Another case, that of navigation bars, is demonstrated in my
> homepage [1]. Is this valid usage of FIG?
> 
> [1] http://www.nmt.edu/~bsittler/homepage.html

until I took a look here. This is quite an ingenious idea, actually, 
since it allows the navigation bar to work on FIG capable, IMG 
capable, and failing that, a text/speech based browser, with the ALT 
attribute.

To answer your question; it looks like a valid use, although I 
suspect that a total purist would frown, since as noted in the spec,

"The figure description text is intended to convey the content of the 
figure for people with non-graphical user agents"

(the key here being non-graphical)

References:

[1] <URL:http://www.hpl.hp.co.uk/people/dsr/html/figures.html>

Regards,



Chris

--
Chris Tilbury, Estates Office, University of Warwick, UK, CV4 7AL
Tel: +44 1203 523523 x2665                   Fax: +44 1203 524444
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