Re: AREA tags

Foteos Macrides (MACRIDES@SCI.WFBR.EDU)
Tue, 06 Aug 1996 17:57:34 -0500 (EST)


Date: Tue, 06 Aug 1996 17:57:34 -0500 (EST)
From: Foteos Macrides <MACRIDES@SCI.WFBR.EDU>
Subject: Re: AREA tags
To: sja20@hermes.cam.ac.uk
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-id: <01I7YP3QGPR0001BF5@SCI.WFBR.EDU>

James Aylett <sja20@hermes.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
>Looking at the Wilbur DTD (draft: 25th June), I see that AREA's ALT
>attribute is #REQUIRED. Unfortunately, I can't find any documentation
>anywhere which will actually tell me what ALT is for.
>
>Can someone point me to a description - or just tell me what it's there
>for, and why it's #REQUIRED?

	Lynx, and in theory other text clients and GUIs with image loading
turned off, use that as the link name in a menu of links for the HREFs
of the AREA tags.  The ALT strings should describe the links.  For
example, if your MAP is of the United States and the links return
information concerning each state. the ALT strings could be the names
of the states.

	Note that HTML 3.2/Cougar has added TITLE attibutes to almost
all tags with an HREF or SRC attribute (Good!!!).  If you include a TITLE
attribute in an IMG tag with a USEMAP attribute, Lynx will use it at the
TITLE and main header for the menu of links to the URLs resolved from the
MAP's AREA tags.

	Regrettably, TITLE was not added as an attribute for MAP.  Since
MAPs need not be in the same documents as the IMG tags which reference
them, it's nice to be able to put the TITLEs in the MAP tags, instead
of in every IMG tag which references them.  Lynx will use a TITLE
attribute if you put it in the MAP tag, and it won't cause any problems
for any other clients if you do that, so do that. OK?

	Those TITLEs should describe the links, e.g.

	<MAP NAME="outlets" TITLE="Outlets for Our Product by State">
	     <AREA ... ALT="Alabama">
	     ...
	</MAP>


	The other notable failure to add a TITLE attribute in Cougar
(despite repeated requests for it), is in FORM tags, since a number
of clients now use that to set the Subject for mailto ACTIONs, as they
do for LINKs and Anchors that have mailto HREFs.

				Fote

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 Foteos Macrides            Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research
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