Liam Quinn (
Wed, 12 Nov 1997 18:27:02 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 18:27:02 -0500
From: Liam Quinn <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Subject: Re: PR-HTML40

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At 02:01 PM 12/11/97 -0800, Benjamin Franz wrote:
>On Wed, 12 Nov 1997, Liam Quinn wrote:
>> At 06:25 AM 12/11/97 -0800, Benjamin Franz wrote:
>> >   The modifications are:
>> >
>> >      Changed the HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes on IMG elements to
>> >      be #REQUIRED vice #IMPLIED. This improves perceived speed and/or
>> >      document display stability considerably in nearly all existing
>> >      browsers.
>> It also means that ALT text for small images is unreadable in nearly 
>> existing browsers.  For this reason, many people recommend against 
>> WIDTH and HEIGHT attributes for small images with important ALT text.
>The ALT text problem is a *solvable* problem in browser implementation
>where the layout hangup caused by no HEIGHT or WIDTH attributes is not.

Good point, but while we're talking about solutions, I think it's time to 
recognize that specifying width and height in a style sheet (once for one 
image in a site) is easier and provides greater flexibility than including 
the width and height with each and every <IMG> tag.  While I almost always 
use the WIDTH and HEIGHT attributes myself, I would not want to see them 
REQUIRED since that would prevent the real solution (style sheets) from 
becoming a reality.

>smart browser (like say, Spyglass Mosaic) can do intelligent things with
>ALT text when images are turned off if the programmer is thinking beyond
>the graphics.

I haven't touched Spyglass Mosaic in a long time, but Opera handles ALT 
text very well when images are turned off.  It shows the text as it would 
show plain text, except that it adds a border around it (I guess to 
indicate to the user that an image is present--ideally this should be a 
user option).  Netscape 2.x isn't too bad; it ignores WIDTH and HEIGHT 
when image loading is off, and instead sizes the image frame based on the 
ALT text, but it still includes that ugly "THERE'S AN IMAGE HERE, STUPID!" 

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Liam Quinn
Web Design Group            Enhanced Designs, Web Site Development