Re: IMG ALT attribute in HTML 4.0

Liam Quinn (liam@htmlhelp.com)
Wed, 10 Sep 1997 10:02:33 -0400


Message-Id: <3.0.3.32.19970910100233.008d7e60@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 10:02:33 -0400
To: Jukka Korpela <jkorpela@cc.hut.fi>, www-html@w3.org
From: Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com>
In-Reply-To: <Pine.OSF.3.96.970910084633.12107B-100000@tuuba.hut.fi>
Subject: Re: IMG ALT attribute in HTML 4.0

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At 09:02 AM 10/09/97 +0300, Jukka Korpela wrote:
>On Tue, 9 Sep 1997, Liam Quinn wrote:
>
>> I was glancing over the recently updated Cougar DTD at 
>> <http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Cougar/Cougar.dtd> where I noticed that the 
ALT 
>> attribute for IMG is now a required attribute (a good thing, IMO).
>
>A good thing indeed, although it is somewhat odd to improve elements
>which should actually be deprecated (as IMG should be, in favor of
>OBJECT).

IMG should definitely be deprecated at some point, but I don't think it's 
practical right now with the popular browsers' bug-ridden "support" for 
OBJECT.  (It'd almost be nice to rename OBJECT to rid ourselves of the 
bugs in current implementations.)

>However, the ALT controversy is not just a matter of wording. There is
>a fundamental problem. There are two masters to serve, two needs: the
>need for replacement (when image is not shown at all, for some reason)
>and the need for description. The latter is nowadays more common, as
>many people use graphic browsers with image autoloading off. But both
>needs must be taken into account. I'm not sure exactly how this should
>be done for the IMG element

I think that TITLE for a short description and LONGDESC for a long 
description are sufficient.

>but I think the essential point is to
>prevent the controversy from ever arising for the OBJECT element.

Again, TITLE seems appropriate for a short description and LONGDESC for a 
long description.  What seems odd in the DTD at 
<http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Cougar/Cougar.dtd> is that the LONGDESC 
attribute was added to IMG but not to OBJECT.  Is this just an oversight?

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Liam Quinn
===============  http://www.htmlhelp.com/%7Eliam/  ===============
Web Design Group            Enhanced Designs, Web Site Development
http://www.htmlhelp.com/    http://enhanced-designs.com/
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