Re: IMG ALT attribute in HTML 4.0

Liam Quinn (
Wed, 10 Sep 1997 10:02:33 -0400

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 10:02:33 -0400
To: Jukka Korpela <>,
From: Liam Quinn <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Subject: Re: IMG ALT attribute in HTML 4.0


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 
>> <> where I noticed that the 
>> 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

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 
<> is that the LONGDESC 
attribute was added to IMG but not to OBJECT.  Is this just an oversight?

Version: PGP for Personal Privacy 5.0
Charset: noconv


Liam Quinn
===============  ===============
Web Design Group            Enhanced Designs, Web Site Development
======  PGP Key at  =====