Re: IMG ALT attribute in HTML 4.0

Liam Quinn (
Wed, 10 Sep 1997 14:44:11 -0400

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 14:44:11 -0400
To: Dave Raggett <>
From: Liam Quinn <>
In-Reply-To: <
Subject: Re: IMG ALT attribute in HTML 4.0


At 10:48 AM 10/09/97 -0400, Dave Raggett wrote:
>On Wed, 10 Sep 1997, Liam Quinn wrote:
>> 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? 
>The discussion in the HTML working group on long descriptions
>shifted from LONGDESC to making sure that image maps are supported
>for OBJECT. With agreement on image maps for OBJECT, the LONGDESC
>attribute will disappear from IMG unless there is agreement that we
>still need it. 

My understanding of the LONGDESC attribute, based on its name and on a 
perceived need, is that it would provide a URL of a full description of 
the image, taking over from the "D-link" hack promoted at 
 Thus, LONGDESC would not be *alternate* text, but would instead describe 
the image.

I thought about suggesting such an attribute a couple months ago, but 
decided that it was still a bit awkward.  An ideal solution, IMO, would be 
to embed a description within the comment blocks of the image itself, thus 
making the image more accessible when it's not inlined in an HTML 
document.  Of course, such a description would have to be plain text...

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Liam Quinn
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