Re: Useful implementation of IMG ALT

Liam Quinn (
Fri, 23 Jan 1998 18:46:44 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 18:46:44 -0500
From: Liam Quinn <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Subject: Re: Useful  implementation of IMG ALT 


At 02:57 PM 23/01/98 -0800, Francis Cottier wrote:
>AS someone who runs my browser with images off the IMG ALT can tell me
>two things :
>1) The name of the image to see if it could be of interest or is it just
>a decorative ornament ?

The browser already knows the name of the image.  Repeating this 
information in the ALT attribute is a waste of an otherwise good 
attribute.  It's also not nearly as useful as a textual description 
(TITLE) or textual replacement (ALT).  A decorative ornament should have 
empty ALT text, possibly with a descriptive TITLE.
>2) Its filesize to see if it's worth waiting for.

Again, this is something that the browser should do for you if you're 
concerned about it.  But using ALT="wdglogo.gif (8 kB)" is harmful to the 
users most dependent on good ALT text--the search engines, the blind, and 
Lynx users.

>If I don't know this, then I usually don't even bother downloading them. 

ALT text should not indicate if an image is worth downloading; it should 
replace the image.  The TITLE attribute should be used to give the 
description you seek.

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Liam Quinn
Web Design Group            Enhanced Designs, Web Site Development