Re: Questionable implementation of IMG ALT attribute as tooltips

James Green (
Mon, 26 Jan 1998 10:58:55 +0000 (GMT)

From: James Green <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 10:58:55 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Re: Questionable implementation of IMG ALT attribute as tooltips

On 25 Jan 1998 11:35:00 +0100 =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Claus_Andr=E9_F=E4rber?= 
<> wrote:

> Green J M K <> schrieb:
> > For unimportant pictures, why not ALT="[Pic]" or even ALT="" (I'm not
> > sure that nothingness will validate)?
> "" is often the best choice. The text in the ALT attribute should  
> replace the image on non-graphics browsers or when graphics are switched  
> off, so do not write a description of the image but the text that shall  
> be shown to users instead.

So the "" *does* work then??! Do you *know* that it is valid syntax?

> I usually choose one of these:
> For unimportant pictures, ALT="" is the only reasonable choice. (But  
> then, if it's that unimportant, why use it at all?)

My my, I presume you've not heard of HTML 4.0 then? The ALT attribute 
is a requirement.

> For small icons or symbols, I use characters to imitate the appearance  
> of the image, e.g. <img src="mylogo.gif" alt="MyLoGo"> or
> <img src="bullet.gif" alt="*">.

My thoughts precisely.

[ ... ]

> > Also, for separator bars, why not use <HR> and maybe include 
> classes for
> > CSS? Much faster.
> I never use non-<HR> separators, simply because they don't behave well  
> for browsers on different screen sizes.

Agreed. However, the existance of simple colour gradients in CSS may be 

> <UL> is better than using <img src="bullet.gif"> too, as long as you  
> don't need different, non-ascending symbols.

I thought I heard in one spec that list items could have an icon image 


James Green

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