Re: Questionable implementation of IMG ALT attribute as tooltips

Mon, 26 Jan 1998 14:06:18 -0500 (EST)

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 14:06:18 -0500 (EST)
From: Foteos Macrides <MACRIDES@SCI.WFBR.EDU>
Message-id: <01ISU2RGUNG200877V@SCI.WFBR.EDU>
Subject: Re: Questionable implementation of IMG ALT attribute as tooltips

Colin F Reynolds <> wrote:
>In article <>, Chris Maden
><> writes
>>The requirement is that the Web page designer think about what he is
>>doing.  If no alternative text is appropriate after thinking, then
>>that should be specified.
>No amount of "thinking about it" will compensate for the fact that in
>many cases it is _impossible_ to create ALT text which satisfies the
>conflicting requirements for:
>  + ALTernative textual content to replace an image which is not
>    available to the user agent and 
>  + Tooltips for an image which has been rendered in the user agent.
>The former is ALTernative information; the latter is SUPPLEMENTARY

	HTML 4.0 provides for a TITLE *attribute* in IMG and homologous
elements, with this explanation of its intent:

  7.4.3 The title attribute
   Attribute definitions
   title = text [CS]
          This attribute offers advisory information about the element
          for which it is set.
   Unlike the TITLE element, which provides information about an entire
   document and may only appear once, the title attribute may annotate
   any number of elements. Please consult an element's definition to
   verify that it supports this attribute. Values of the title attribute
   may be rendered by user agents in a variety of ways. For instance,
   visual browsers frequently display the title as a "tool tip" (a short
   message that appears when the pointing device pauses over an object).

	So what you want is:
	<IMG SRC="foo.blah" ALT="alternative_string" TITLE="tooltip_string">

and broader implementation and understanding of this provision in HTML 4.0.


 Foteos Macrides            Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research
 MACRIDES@SCI.WFBR.EDU         222 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545