W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > July 2000

Re: Alt attribute for unimportant images

From: Jan Roland Eriksson <jrexon@newsguy.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2000 01:14:31 +0200
To: RickR@biztro.com
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <bs8nmsgc95msan7of8gjb77q55mp64jlhh@4ax.com>
On Tue, 11 Jul 2000 15:23:21 -0700, RickR@biztro.com wrote:

>What I'm saying is that in the HTML and XHTML DTDs, the ATTLIST for IMG
>states that alt is required.

Yes, rest assured, I know that...

>So, in XHTML, wouldn't this make a XHTML-compliant user agent choke on IMG
>elements without the ALT attribute?

Yes sure, but the "real world problem" is that you can not find a strict
XHTML-compliant browser in the first place.

>Bare in mind that I don't claim to be an XML expert, and am not to clear how
>say IE 5 intreprets the DTDs with regards to validity/well-formedness.

Then take the following into your heart :)

There is _no_ browser produced for "wide public use" that cares about
DTDs at all. (they all just ignore DTD references, and that's a fact)

You can find exceptions on a commercial level, e.g. Panorama is (was)
popular in the SGML world and that browser needed a DTD to get on to a
rendering phase (and it needed a local stylesheet too for the same

To reconnect to the ALT issue...

The ALT attribute is supposed to provide a value that can be rendered in
those situations where it's _not_ appropriate (for whatever reason) to
render the image it self. (listening to a web page wearing a headset
comes to mind)

The "advisory TITLE attribute" is described in HTML specs to carry a
value that can be appropriately rendered as a tool-tip in visual

The "big two" has got it all wrong from there, we just have to live with
that, sorry to say...

Jan Roland Eriksson <jrexon@newsguy.com>
Received on Tuesday, 11 July 2000 19:14:24 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 15:05:54 UTC