W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > June 2003

Clarification needed on ALT/TITLE tooltips

From: Brian Bober <netdemonz@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2003 16:03:12 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <20030623230312.4934.qmail@web11708.mail.yahoo.com>
To: www-html@w3.org

On http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/objects.html#edef-IMG
I would like you to say that ALT shouldn't be displayed as a tooltip but simply
as a replacement for a missing image by default by a user-agent, and only title
should. I would also like you to provide more extensive examples on proper ALT
and TITLE strings. That way, we can get rid of the inconsistancy between user
agents, webdesign software, etc.

Bug 25537 (http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=25537 - "alt text is not
displayed as a tooltip") on bugzilla.mozilla.org is about ALT Tooltips not
being shown as tooltips, yet Title tooltips are.

Since ALT is meant as a replacement for images, and TITLE is meant as a title
for the image, Mozilla behaves correctly because it displays TITLE as tooltips,
but ALT only as a replacement for an image that didn't load or was blocked.

The problem is that older browsers didn't behave properly, and web authors are
reluctant to update their site, especially since IE will display ALT as a
tooltip if no TITLE is avalailable. Therefore, Mozilla displays incorrect
behavior to authors that don't know any better. This is further compounded by
sites that incorrectly describe the functionality of ALT and TITLE attributes,
along with web authoring software that doesn't support TITLE.

The following URL contains a list of information regarding this:

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Received on Monday, 23 June 2003 19:03:14 UTC

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