Re: Images as alternatives to text instead of the reverse

About the suggestion from Stephanos Piperoglou:
> So I was wondering wether it would be a good idea to
> include in CSS1 to replace an element with an image, rather than doing the
> opposite in HTML. So I could have
> <H1 CLASS="H1.worldport">WorldPort</H1>
> or
> <H1 STYLE="altimage: images/worldport_logo-big.jpg">WorldPort</H1>

Douglas Rand objected:
> The usage of images is not a whim
> of the document designer.  It isn't really equivalent to put text in
> place of an image either.  And it isn't "stylistic" to me.
> I agree that there is far too much presentation stuff in HTML,  but the
> IMG tag isn't a particularly guilty member.  Images are content,  they
> are not presentation.  Images are not directly replacable by text when
> they are used for navigation,  nor does all the information in the image
> get conveyed when the alternative text is put in place of the image.
> Think of the alternative text as more of a hack to get around poor
> bandwidth of connections,  or the lack of richness in a user agent which
> is rendering to a text terminal.

I disagree.  Yes, in many cases the IMG is the primary and the text is
a bandwith conserver, but in many cases, such as the one Stephanous
gives, that is not true at all.  Having the text as the primary and
the image hooked in from the stylesheet makes a lot of sense for logos,
pull quotes, decorated headlines, and so on.  It makes life better
for indexing agents, text browsers, the 20% of the browsers that run with image
loading disabled, the mail-out of pages to HTML-impaired mail agents.

I think Stephanous' idea is a good one.

                -- Mary

Mary Holstege, PhD  
Chief Technologist, Online Engineering
KnowledgeSet Corporation
555 Ellis Street                    Tel: (415) 254-5452
Mountain View, CA 94043             FAX: (415) 254-5451