Re: ToolTips: bug or feature?

On 7/30/07, Gregory J. Rosmaita <> wrote:
> aloha, chaaals!
> let me reiterate my original proposition, which is archived at:

If I'm understanding correctly, your main point in this discussion is
that MSIE should be free to present @alt as a tooltip if it chooses.
You've iterated this point a few times now.

Lachlan originally gave a link to an article by Hixie about why this
is incorrect and leads to bad coding practice. [1]  You appeared to
dismiss those points out of hand without refuting them [2].  I
highlighted a couple of those points [3], and I haven't seen you
address those points.  Instead, your replies seem to dismiss those
points and imply that @alt and @title actually serve almost the same


Instead, I suggest precisely the opposite.  HTML 5 should explicitly
forbid @alt from being displayed as a tooltip*.  Also, @alt SHOULD not
be presented to the user in any way by default when an image is being
displayed - in the same manner that a UA doesn't display the contents
of <object> if the media is being displayed.  Any other behavior
encourages misuse of alternate content by encouraging authors to use
@alt as supplemental, not alternate, content.

* There is one exception to this.  Given <img src=404 alt=something
width=100 height=100> some browsers will reserve a 100x100 box and
display the @alt text inside that 100x100 box.  When the text doesn't
fit in the box, some browsers display the @alt text in a tooltip, and
this is fine: the alternate text is serving its purpose as an
alternate for an image.

Received on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 01:38:35 UTC