Re: fear of "invisible metadata"

On Mon, 25 Jun 2007 15:39:49 +0200, Sander Tekelenburg <> wrote:

> Try to read the definition for <object> as if you're an average web  
> publisher
> and have never heard of it before. You'll get lost in a truckload of
> attributes and sub elements and their attributes, and nowhere do you get  
> a
> clear hint that any of it can and is allowed to be used for images.

Let's see, then. Element-specific attributes for <img>:

    alt, src, usemap, ismap, height, width

Element-specific attributes for <object>:

    data, type, usemap, height, width

Hmm, <object> actually has fewer attributes than <img>. To be fair,  
<object> can also have <param>s, but you probably don't need to pass  
parameters to images.

The spec says about <object>:

    The object element can represent an external resource, which, depending
    on the type of the resource, will either be treated as an image, as a
    nested browsing context, or as an external resource to be processed by a
    third-party software package.

    The data attribute, if present, specifies the address of the resource.
    If present, the attribute must be a URI (or IRI).

There it explicitly calls out images as the first example of what you can  
use <object> for. And that you use data="" to point to it. I don't know  
how it can be made clearer. Suggestions?

> Talk with web publishers.

Ok. I asked a web publisher if he knew what <object> was for. He said for  
e.g. flash and video. I asked whether images would work, and he said  
certainly, but he didn't know how exactly. After some quick testing he  
figured it out. Then I pointed him to the HTML5 spec and asked him, after  
reading it, if it was clear how it's supposed to work, and he said yes.

> Most do not understand <object> at all.

That may well be true.

> [...]
>> Now "<image>" is parsed as if it were "<img>" in browsers (and per  
>> HTML5).
> Why was it given up on?

Don't know.

>> So <image> can't be used.
> Well, then perhaps <picture>fallback<picture>, or <pic>fallback</pic>,  
> for
> less typing ;)

I don't think that adding more elements for including images will improve  
interop or reduce confusion.

Simon Pieters

Received on Monday, 25 June 2007 15:02:04 UTC