W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > January 2006

[whatwg] Definition of alt= attribute

From: Anne van Kesteren <fora@annevankesteren.nl>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 13:05:30 +0100
Message-ID: <20060119130530.9k32bbnf0ddwowss@webmail.annevankesteren.nl>
Quoting Alexey Feldgendler <alexey at feldgendler.ru>:
>>> I wonder why alt is a required attribute for IMG in HTML while an  
>>> empty  value is allowed.
>> Because an empty value means that there is no alternate text and no  
>> attribute at
>> all means that alternate text is missing. (Which is clearly not what 
>> you  want.)
> The same could be said about title="", for example:
> "An empty value means that there is no title, and no attribute at all 
>  means that the title is missing." But HTML doesn't declare the title 
>  attribute as required.

That is because the "title" attribute is not important for the element its
_contents_. Without the "alt" attribute <img> becomes meaningless for devices
(and people) who can not interpreted images. Now I guess that in some way no
"alt" could have been designed to mean that there is no alternative content,
but that's not how it is. I believe UAs are free to make up alternate content
in such situations. By for example trying to get information from the file

Anne van Kesteren
Received on Thursday, 19 January 2006 04:05:30 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Wednesday, 22 January 2020 16:58:44 UTC