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Re: Empty vs no alt attribute (was Re: Baby Steps or Backwards Steps?)

From: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 08:58:58 -0400
Message-ID: <004e01c7e4bc$35492880$0601a8c0@HANDS>
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>, "Marghanita da Cruz" <marghanita@ramin.com.au>
Cc: "HTMLWG" <public-html@w3.org>, <wai-xtech@w3.org>

I was under the impression that alt was replacement.  perhaps we should have 
an attrib called replace=.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>
To: "Marghanita da Cruz" <marghanita@ramin.com.au>
Cc: "HTMLWG" <public-html@w3.org>; <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 10:16 PM
Subject: Re: Empty vs no alt attribute (was Re: Baby Steps or Backwards 

Marghanita da Cruz wrote:

> As an HTML author, I use the alt text as a caption - the kind of
> additional information I tend to provide is Photographer or Artist's
> name.

However, that is not the intended purpose of ALT based pn the HTML 4.01
spec. It's ALTernate text, to be rendered in situations when the image
itself cannot be loaded/perceived. It's not a field for metadata, but an
alternative form of the same content.

> I would like to see all browsers display the alt text and other
> attributes as a
> "mouseover" rather than with a right click for properties.

Again, when looking at the ALT's real purpouse according to the spec,
though, this may arguably not be logical behaviour. If an image was
successfully displayed to a sighted user in a visual client, the textual
alternative format may be regarded as redundant. Of course, if you're
instead using ALT for additional/advisory information (the domain of the
TITLE attribute), then I can see why you'd wish this behaviour to be

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Co-lead, Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
Take it to the streets ... join the WaSP Street Team
Received on Wednesday, 22 August 2007 12:59:09 UTC

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