W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > November 1999

Re: Position of ALT text on IMG

From: Jan Roland Eriksson <rex@css.nu>
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1999 09:30:49 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <0eQiOCIeLYX8pYCQ6MEPYhso5vkx@4ax.com>
To: www-style@w3.org
On Mon, 01 Nov 1999 15:04:46 -0800, you wrote:

>There is the general issue of placeholder content of which the ALT attribute
>on the IMG tag is one example.

The ALT attribute for IMG has _one_ single purpose only, to be available
as "alternative content" presented _inline_ instead of the graphic that
for one reason or another is not shown.

e.g. It was _never_ intended to "pop up" as a "tool tip"

What the value of ALT should do is to, just straight inline with its
surrounding content, present itself as a part of the rest of the

Lynx handles this aspect of ALT just perfect, let's now see that other
ua's can do the same.

For all other "presentational issues" ua programmers are allowed to do
what they see fit with the content of an eventual TITLE attribute, even
on elements that have ALT attributes specified.

But don't try to change the meaning of ALT... it's well defined already
(has been for years) and should _not_ be tampered with.

Also, the idea of a browser that "when I turn graphics off" still
insists on showing "placeholders" for those graphical pieces is just

The reason to set graphic loading off is to save download time in the
first place, i.e. make the browser _not_ send out HTTP requests for
IMG's, but present _inline_ the ALT attribute values for those IMG's


Jan Roland Eriksson <rex@css.nu> .. <URL:http://css.nu/>
Received on Monday, 8 November 1999 04:59:17 UTC

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