Re: Feedback concerning - ALT tag

On Fri, May 13, 2005 at 04:49:01AM +0100, Clitheroe Kid wrote:
> With respect, one important consideration in the design of web pages is
> reducing the size of the pages by the elimination of unnecessary code, with
> a view to the pages loading more quickly.

Yet you use Transitional rather than Strict?

> To this end, I generally omit any code which has no practical value. That is
> to say, any code which, if omitted, will not break the page, either in IE or
> in Netscape.

That is a somewhat narrow view to take I think. There are other

> One matter which always irritates me when submitting a page for validation
> at is the page being failed, even when designed as
> Transitional rather than Strict, for the omission of "Alt" tags.

Do you mean alt attribute?

> An "Alt" tag often serves no useful purpose, because an image is frequently
> inserted on the page as a spacer, or to fulfill some other design purpose,
> rather than as a picture to be viewed. Adding empty "Alt" tags to force the
> page to validate is a sheer waste of the designer's time, of server
> diskspace, and of downloading time.

On spacers: Use CSS and margins/padding instead.

On bandwidth: 6 bytes per image, and rather less with gzip compression

On time: It doesn't take very long to type 6 characters, and less if
you use software which inserts it automatically for you.

> Omitting an "Alt" tag will not cause any adverse effect on the page's
> appearance, in any browser. The tag has no design function, only an
> information function.

So you've never used Lynx then? In the absence of explicitly
alternative content, it falls back to the image filename. I don't know
what JAWS and other screen readers do.

This, however, is not a validation issue. It is an issue with the
design of the HTML language. You might want to try the www-html-editor
mailing list, but I doubt you will find much willingness to change the
language on that point.

David Dorward                            

Received on Sunday, 15 May 2005 11:02:01 UTC