[thelist] CSS

MRC webmaster at equilon-mrc.com
Mon Nov 12 14:58:50 CST 2001


> What's handy about turning "alt" text into a tool tip?  Or maybe I'm
> misunderstanding.

    Well, I believe its use that way predates the availability of the title
attribute on the <img> element. There's nothing in the HTML recommendation
that would require or even recommend a tooltip for alt text, but nothing
that forbids it, either. With the addition of the title attribute, however,
tooltipping alt text does seem superfluous.

> Being too lazy to look at specs right now, my recollection is that
> alt is supposed to be an ALTernative to the image, not a tool tip,
> nor additional information.  Text INSTEAD of image.
> The "title" attribute is SUPPOSED to be a tool tip.  It is SUPPOSED
> to be "additional information" for an HTML element.

    But since the use of a tooltip wasn't even described until the HTML 4.x
recommendation (and its use there is merely suggested), any use of a tooltip
prior to that was providing functionality not defined by the W3C. So, who's
to say what the tooltip should display, if anything? Essentially, Mozilla
takes a fairly strict approach to the HTML 4.x recommendation, while IE is
more apt to fold traditional (not necessarily wrong) behavior into its
browser, as well. Which is better is often a judgment call, IMO.

James Aylard

More information about the thelist mailing list