[thelist] alt tags on all images (was Site Check)

noah noah at tookish.net
Wed Nov 7 12:56:03 CST 2001

At 01:42 PM 07/11/2001, you wrote:
> > From: noah <noah at tookish.net>
> >
> > I see . . . I guess I'll shift my frustration away from the W3C and
> > towards the browser makers - it just seems to me that if a browser can
> > not display an image, and there's no alt text, it should ignore the
> > image altogether, and display nothing.
>except in the old days of the web, when people used images as
>links, and there was no other way for the text browsers -- which
>were still pervasive -- to navigate...
> > I can't think of a single circumstance in which a browser telling you
> > [IMAGE] is of any use whatsoever, and it seems a little silly to me
> > that we have to include extra code in every image tag to avoid this.
>in the case of navigation or image maps, it is useful... also when i
>know there's a photo there, i can have Lynx grab it and view it

Aside from your last point about grabbing images and viewing them offline, 
these come back to my original point that the reason that the alt is 
required is that designers aren't trusted to put it in where it belongs. If 
we were trusted to put alt text on images that are required for navigation, 
then the [IMAGE] thing would never have been necessary.

I've just realized that the above argument is based on the presumption that 
web developers are, as a general rule, competent. Looking over a site that 
I was just contracted to redesign (<meta name="generator" content="Adobe 
GoLive 4">), I realize the foolishness of this assumption, and concede.

I still think having to include alt="" is silly, but I guess it is a 
necessary evil


More information about the thelist mailing list