<quote> 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. </quote> When an image is part of the site navigation, that [IMAGE] become part of the navigation. If you don't include the alt attribute people on non-graphical browsers (which includes people who can not see well enough to suft the web), then they will have no way to navigate your site. If the image is not part of navigation then the alt (empty or with text of your choosing) tag (empty or with text of your choosing) will prevent them from having to sort through all of the [IMAGE]. If you are designing sites for your users, include the alt tag.