[thelist] To ALT or not to ALT?

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Thu Jan 11 10:39:29 CST 2001

> From: Eric Benvenue-Jennings <eric at rapid13.org>
> Is there any benefit to using empty ALT tags besides
> passing validation tests?

the validation tests require them precisely because there are good 
reasons... otherwise, i suspect they wouldn't care...

> I guess the question should be, how do screen
> readers handle empty ALT tags as opposed to
> missing ALT tags?

every image, including all spacers, shows up as [INLINE] in Lynx, 
for example... images that are links show up as [LINK] in Lynx... 
you don't need a screen reader to tell you that's just bad... and 
then read the page aloud, *every word*, as if you were a screen 
reader... is it fun to shout "inline" every other word, or 50 times 
before you get to the content?

> Are there any other reasons, besides validation
> and screen readers, to use empty ALT tags instead
> of just leaving them out?

frankly, i think those are the best reasons... are there any reasons, 
besides being able to see, that i shouldn't paint my windshield 

it's good coding practice, and promotes the kind of attention to 
detail necessary in web development... it's also nice, and makes 
me happy...

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