[whatwg] The IMG element, proposing a CAPTION attribute

Jeff Seager Jeff.Seager at wvdrs.org
Mon Nov 13 08:30:13 PST 2006

  Alexey notes:
> With CSS3 it's possible to display the value of "title" attribute in
> visual flow. For older UAs a JS implementation is trivial.

I didn't know that about CSS3, and that would be a good solution except
where the end user has specified a local stylesheet to override the
designer's style specs. Some users don't allow or don't recognize
javascript, either, so when I use script I have to allow for alternative
presentation. The drop-down menu I'm using degrades to an unordered list
of links without javascript, for example. Considering all that, I still
think captioning rightfully belongs in the HTML/XHTML semantic

After reflecting on your points and others, Alexey, I do expect more of
a caption than I expect of a simple attribute. Most importantly, I
expect it to be visible by default if I have a visible picture. For that
reason, I agree now with those who suggest a CAPTION (or LEGEND)
element, rather than an attribute. I especially like Matthew Paul
Thomas' thinking on this:

> I suggest that this element behave in the opposite way from alt=: 
> whereas alt= should be presented only if the image itself is *not* 
> presented, the caption element should be presented only if the image 
> itself *is* presented. Otherwise there would be the same problem with 
> non-sequiturs in non-visual media as there is with descriptive alt=.

Simple, elegant, functional ... so please, somebody shoot holes in this
and make it an even better idea.

I apologize if I've gone over old ground on this. I'm new to this list,
and others have indicated that this has been discussed before. Has it
been decided, though? To me, it seems a very basic and urgent need in
the HTML/XHTML specs.

Jeff Seager
West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services

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