[whatwg] Alt text authoring Re: Conformance for Mail clients

Jon Barnett jonbarnett at gmail.com
Sun Apr 22 19:27:19 PDT 2007

> Options might include "image 2 - vista of the canyon" or "image 2" (where
> the text already says what that is) or all kinds of other things.

> "noalt" is a good idea and leaves no ambiguity.
> Except that it breaks all backward compatibility.

Can you please explain how?

<img src="grandcanyon.jpg" alt="image 2 - vista of the canyon"> doesn't help
the ambiguity.  <img src="grandcanyon.jpg" title="image 2- vista of the
canyon"> is more appropriate.  The image does not represent that text, that
text describes the image.  The difference may seem subtle, but there is a

<img src="rssicon" alt="RSS"> is a case where the text serves no purpose
than to represent the text "RSS".  Lynx can happily replace the image with
the text as if the image doesn't exist.

In the grand canyon example, Lynx should at indicate that the image does

This difference may be minor, but HTML doesn't explicitly tell authors how
to mark up images that don't actually represent text and it's a distinction
authors want to make.

If "noalt" isn't acceptable, then let me suggest the "rel" attribute (with a
couple suggested values).  If the "rel" attribute was allowed on the IMG
element, it could tell the relationship of the img to the document
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