[whatwg] img as a layout tool to describe the displayed region of a CSS background-image

Ashley Sheridan ash at ashleysheridan.co.uk
Wed Apr 28 04:33:29 PDT 2010

On Wed, 2010-04-28 at 13:31 +0200, Ingo Chao wrote:

> http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#the-img-element
> "The img must not be used as a layout tool. In particular, img
> elements should not be used to display transparent images, as they
> rarely convey meaning and rarely add anything useful to the document."
> An img with a given transparent image for src cuts an area of a sprite.
> ( = img as a layout tool to describe the displayed region of a CSS
> background-image.)
> Is this usage of the img element considered invalid (non-conforming)?
> Thanks.

If an image is transparent, it has no display value other than to
reserve an area of space, which goes back to the original point that
images should not be used for layout.

If you're using a background image then that shouldn't need to convey
any meaning to the viewer, it should only be for presentation purposes.
The meaning of the content should remain the same if the background
image is displayed or turned off regardless. You should consider
re-structuring your page so that the presentation is separate from the


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