[whatwg] alt and title attribute exception
faulkner.steve at gmail.com
Wed Aug 1 12:09:06 PDT 2012
"To be very clear, you agree with the spec, think that WebKit is wrong and
would not offer any applause if Opera were to use the title attribute to
replace images when images are disabled and there is no alt attribute?"
I don't have a strong view on the display of title content as fallback when
alt is absent. It would be preferable to disambigaute the source of the
text by (for example) prefixing the text with "title:". What browsers
provide as fallback in the absence of the appropriate content is a
different beast than the question of what we should promote as a conforming
I do think that if browsers provide a single feature (title) to provide
tooltip text and image fallback text (which is what we are talking about),
coupled with giving authors the greenlight via the current conformance free
pass, it will lead to its use and misuse, which is why the must level
requirement on browsers not to display alt in the same way as title was
included in the first place AFAIK - To deter browsers from displaying alt
both as fallback and tooltip.I do not see a difference between alt being
displayed as both fallback and tooltip and title being displayed as both
fallback and tooltip. If someone can explain to me why one is good but the
other is not, I would be appreciative.
"Yes, the semantic difference is clear. What I wanted to add to this
discussion is confirmation that the title attribute is inaccessibly to
mobile browser users and likely to remain so. I don't know what conclusions
to draw or what the spec should say, but to me it seems unwise to use the
title attribute at all..."
Well this is what I brought up in the other fora that this issue is/was
debated. The (almost) complete lack of display of title in mobile browsers.
Henri's example of firefox on android is interesting , but of only limited
utility since the text is truncated, the same issue occurs (truncation) for
both alt and title on in various browsers, in some browsers the alt/title
is omitted completely if the text is longer than a certain value 
On 1 August 2012 13:05, Philip Jägenstedt <philipj at opera.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 31 Jul 2012 14:03:02 +0200, Steve Faulkner <
> faulkner.steve at gmail.com> wrote:
> title has differing semantics to alt. In situations where alt it not
>> present on an img but title is, in webkit based browsers the title
>> attribute content is displayed on mouse hover and is also displayed in
>> place of the image when images are disabled or not available. This
>> implementation appears to contradict the must requirement in the spec.
>> User agents must not present the contents of the alt attribute in the same
>>> way as content of the title attribute.
>> As there is no way visual distinction between title content being
>> and of alt content in this case.
> To be very clear, you agree with the spec, think that WebKit is wrong and
> would not offer any applause if Opera were to use the title attribute to
> replace images when images are disabled and there is no alt attribute?
> you wrote:
>> but I'm confused -- is falling back to title a Good Thing that people
>> browsers to implement, or is it just a quirk that some legacy browser had?
>> Given that there is a semantic distinction in the spec between what alt
>> content is and what title content is and a swathe of normative
>> requirements/advice based on this distinction it would appear unwise to
>> promote the use of title as fallback without providing normative
>> requirements on provision of a method to distinguish between the two.
>> *Note:* in terms of the accessible name calculation for an img element, if
>> the image does not have aria-label or an aria-labelledby or an alt
>> attribute, but does have a title attribute, then the title attribute is
>> used as the accessible name. From an accessibility API perspective, no
>> distinction is indicated as to the source of the accessible name (apart
>> from in the Mac AX API).
>> The last point is another reason why making the title attribute on images
>> (without alt) conforming is that the semantics, for all users, are
> Yes, the semantic difference is clear. What I wanted to add to this
> discussion is confirmation that the title attribute is inaccessibly to
> mobile browser users and likely to remain so. I don't know what conclusions
> to draw or what the spec should say, but to me it seems unwise to use the
> title attribute at all...
> Philip Jägenstedt
> Core Developer
> Opera Software
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