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  1. #1

    XHTML alt attribute practically required or not?

    The website using XHTML 1.0 transitional is missing alt attributes on some img tags and yet it works fine on all browsers it has been tested with where it should work.
    (There's a few other validation errors which I'm fixing now too, so nevermind those.)

    Not having the unnecessary alt tags saves time and makes the html file smaller.

    Having them, as far as I know only makes the page completely valid and modem users etc. will have to see some SEO text for a while.
    Am I missing something?
    Last edited by Tertsi; 12-15-2006 at 05:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Castle Pines, CO
    The alt attribute is required HTML and XHTML.

    Check out <img> tag. It is more for accessibility - say if someone who does not want images to show, the alt text is displayed. Or if someone who is blind, they would still be able to know an image is there at least using their computer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Pflugerville, TX
    Not having the unnecessary alt tags saves time and makes the html file smaller.
    There is no such thing as an unnecessary alt tag. If you have an image on the page that has no contextual value whatsoever, it probably belongs in your style sheet as a background image, or (for those who like to junk up pages with blank spacer images) it simply doesn't belong anywhere on the site.

    Alternative text is necessary for many Web users, as Corey pointed out. It is also a desirable component for search engines, as it gives meaning to otherwise meaningless images.

    The only exception to this rule is if the appropriate alternative text is being used right next to the image itself. For instance, if you have a picture of yourself, and right next to it you have a heading <h1>[your name]</h1>, providing alternative text would cause a redundancy. In this case, you would place a blank alt attribute into the image, because it is just as important to tell the browser to disregard alternative text when it is displayed right next door. But this means the addition of blank alt="" serves a purpose, and is therefore not unnecessary.

    Will an image display without alt text? Sure. With the exception of true XML, browsers will be forgiving and display your image just fine. That doesn't mean it's the right thing to do!
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  4. #4

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