[Doc-SIG] Alt text

Alan Jaffray jaffray@pobox.com
Thu, 15 Nov 2001 23:12:22 -0500 (EST)

On Tue, 13 Nov 2001, David Goodger wrote:
> I remember shelving fleeting thoughts about the "alt" text; time to
> revisit them. OK, there are three possible sources for the alt text:
> 1. The substitution name.
> 2. The source URI or file name.
> 3. Explicit text in the "image" directive.
> I think (2) is the worst option, (3) is the best, and (1) is
> in-between. (1) and/or (2) could be fallbacks when (3) isn't given.

It'd be nice to be able to explicitly specify alt text, but really,
I can't think of a situation where I would want anything but the 
substitution name as the alt text.

In HTML4, alt is a required attribute for img, and is intended to
contain a text equivalent of the inline graphic, ensuring readability
when the output format or user agent does not support graphics.  We
want the source document to be readable, and display of the source
document does not support graphics... so why not put the text inline?

(Yes, I know not everyone cares about HTML4; but since source readability
is a goal of reStructuredText, having usable nongraphical representations
of the document isn't an output-specific concern.)