Re: Client-side imagemap I-D

Paul Wilson (
Wed, 8 Feb 95 09:30:52 EST

>Your other comments are good. One note on the AREA element and the ALT tag
>- the reason to do this rather than have AREA be a container is to improve
>the quality of backwards compatibility. If AREA were a container, there
>would be no way for an older browser to know not to render that markup.

One important advantage of the HTML 3.0 <FIG> (I am basing my discussion on
the HTML+ Proposal by Dave Regget.[1]) specification as I understand it is
that the text contained in within th <FIG>text here</FIG> container would be
interpreted as ALT text. That is, when using a text browser or a GUI
browser in a text mode (important for people with low bandwidth and
disabilities), this text would be displayed instead of the iamge.

With such a system, it is easier to replace the imagemap with a complete
paragraph of linked and unlinked text which clearly describes the links.
This give the user more information about the links (that might have been
implied graphically -- a picture is worth 1000 words) so that (s)he may
choose one correctly.

My understanding of the I-D is that an imagemap would be replaced by a list
(maybe even a string) of links that were not explained by anything more that
the linked ALT text itself.

I understand the backwards compatibility issue, but the older browsers would
ignore this <FIG> container and simply use the alternate text, thus working
the same way as an up-to-date text-mode browser. The user would still get
all the information and the future users would have an option as to which
clear and complete form the information was de
Paul Wilson (608) 265-4573
Trace R&D Center