Anne van Kesteren

W3C and alternate text

One of test files is valid HTML 4.01 Strict!. I can live with that, but then I took a smaller look at the code I get to promote web standards:

<!-- converted to XML -->
<img src=""
        alt="Valid HTML 4.01!" height="31" width="88"/>

The image reads: W3C HTML4.01. Isn't that a bit weird? The W3C is using ALT as TITLE, how ironic.


  1. I think that the red check mark on the image means "Validated". The "!" in the alt is probably useless.

    Posted by mauriz at

  2. Well in my opinion it is correct! As mauriz has allready said the red check mark means validated, so the alt IS correct! (Now here is how I understand the image: "Valid HTML 4.01"... so just the "!" is useless... :-/ )

    Posted by Raven at

  3. I agree with them^. What's wrong with it? And what do you think it should say? I think that would be a good alt text if the image can't be shown.

    Posted by David H at

  4. The image itself is pretty bad though. The check mark usually means an error in Sweden.

    Posted by David H at

  5. Besides the "!" I think they should have used W3C 'cause:

    1. It is on the image.
    2. You will understand what kind of HTML the image is about.

    Posted by Anne at

  6. For me the image reads: "W3C: valid HTML 4.01". So that should have been in the alt, I think.

    Posted by Mark Wubben at

  7. @Anne: the alt text actually says exactly the same thing as your footer... ;-) you could possibly replace your footer's links with images, and these images most probably wouldn't say exactly the same thing as your text does, but they would convey the same meaning.

    although i do agree with mark's comment, i actually don't see anything wrong in the alt

    Posted by csant at

  8. The W3C states that if an images only functions as a replacement for text, it should contain the text it replaces in the alt attribute. In my opinion, it's perfectly fine what they did in this case.

    That doesn't mean they don't make odd decisions though.

    The W3C webmaster for instance: On the W3C home page, the validation buttons are spaced out with <span class="whiteout">|</span>, and color property of the whiteout class is set to white via CSS.

    Hello... separating style and content... anyone?

    Posted by ACJ at