Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Firefox, ALT Tags and Tooltips

Via Waxy’s Links is this article on Gadgetopia about Firefox and alt attributes for images. As you may know, Firefox does not show the alt attribute of an image as a tooltip when you hover over it like IE does. This was done because the HTML specification says that this is incorrect behvaiour and should only happen with title attributes instead.
Anyway, someone’s created an extension to emulate IE’s behaviour, and now there’s a flame war started because this will somehow cause the internet to implode, or something. Personally I think that if someone cares so much about this that they want to install an extension to correct it, then let them do that. Firefox, as it is, is doing the right thing as it’s supposed to. As long as the default behaviour stays as it is now, I don’t think there’s a problem.
Sidenote: they’re alt attributes, not alt tags. If it were a tag, it’d be called <alt />.


  1. “Sidenote: they’re alt attributes, not alt tags. If it were a tag, it’d be called .”
    Or even

  2. Well, that’s just rediculus! Why get all pissy about an “extension”. If they don’t want the behavior, then don’t install the thing. Sheesh!

  3. Whether it’s “correct” behavior or not, I’ve always found it useful in checking my pages for stupid coding errors or typos. I’ve only just switched to Firefox a couple of weeks ago, and have missed this feature, so I’ll definitely be installing the extension.

  4. The skies will fall down and the sun will rise in the north. Michael Howard will become prime minister and George W Bush will declare his undying love for Jacques Chirac. That and much more will happen if you use this plugin. Just don’t say you haven’t been warned.

  5. Could someone remind me what’s so hard about using title attributes? Come on! :-p

  6. @HelloKit: if you want to check your coding, you should install the excellent Web Developer extension for Firefox, which by itself is enough reason to switch to Firefox if you ever build your own pages.

  7. Looks IE’s setting its own standard, against the W3C. I wonder who’s “right” in an ultimate sense?