So, the answer is no, it shouldn't. The text within the <FIG> element
is intended as a description, to be used on browsers which either
lack graphical capabilities, or in environment's where the notion of
"displaying" information is inapplicable (speech synthesis, etc). The
key difference, as the draft indicates, is that this descriptive text
can now contain markup, and can thus be more structured and a far more
valuable information resource.
> If so, FIG is barely more useful than <IMG>... if not, on the other
> hand, it is an extremely valuable addition to HTML, as it would
> allow complex overlays to be rendered as a series of <IMG>s in
> existing (non-FIG) browsers, or as a single image in more modern
> browsers, giving everyone the necessary information and taking
> advantage of more advanced techniques where available.
Hmm ... I wasn't quite sure what you were getting at here,
> Another case, that of navigation bars, is demonstrated in my
> homepage . Is this valid usage of FIG?
>  http://www.nmt.edu/~bsittler/homepage.html
until I took a look here. This is quite an ingenious idea, actually,
since it allows the navigation bar to work on FIG capable, IMG
capable, and failing that, a text/speech based browser, with the ALT
To answer your question; it looks like a valid use, although I
suspect that a total purist would frown, since as noted in the spec,
"The figure description text is intended to convey the content of the
figure for people with non-graphical user agents"
(the key here being non-graphical)
-- Chris Tilbury, Estates Office, University of Warwick, UK, CV4 7AL Tel: +44 1203 523523 x2665 Fax: +44 1203 524444 MIME mail welcomed mailto:Chris.Tilbury@estate.warwick.ac.uk