proposed new tag: IMG

Marc Andreessen (
Thu, 25 Feb 93 21:09:02 -0800

I'd like to propose a new, optional HTML tag:


Required argument is SRC="url".

This names a bitmap or pixmap file for the browser to attempt to pull
over the network and interpret as an image, to be embedded in the text
at the point of the tag's occurrence.

An example is:

<IMG SRC="file://">

(There is no closing tag; this is just a standalone tag.)

This tag can be embedded in an anchor like anything else; when that
happens, it becomes an icon that's sensitive to activation just like a
regular text anchor.

Browsers should be afforded flexibility as to which image formats they
support. Xbm and Xpm are good ones to support, for example. If a
browser cannot interpret a given format, it can do whatever it wants
instead (X Mosaic will pop up a default bitmap as a placeholder).

This is required functionality for X Mosaic; we have this working, and
we'll at least be using it internally. I'm certainly open to
suggestions as to how this should be handled within HTML; if you have
a better idea than what I'm presenting now, please let me know. I
know this is hazy wrt image format, but I don't see an alternative
than to just say ``let the browser do what it can'' and wait for the
perfect solution to come along (MIME, someday, maybe).

Let me know what you think.........


Marc Andreessen
Software Development Group
National Center for Supercomputing Applications