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A bit of HTML history, why we have an IMG tag

Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:01 pm
by MikeGale
I found an interesting snippet today that people here might find interesting.

It details some of the thinking and discussion behind the design of the IMG tag (in 1993).

http://j.mp/3zLTPi

Marc Andreesen, before Netscape was thought about, introduced it as a quick fix. It was clear even then that a better design should accommodate audio, video etc. It was just a quickie. It became embedded and we still don't have the a really good way of doing the missing bits.

Victory of first to publish over good design!

The article reminds about some of the things we faced back then.

Re: A bit of HTML history, why we have an IMG tag

Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:51 pm
by Albert Wiersch
That is interesting! But sometimes, simplicity is the best design. :wink:

Re: A bit of HTML history, why we have an IMG tag

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:32 am
by MikeGale
The simplicity is great. (Especially when you look at the 29 or so attributes this tag can now have!!)

If you think about it, this could have done so much more. The burden is put on the browser to identify the file type so the tag could transparently handle:

SVG
Flash movies
VML
Canvas
Sound
HTML fragments
WPF/Silverlight...

without modification. (It would be pretty nutty though without height and width and an optional "how to flow" parameter seems sensible. A type parameter would also relieve the burden on browser programmers.)

Even in it's original form this could have done so much more.

Re: A bit of HTML history, why we have an IMG tag

Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:56 pm
by iouri
Hehe, neat! There is a saying in russian and loosely translated it is: Everything that is genius is simple.