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Subject: Rationale for <alt> inside <image>

I am working on a new DITA implementation for FrameMaker and stumble across a number of design issues, which make me wonder about the use cases that prompted the committee to choose this particular design.

I have not yet found a use case that would warrant the rich semantics on an alternate text for an image that is presented by <alt>. I have yet to come across an editing and rendering system that would do something useful with such rich semantics inside <alt>. AFAIK, HTML merely offers an @alt on an <img>. Would it not have been wiser to have an @alt on <image> and push the richer semantics to a sibling of <image>, as part of a <fig> ?

I really want to understand the design rationale for this and hear some convincing use cases. If such rationale and use cases are any less than convincing, I would want to propose a redesign for DITA 2.0.


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