I am mostly trying to understand the direction that HTML/CSS is heading in with regard to images.
They say that "a picture is worth a thousand words". In stark contrast, the HTML <img> tag has been stripped back to bare bones, and CSS has been equipped with "background-image" support. Why no "foreground-image" support? If there is such worth in pictures, and you want to present your website in pictures, does this move not make designing such a website a semantic compromise from the outset?
In other words, in the effort to separate content from presentation, what happens when the content IS the presentation?
As I see it, in today's world, we have both "The News" with mostly textual content that changes from one minute to the next, but also art galleries where you can see items that have not changed in hundreds of years. That is not how it has always been - it is just where society has evolved to. Is HTML/CSS likewise evolving towards the "news" model and "artists" had simply better get used to it? The Louvre in Paris would be an appalling place if all pictures were hung beside the last one starting from the top left corner of every room, and it was a considerable effort to position images in an aesthetically pleasing way.
I take the point that one has little control over the size of browser window that a page will be rendered on, but I can't help feeling that the treatment of images in HTML/CSS makes image presentation more challenging than it ought to be.