Last modified: 2006-12-22 20:31:54 UTC
The auto-generated enlargement icon has alt="Enlarge". This
is needlessly aggravating; if I can't view images, a link
to a larger version of an image is completely useless. So
the icon should have alt="", to hide the link completely in
(Actually, I can think of one case where a text-only reader
*might* want to see an image page: a Wikipedia admin using
Lynx may still want access to the history page for an
image, in order to investigate vandalism. But that is an
extreme exception, not the rule, and should not sully the
default text-only presentation of enlargable images.)
99% of users have image enable browser, the tip provide some help.
For the 1% that use text browser, the "enlarge" link provide a direct link to
the image for easier saving.
For image-enabled browsers, the "Enable" text belongs in the title attribute, not the alt text.
Don't assume that people who can't see the image don't want access to it; they could turn on image display for worthwhile
images, download it, or email it. So there should still be access to the enlarged image.
On the other hand, the image thumbnail already links to the enlargement, so the "enlarge" link is redundant. We have to
links on the page with different text, leading to the same URL -- potentially confusing.
It would be slightly more elegant if the thumbnail alt text was something like "<Image description here> [follow link to
enlarge]", and enlarge button alt text was blank "".
> So there should still be access to the enlarged image.
Yes, but since that's only needed rarely, it's something
that should be -- and is -- offered by the browser rather
than MediaWiki. For example, in Lynx typing "*" shows the
images, and links consisting only of images, with alt="".
So there's no reason not to use alt="" when appropriate.
> if the thumbnail alt text was something like "<Image
> description here> [follow link to enlarge]"
Saying "follow link to enlarge" doesn't make any sense
for someone who can never see images. (And alt text
shouldn't contain descriptions, but that's bug 368.)
Created attachment 31 [details]
Lynx in normal mode (<a href="foo"><img alt=""></a> is hidden)
Created attachment 32 [details]
Lynx in image_links mode (<a href="foo"><img alt=""></a> displays links both to the link and to the image)
(In reply to comment #3)
> On the other hand, the image thumbnail already links to the enlargement, so
the "enlarge" link is redundant. We have to
> links on the page with different text, leading to the same URL -- potentially
Note that this will not necessarily be the case once bug 539 is finished: you
will be able to choose the target for the image itself, but the thumbnail code
will still produce an "enlarge" icon, which will then be the only link to the
image description page.
To the contrary, within WAI guidelines it is *essential* that each and every image
has alternative text.
From http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT-TECHS/#tech-text-equivalent :
1.1 Provide a text equivalent for every non-text element (e.g.,
via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content). This includes: images, graphical
representations of text (including symbols), image map regions, animations (e.g.,
animated GIFs), applets and programmatic objects, ASCII art, frames, scripts,
images used as list bullets, spacers, graphical buttons, sounds (played with or
without user interaction), stand-alone audio files, audio tracks of video, and
video. [Priority 1] (Checkpoint 1.1)
Priority 1 btw means top priority, i.e. we must provide alt text.
No, the WAI guidelines do not say that each
and every image should have alternative text:
they say (as shown in the text you quoted)
that each and every image should have a text
equivalent. alt="" is the most appropriate
text equivalent for some images, as shown in
both the HTML specification <http://
objects.html#h-13.8> and the WAI WCAGs <http:
equivalent>. (When they say "Text equivalents
must be provided for ... invisible images
used to lay out a page", they obviously don't
mean alt="[invisible image used to lay out
the page]", they mean alt="".)
Again from the WCAGs: "A good test to
determine if a text equivalent is useful is
to imagine reading the document aloud over
the telephone. What would you say upon
encountering this image to make the page
comprehensible to the listener?" For a link
to enlarge an image, the correct answer is "I
wouldn't mention it at all". If you did
mention it at all, you would be wasting the
listener's time, because you can't enlarge
images over the phone. (Or on the radio. Or
in a terminal window.)
Created attachment 2187 [details]
Patch removes alt text. "Enlarge" remains as title (in <a> parent element).
Applied in r18502.