Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Accessibility

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Using "lang-x" template or simple wikilinking and formatting[edit]

Template:lang-de-AT is used in only Austrian Empire. Because no other pages use it, I'm torn between proposing deletion and leaving it alone for several years. I tried to replace the template with simple formatting, but someone reverted it and cited this guidelines as a reason. Shall we follow this guideline, or shall we consider usefulness and effectiveness of the template? --George Ho (talk) 23:40, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

The template should be left alone. Graham87 04:44, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
In other word, do not nominate as TFD? --George Ho (talk) 05:16, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
George Ho Graham Yea, keep the template and do not nominate as TfD. This is also a web standards question. Information about language codes and the web can be found at at In short, de is the language tag. AT is valid region tag, therefore de-AT is valid. de-CH is also valid for German in Switzerland, but no template yet, so be very quite or one will be created. Bgwhite (talk) 05:31, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
The external link is dead; do you mean list of obsolete codes or this one? --George Ho (talk) 05:57, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
George Ho, link isn't dead, but my brain is for screwing up the link. Correct links is: Information for the article comes from RFC 5646, which is the current standard of "Tags for the Identification of Languages".
The list of obsolete codes (ISO 639) were superseded by ISO 639-1, ISO 639-1 and ISO 639-1. They are only for saying what 2 or 3 letter code that goes with what languages. For example, en for ISO 639-1 and eng for ISO 639-2. Same goes for your other link, so they are not applicable in this situation. Bgwhite (talk) 06:31, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Which ones are Austrian, and do you know who types Austrian German? --George Ho (talk) 06:59, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
It is confusing. Took me several times of reading to understand (I hope). In the page, if you skip down until to the "The region subtag" section. It is about 60% the way down the text. There, they give an example of how these codes are constructed and mention AT. They also mention de-CH in the article, but I also saw that one elsewhere. Bgwhite (talk) 08:33, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
This still doesn't excuse the template's infrequency. I wonder if editors consider using this template, even when they may be aware of the phrase "Austrian German" and the regional language itself. --George Ho (talk) 08:44, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't have answers for your questions. I can understand the tag being relatively infrequent as it would only be used in a historical context. But, to its current use, I don't have an answer. For your second question, probably best asked at TfD or by some German editors. I did look on the German Wikipedia, they have six lang type templates for German. Vorlage:DeS (German), Vorlage:GswS-ch (German-Swiss), Vorlage:BarS (Bavarian) and three for old versions of German. No Austrian (that I could tell). Kategorie:Vorlage:Fremdsprachenunterstützung is the category for lang templates. Bgwhite (talk) 17:10, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Templates in a series like lang-* are often not utilized very often while others in the same series are used constantly. The less frequently needed ones are there for completeness (both for user and automated tool expectation/need). There is no principle that a template must be frequently used to be useful. A template doesn't have to make excuses for how often it's needed. WP:DROPTHESTICK.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:08, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

See also[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussions elsewhere

George Ho has nominated several {{Lang-xx-YY}} templates for deletion, despite being advised against doing so above. They are grouped together near the top of Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2014 August 13. Some respondents there have made accessibility (e.g. screen reader) arguments regarding such templates, so participants here may be interested in those TfDs, pro or con.

See also: Ho raised related issues in a number of other forums (most of these deal with {{lang-xx-YY}} templates in particular, while the one at WT:NOT is more general):

 — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:08, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Alternative text for video and audio[edit]

There is no guideline to add alt text, so I propose to add the text to an accessibility icon. Examples:

A four-minute video of Fez footage shows a multicolored, floating cube guide an unclothed, bright white Gomez with small black eyes and a red fez navigate a tower though a screen rotation game mechanic. Gomez jumps between platforms cut into the tower and lined with grass. He also climbs vines and collects pieces of a golden cube, which each make a sound.
Fez trial gameplay, demonstrating the rotation mechanic and game objectives
This medley begins with the roll of the ocean and eases into a synthesizer sequence with heavy fuzz and distortion.
"Trail", a medley by Disasterpeace from the Fez soundtrack remix album FZ: Side Z (talk) 12:23, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

English translations of Homer[edit]

any advice/help in cleaning up English translations of Homer is welcome. the lack of section headings is crazy, and the fact that the highest level table headings is all the way at the top of the article is also a mess. also, the width of the article is impossible on a narrow screen, not to mention the massive number of small tags. thank you. Frietjes (talk) 14:16, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Unicode vs. marked-up ASCII equivalents (and HTML and entity codes)[edit]

I'd be interested in the accessibility arguments pro and con regarding:

  • E=MC² (with Unicode character for superscript-2), E=MC&#178; (with HTML code for same character), E=MC&sup2; (with character entity code for same character), E=MC{{sup|2}} (template), and E=MC<sup>2</sup> (the underlying markup behind the template, using HTML superscript). These render respectively as "E=MC²", "E=MC²", "E=MC²", "E=MC2", and "E=MC2".
  • 1⅔ (with Unicode two-thirds character), 1&#8532; (with HTML code for same character), {{frac|1|2|3}} (commonly used template), {{sfrac|1|2|3}} (alternative template), 1<sup>2</sup>&frasl;<sub>3</sub> (the underlying markup behind both templates, using HTML superscript and subscript markup, and the character entity code for fraction-slash), 1<sup>2</sup>⁄<sub>3</sub> (same but with Unicode fraction-slash), 1<sup>2</sup>&#8260;<sub>3</sub> (same but with HTML code for the fraction-slash), plain-text 1&nbsp;2/3, and plain-text with thin-space 1&thinsp;2/3. These render respectively as "1⅔", "1⅔", "1 23", "1 2/3", "123", "123", "123", "1 2/3", and "1 2/3". [The form "1-2/3" is sometimes encountered, but too easy to interpret as "1 minus 2/3", because the hyphen (-) is commonly used as a stand-in for the proper minus character (, not distinguishable from hyphen in most fonts), and has been intended to serve double-duty since the dawn of computing.]

My general impression is that the Unicode characters can often be problematic, their HTML and entity code equivalents a little less so (mainly from an OS and browser support, not accessibility, point of view).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:22, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

As the guideline says, any character outside Latin-1 is highly problematic for screen readers. So your superscript character example was fine while your fraction one was not. Graham87 12:57, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I think you missed an important aspect, editing. For the general editor, Unicode and HTML code would be harder to understand. Even the technical literate editor doesn't know what all the codes mean and would have to view the rendered page to know what it represents. For screen readers, listening to &#178; spelled out would be way harder to understand than hearing <sup>2</sup>. Bgwhite (talk) 21:57, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
We're supposed to use "Show preview" before saving non-trivial changes anyway, so "have to view the rendered page" is already an assumed step. It does seem at this point extremely odd that no major screen readers support Unicode, even common parts of it. Is this expected to change any time soon? One would think an open source project would be tackling this by now. Anyway, thanks for the replies. This confirms some of what I'd been expecting. Just to clarify, there's really no accessibility difference between Unicode and the &-codes from a reader perspective (they're both bad for screen readers if the character represented isn't in ISO Latin-1's character set), other than in editing mode the &-code version will be read out in a way that a sight-impared editor can tell what it is? This would seem to indicate that when we must use such a character, that it should be encoded, not given as bare Unicode. Exactly the opposite is the current general practice.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  01:03, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
I highly doubt that anything will change on this front in the foreseeable future. The main problem is the memory required to store the spoken representations of Unicode characters ... not to mention Braille, which only has 255 combinations of dots to play with. The only times Unicode characters should really be used in the edit window in articles directly are when writing text in other languages and when writing IPA; using numerical character references in these cases would be extraordinarily inconvenient for editors. If a screen reader user really needs to distinguish between Unicode characters, they can figure oute the code point of a character of interest. Graham87 03:29, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
So, should we not be advocating the use of numeric character references for other cases, like em dashes, etc.?  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  05:17, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Ah, I forgot about Windows-1252, which screen readers will be able to handle fine (at least the em and en dashes which are present in that character set), so I've clarified the text a bit. Using HTML entities for those characters would clutter up the edit window, IMO. Graham87 14:56, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

CSS aural styles inline[edit]

Is there much/any support for these in real screen readers? I'm wondering if, for example, our code layout templates should be using style="speak-punctuation: code;". Also, a <dt> template like {{Term}} maybe should be using style="richness: 75;" and perhaps a slight pause-before and pause-after. Would such tweaks actually be helpful?  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  02:21, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Not really, except for Emacspeak. Graham87 03:11, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Animated images[edit]

am I the only one who finds this excessive? Frietjes (talk) 20:38, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

It seems pretty but utterly useless. I took a look at it using Fangs Screen Reader Emulator. I don't read Arabic, but I doubt anyone who does could interpret it as fast as it is rolling. The image has no alt text, but the names are linked below. I don't see this as an accessibility issue though. --  Gadget850 talk 20:52, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
Oh dear, we have multiple discussions on this. Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Images#Animated images in sidebar templates is older. --Redrose64 (talk) 21:44, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
actually the oldest is Template talk:The Fourteen Infallible. Frietjes (talk) 21:48, 7 November 2014 (UTC)