Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Accessibility

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WikiProject Accessibility
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Accessibility, a group of editors promoting better access for disabled or otherwise disadvantaged users. For more information, such as what you can do to help, see the main project page.

Accessibility improvements RfC at Infobox musical artist[edit]

At Template talk:Infobox musical artist an RfC has been created by one editor who has reverted the mention of flatlist as an accessible improvement over comma separated values. Despite the clear consensus established on this kind of issue at Talk:Michaëlle Jean#RfC: Should the lists in the infobox use the Plainlist template?, it seems that we have to re-state the guidance at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Accessibility #Lists and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lists #List styles again. More eyes would be welcome. --RexxS (talk) 21:29, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Feedback request (WPTC track maps)[edit]

A discussion pertaining to WP:COLOR is taking place at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Tropical cyclones/Tracks#Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Accessibility#Color compliance. Feedback from knowledgeable or interested editors is welcome. -- Netoholic @ 02:01, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Help with dark Wikipedia skins[edit]

An example of the sort of colour scheme I'm describing - maybe even a bit darker for the background

I need a dark background for reading and editing Wikipedia, because light backgrounds strain my eyes. A dark grey background with light-to-medium grey text is the most appropriate (white text hurts my eyes), with links that have a high lightness and low saturation (I'm using the words GIMP gives me - I hope they are describing what I mean correctly).

For context, this is the help desk query that brought me here.

So, looking at the current stage of support for various ways of getting this done, would I be able to request that somebody with the skills to do it create a skin (preferably for Vector) that fits my description? The other methods are not adequate for comfortable use of Wikipedia. It would be most appreciated.

If it was possible to invert everything except images, then lighten the resultant black background a bit and change the text colours, that might be one way to get around any problems with formulae and so on. Anyway, I'm sure I'm not the only user with this problem.

Thank you all for your help; and let's keep Wikipedia awesome! Thennicke (talk) 14:59, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi. Yes there are other users who reported the same issue as yours. For example, User:Axl is using the green on black gadget.
Unfortunately, I think it's impossible to invert colours with CSS. Or at least it's beyond my abilities. The browser itself can do it as you know, but then the images get inevitably altered too...
Two years ago I helped to maintain the "green on black skin" gadget. I also thought that a light grey on dark gray skin would be much more pleasant.
The code for the green on black gadget that was pointed to you is here : MediaWiki:Gadget-Blackskin.css. It works on vector too, except for the vector-specific features... The "discussion, history, edit..." buttons at the top of the page, and the editing toolbar show in normal contrast.
We could use this code as a starting point. All we need to do is change the values of colours (replacing green with light gray, and black with dark gray), after all.
I also made a draft at the bottom of my own User:Dodoïste/vector.css for a vector compatible green on black skin. It's not very far from completion...
I really think you should file a MediaWiki bug. This problem is experienced by a very large number of readers. The website should offer easy to enable or disable other colour schemes for readers too. Dodoïste (talk) 19:56, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
If we're going to do a "light grey on dark gray skin", could you tell me the precise colours (Web colors#Hex triplet) you would like to have ? Dodoïste (talk) 20:00, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Salut, Dodoïste! - I've made a start at reversing colours in css just to see how practical it is. The problem is that editors insist on coding background colours in-line, especially inside tables, so there are a lot of pages where this doesn't work well. But out of interest, Thennicke you could try copying & pasting the following into your Special:MyPage/skin.css:
body, div#column-content, div#footer, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, #searchBody, div#content, #bodyContent,, .mw-code, textarea, div.editOptions {
  background-color:#222; color:#BBB;

a, #p-personal li a {

a:visited {
where I've assumed a light grey (#BBB) on a dark grey background (#222) - make the numbers smaller for darker, or bigger for lighter (0-9, A-F). I've set the links as light blue (#CCF) or light red when visited (#FCC). You can preview what it looks like before saving, and change the values to suit your monitor and vision. I don't think I've caught all the elements on a page, but it's a start that can be built on if anyone is interested in trying it out. --RexxS (talk) 20:44, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Bugs 64731 and 24070 are the two bugs for this issue that I could find on Bugzilla. Because the bugs are already reported, I didn't add another duplicate.
Thank you for your help, but because this feature is so poorly supported (the simple code provided above gave me a completely unreadable home-page, with light-grey text on white), I'm actually going to be better off using an unmodified Vector, and just lowering my screen brightness to try and deal with the issue. Because I am just your typical end-user, this is as far as I am going to go in this process; if anybody here who is more involved in development wants to notify people that there is a demand for this feature, please do. Once again, thank you to everybody who helped me out here. Hopefully in the next few months there will be a dark, grey-based Vector skin up and running for users like myself. Thennicke (talk) 12:01, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Thennicke : Hey, no, don't leave ! We're going to do just that, a grey-based Vector skin.
But please understand that it will take several days and iterations. RexxS code just above was only a testcase for the color choices. It was nowhere supposed to be functional. We need to know if the colors chosen in RexxS's testcase are a suitable choice for you. If it is, we can develop a skin based on this set of colors.
Hi RexxS, nice to see you. I hope you're doing fine! ;-) Dodoïste (talk) 13:20, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Hi RexxS, sorry you couldn't make it yesterday - next is 21 September.
All: here are two links that I often use when choosing colours. Colorizer allows you to choose colours in any of four different methods; you can type in values, pull the sliders about, or both. Unfortunately it doesn't calculate contrast or give a WCAG level, so I also use Snook's Colour Contrast Check - there are fewer ways of choosing a colour, but it does tell you if a combination is WCAG 2 AAA Compliant or not. From this, I find that for a purely greyscale screen, the lightest background that gives WCAG 2 AAA Compliance for white text is #595959 which looks like this and the darkest text colour that gives WCAG 2 AAA Compliance for black background is #959595 which looks like this. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:28, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
A test with the colours given.
Ok, if you all insist on being so helpful, here are some colours that I think work well for my eyes, based on some tests in a word processor:
  • Background: #333333
  • Text: #cccccc
  • Link: #94bd5e
  • Visited link: #6e9d30
These colours don't fit the contrast standards, but contrast is not what I'm after. These colours are comfortable to me. Do you require any others? (As far as I can see, Wikipedia only really has 4 main colours) Thanks.
Thennicke (talk) 07:22, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Thennicke: Thanks, that's a good starting point. There is another colour, the links to nonexistent pages (red links). Do you wish to keep the red colour, or would you prefer another ?
The contrast for the chosen colors are fine for personal use. But visited links might be difficult to distinguish from regular links. Dodoïste (talk) 20:14, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Something like #F39494 would probably be a good colour for redlinks. Also, I am aware of the difficulty with distinguishing the green links; I tried to play around with the visited link colour for a while, and it's still a way off. If you keep #49bd5e and change #6e9d30 to be more suitable, that would be cool. I don't know how you'd do it, but if you find the difference in lightness between Wikipedia's default link colours, you might be able to apply the same function to #94bd5e. Thennicke (talk) 07:41, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Thennicke, I'm working on this skin, and I've done most of the job. I still need to work on specific areas such as the logo, left and top navigation menus, the revision history, diffs, the preferences menu, the watchlist, the notifications feature... My draft is at User:Dodoïste/vector.css. Dodoïste (talk) 20:49, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
I am following this development with interest. I use the green-on-black skin. It is somewhat garish, although I am used to it. More importantly, I am unable to view many diagrams properly—often the labels or lines do not appear. Also, I am unable to view the WP:GAN pages, and I have stopped undertaking GA reviews as a result. Axl ¤ [Talk] 10:53, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Hi User:Axl ! :-) I'm focusing my efforts on the new skin currently, but I'll be glad to help you out once I'm done with this. However, I'm sure you could find many other people to help you solve specific problems such as the GA reviews pages. It's quite simple to do for people who knows CSS, and there are many such users in the Wikipedia community. Have you ever tried Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) ? Dodoïste (talk) 20:49, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. No, I did not try Village pump (technical). I commented here in 2013, but one person who responded could not help. Axl ¤ [Talk] 22:11, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
@Axl: Looking at Wikipedia:Good article nominations/New Proposals for GAN, Part II#Axl, Aircorn seems to be unable to work out how you see green on black; but in that thread, I can't see any mention of the "Use a black background with green text on the Monobook skin" gadget. It's at Preferences → Gadgets, second from bottom of the "Appearance" section, but is only listed there if you have saved your preferences since selecting the MonoBook skin at Preferences → Appearance. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:29, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I realised that by following Thennicke's original link. I tried asking for help before and it didn't work out. (We are all volunteers here so I don't feel entitled.) I shall carry on contributing to Wikipedia in my own way. Axl ¤ [Talk] 09:24, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Dodoïste, I tried out the skin, and it's looking really good so far! Lots of bugs pulled over from the base skin, of course, but a great start. I'm particularly liking the look of plain article text. Thank you so much for putting the effort into this. I noticed that external links are still light blue, and I'd propose a lighter green to replace them (#a9bd8e?).
By the way, I recently found this, which might be of interest to all. Thennicke (talk) 10:31, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Thennicke : I'm pleased to hear that you like it! :-) It's almost complete now, I think you can start using the skin at User:Dodoïste/vector.css. Let's say the skin is in beta version, and you can start reporting bugs. By the way, I did not define a color for visited external links and visited interwikis. Do you wish to have one ?
What I still need to do:
  1. Change the color background of current (selected) tabs at the top of the page (article, discussion, edit, etc.). The color should be the same as the main background color, to keep the same interaction design as Vector. The image is in base64, and I'm having a difficult time to change it.
  2. Same problem with the preferences page.
  3. Every new feature Vector has (there are several).
RexxS, could you help me with the tasks 1) and 2) ? I guess as a designer you have experience with base64 images ?
It is expected that some templates and fancy layout will stay in light background and dark text. Especially in the userspace and community space. We should create a task force to encourage Wikipedians to not specify text color and background color with inline CSS, and change these templates. It is a very long task. Dodoïste (talk) 20:44, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Salut Dodoïste! I've not had much time to try things out, but a small grey image (4x4px #333333) is encoded as:
So if you use that for #mw-page-base, #mw-head { , you get the same background heading all the way to the top of the page. Did you intend the same for the all the tabs? I'll have another look tomorrow.
There's a useful online resource for encoding images into base64 at
It occurs to me that we normally only use the Data URI scheme for making gradients or complex backgrounds. I think you ought to be able to get the same effect by setting #mw-page-base, #mw-head { background-image:none; background-color:#3333; }, but I'll check later. Cheers --RexxS (talk) 22:51, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Dodoïste, I've been using the skin for a few weeks now, and I've found 3 or 4 bugs on Wikipedia. On other projects, there are all sorts of clashes (see main page of Wikiversity for example). However, on Wikipedia, it's already suitable for my daily use. Well done! Here's a list of things that I've noticed, in rough order of importance:
  • Block quotes are unreadable (e.g. Spanish Revolution)
  • Mathematical formulae... I know these are tricky to fix, but they look horrible. (e.g. Pi)
  • Gallery images have large blocks of white around them (e.g. Bombard#Gallery page)
  • Chemical formulae are dark, though still readable (e.g. Triclosan)
Thanks! Thennicke (talk) 06:06, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Language template TfD[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussions elsewhere

Several {{Lang-xx-YY}} templates have been nominated for deletion. 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.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  07:10, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

See also related discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Accessibility#Using "lang-x" template or simple wikilinking and formatting (which links further to more related threads).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  07:20, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Hi User:SMcCandlish. Thanks for creating a debate around this issue. I can't find "en-GB" in the official language subtag registry. If it's not a standardized subtag, I do not understand how it can be useful as a metadata subtag. Maybe I'm missing something? The discussion on that deletion proposal is veeery long, I did not read most of it. Dodoïste (talk) 17:24, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
@Dodoïste: Region subtags are actually a W3C recommendation arising out of RFC 3066 - you can find detail at:
Hope that helps, RexxS (talk) 20:42, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks RexxS, it does help me to understand. :-) Dodoïste (talk) 15:13, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Animated gifs of text[edit]

Most if not all of the images in Template:Wikipedia-adnavbox are animated text adverts for wikiprojects. How should we respond? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:42, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Simplest way is to set the alt text for the image to something sensible for screen readers and for those who have images disabled. I've made an attempt at that. Is that good enough? --RexxS (talk) 17:33, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
OMFG ! It happened. <blink> zombies are coming to get you, run for your life! Dodoïste (talk) 20:46, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
No, don't blink. --Redrose64 (talk) 06:52, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Well... Per Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Accessibility#Animations, animated GIFs should not exceed 5 seconds. Or they should be equipped with control functions (play/pause). The most important thing is the ability to pause them, as it can be very distracting for some users...
I believe we should discourage the creation of animated adverts. I guess they will not like this answer, and it might be hard to convince them to stop... Dodoïste (talk) 20:57, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I feel the same, but you know how folks can behave when they've invested time and effort into something. At least they supplied advice on how to turn the ads off - by putting the following into Special:MyPage/common.css:
.qxz-ads { display: none !important; }
Although that's unavailable to readers who are not registered editors; i.e. 99% of visitors will see the ads whether they want to or not. --RexxS (talk) 22:08, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:31, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
It gets worse; see: {{Wikipedia ads}}. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:31, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I first came across the {{Wikipedia ads}} template when I made this edit. It's not in my change: look below the "Revision as of 14:35, 8 September 2014" heading. --Redrose64 (talk) 06:52, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Superscripted reference marks[edit]

At Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)/Archive 14#Easy copy and edit, there appears to be a user who has accessibility issues with the superscripted marks used for referencing. I might be entirely wrong though. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:07, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

COinS metadata[edit]

There may be an accessibility issue with the COinS metadata that is appended to citations emitted by the {{citation}} template as well as all the Citation Style 1 templates. See Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 130#Spurious text on source links. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:56, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Image positioning at Chihuahua (dog)[edit]

Could somebody deal with the gallery of images that is placed within running text in the appearance section of the Chihuahua article? It's after the text " Pet-quality Chihuahuas (that is, those bred or purchased as companions rather than show dogs) often range above these ...". The gallery is in a remarkably bad position for screen readers, which read pages linearly. Graham87 10:23, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

I moved the gallery out of the sentence into the next paragraph break. The captions seem to be related to the paragraph which it now precedes. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:52, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, that's much better. And good to know there's an entry in the Manual of Style about it! Graham87 12:33, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Comment on the WikiProject X proposal[edit]

Hello there! As you may already know, most WikiProjects here on Wikipedia struggle to stay active after they've been founded. I believe there is a lot of potential for WikiProjects to facilitate collaboration across subject areas, so I have submitted a grant proposal with the Wikimedia Foundation for the "WikiProject X" project. WikiProject X will study what makes WikiProjects succeed in retaining editors and then design a prototype WikiProject system that will recruit contributors to WikiProjects and help them run effectively. Please review the proposal here and leave feedback. If you have any questions, you can ask on the proposal page or leave a message on my talk page. Thank you for your time! (Also, sorry about the posting mistake earlier. If someone already moved my message to the talk page, feel free to remove this posting.) Harej (talk) 22:47, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Web accessibility guidelines?[edit]

From a new editor (Mysticjeff), I got the feedback that "The site doesn't conform to web accessibility guidelines which would allow me as a blind person to easily work in the site." Could someone please respond to @Mysticjeff: (preferably by email)? Thanks! Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 14:11, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the note here. I've sent him an email. Graham87 15:53, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Cheers Graham! Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 16:22, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

tooltips / rollover captions - input requested[edit]

At Wikipedia talk:In the news#Rollover / tooltip for RD entries we are discussing an idea to add a tooltip or rollover (image) caption to recent deaths entries (currently just a plain link) to give basic details. This discussion would benefit from input by those with knowledge and interest in accessibility issues. Thanks, Thryduulf (talk) 19:59, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

WikiProject X is live![edit]

WikiProject X icon.svg

Hello everyone!

You may have received a message from me earlier asking you to comment on my WikiProject X proposal. The good news is that WikiProject X is now live! In our first phase, we are focusing on research. At this time, we are looking for people to share their experiences with WikiProjects: good, bad, or neutral. We are also looking for WikiProjects that may be interested in trying out new tools and layouts that will make participating easier and projects easier to maintain. If you or your WikiProject are interested, check us out! Note that this is an opt-in program; no WikiProject will be required to change anything against its wishes. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

Note: To receive additional notifications about WikiProject X on this talk page, please add this page to Wikipedia:WikiProject X/Newsletter. Otherwise, this will be the last notification sent about WikiProject X.

Harej (talk) 16:56, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Applying MOS to filmographies, or not[edit]

We need a consensus at the filmography project regarding accessible tables with rowspan. Or removing rowspan from MOS...either solution would sit well with me. Xaxafrad (talk) 21:00, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Awards arranged in two columns using tables for layout[edit]

Update: I've added a before-and-proposed-after example further down this thread that solves the accessibility issue while retaining a layout table. Thisisnotatest (talk) 22:35, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm seeking Accessibility project assistance on an accessibility dispute over at the 87th Academy Awards talk page. The nominations table is laid out as a table, using table markup. I edited the page to convert to linear markup. My understanding is that table layout for non-tabular information is supposed to be accomplished through div tags and CC, not through table markup, per Wikipedia table inappropriate use guidelines for page layout, although I did not attempt to accomplish this, only to fix the accessibility violation. My edit was reverted on the basis that all awards are done as table markup and have been for several years. It was suggested I raise the issue here and that my change would require consensus. (Or most? I see the 31st Golden Globe Awards page uses a list for nominees. Anyway, all new ones seem to use tables for layout.) There are a number of issues here:

  1. Is consensus needed to fix a fixable accessibility issue?
  2. Does the person fixing the accessibility issue need to also come up with the alternate div/CSS code that provides the same look and feel before removing the accessibility barrier?
  3. Is it appropriate to add the AccessibilityDispute template to multiple pages in the same series of pages if they all have the same accessibility issue?

I don't want to get involved in an edit war. It was suggested I bring this discussion here to the Accessibility project, so I am doing so. Thisisnotatest (talk) 01:21, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm adding a description of the issue for the benefit of those not familiar with accessibility: Awards tables as they currently exist on Wikipedia don't make sense read left-to-right then top-to-bottom. A blind person having an Academy Awards nominations table read to them by software that reads the screen to them would hear two different award names before hearing the nominations for the first of the two categories. If they were aware of the table structure, they could read down the first column then read down the second column and not get anything out of sequence, but (1) they'd have to be able to figure that was how the table was arranged and (2) they would get the awards in a strange sequence, e.g., Best Actress about 10 categories after Best Actor. Thisisnotatest (talk) 01:47, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
This whole idea of accessibility (for blind people, for example) is an issue with which I am wholly unfamiliar. And I am hearing for the first time, after being an editor for 7-8 years. So, this is all "new" to me. I have a question. I read what your concerns are about the page being read left-to-right, etc. But doesn't that occur all the time (regardless of tables)? For example, InfoBoxes are usually placed on the right hand side of a page. (For example, see this page: Abraham Lincoln.) Doesn't that also get "screwed up" if the page is being read left-to-right? Or how about when there are photos, and the photos have a caption underneath? I have no idea. So, I thought I'd ask.Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:20, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for asking. One of the challenges with making content accessibile is that often the issues are not obvious to a sighted viewer. In the case of InfoBoxes, they are structurally placed in a certain sequence in the underlying code. So they might be read aloud at the start of the article or the end of the article, but they won't get mixed up with the text that is beside them. Table cells, on the other hand, are structured left-to-right then top-to-bottom, cell by cell. This is why Wikipedia's guidelines say not to use tables for layout. They don't say you can't achieve a table-like appearance, only that you need to use div tags and CSS to achieve that look, not table/tr/td tags. Thisisnotatest (talk) 02:37, 19 January 2015 (UTC) (Added "cell-by-cell to the above". Thisisnotatest (talk) 02:41, 19 January 2015 (UTC))
Thanks. Well, therein lies the problem. For me, at least. I do not understand (nor do I wish to) all of that "computer lingo" that goes on behind the scenes. All of that computer code (or whatever it is). When you talk about "div tags and CSS to achieve that look, not table/tr/td tags", I have absolutely no idea what any of that means. But, yes, I see your overall point. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:45, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
And I see your point. Any solution depending on highly technical code mastery by editors is not likely to be adopted. This would seem to call for some sort of template that would provide both accessibility and attractiveness. The accessibility issue still remains, and we need to reach consensus on whether to make the content accessible now or wait until a more automated solution can provide both attractiveness and accessibility. I was trying to find any community discussion related to the original switching awards nominations from sequential to tables. This switch appears to have happened around 2009 and 2010 and appears to have been accomplished with manual edits by various editors. Unfortunately, the pages that the March 2009 edits occurred on have been merged with other pages, which seems to have obliterated the relevant talk pages. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thisisnotatest (talkcontribs) 02:56, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
@Joseph A. Spadaro:, if you choose not to learn about "all of that "computer lingo" that goes on behind the scenes", taht#'s fine; tehre's nothing requiring you to do so. But in that case, pease take advice from those who have, and do not impede their work to make this encyclopedia more widely accessible. YOu have already ben referred to Wikipedia guidelines on layout tables. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:23, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
@Pigsonthewing:, what exactly are you talking about? How, when, and where did I impede anybody's work? How, when, and where did I make this encyclopedia less accessible? The only thing I did was to post a comment at the 87th Academy Awards Talk Page. Some editor changed the chart to a list. And I indicated that that was a bold move that probably needed consensus. So, once again: How, when, and where did I impede anybody's work? How, when, and where did I make this encyclopedia less accessible? I'd like specifics. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:20, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
@Joseph A. Spadaro: I apologise; from the above, I jumped to the conclusion that it was you who reverted, and who objected to, the conversion from a table. I see now that I was wrong. Sorry. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:26, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Apology accepted. I believe that the editor (User:Thisisnotatest) changed the chart to a list; I indicated on the Talk Page that it was a bold move requiring consensus; and that very same editor (after reading my suggestion) then went in and reverted himself/herself making the list back into a chart. That is what I believe happened. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:30, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
The actual sequence is I changed the table to a list then reverted it. Thisisnotatest (talk) 22:17, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification on that. I wasn't entirely sure. Which is why I said that I believed it to be the case, in my above post. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:43, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

The tables have been used for many years in many different articles. It looks so much better with a table. This is the first time I ever heard somebody complain about them. I really don't see a problem with them. JDDJS (talk) 03:54, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Also the 1st Academy Awards article is a featured list.. with the tables included. Has their been any study on how many blind people use reading devices to browse wikipedia? Spanneraol (talk) 04:05, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia's Manual of Style on Accessibility says "We aim to adhere to WCAG guidelines 2.0 (a.k.a. ISO/IEC 40500:2012)" and "Avoid using tables for layout purposes only." I don't see any point in rehashing a Project consensus. Thisisnotatest (talk) 04:29, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
There is currently an implied consensus to use the tables, so by having this conversation rehashing a consensus anyway. JDDJS (talk) 05:01, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Touché. So I will respond to your comment then so that I can (re)hash this issue (not sure it's actually been hashed although I saw a 2010 reference to a 2009 discussion that I can't find using Google). In response to your comment, I went searching and found (1) That I was mistaken in saying Accessibility was a policy; it's a guideline and (2) simply citing rules is not appropriate on Wikipedia anyway and (3) Actually, I may have been wrong in following the suggestion to bring the discussion over here (however, that suggestion did come from someone who appears at this time to be opposed to my proposal, so I'll just try not to do it in the future rather than moving it back to the 87th Academy Awards talk page). That said, I've described above how use of tables for layout makes the awards tables not accessible. So that leaves the question of how many blind people read Wikipedia. And I have no way to answer that. So where to proceed? The question seems to be, if we indeed have to choose between accessibility and attractiveness for awards nominations, which improves Wikipedia more? I feel that accessibility does, because if the content is not accessible, then blind people will not be able to use, edit, and verify the content; this is a matter of social justice as well as ensuring more people can help make Wikipedia better. I agree that the tables are prettier than the lists, but if the tables were not there and lists were, I would not miss the tables or notice that the page was less attractive than it might be. Some people might miss it - which might discourage participation - and I seem to recall reading that a professional look does increase trust in the content of a website, although I can't source it right now. Conversely, using tables for layout is considered unprofessional these days in the web industry, so at the same time use of layout tables could decrease trust in the technical abilities of its editors - which might discourage participation by a different group of potential editors; some of them could likely provide accessible and attractive layout not involving tables but they could reasonably fear that other people would accidentally break it. I have no idea how big any of these populations are. Ultimately, I would prefer social justice, that we code such that people with disabilities be able to use the website. Thisisnotatest (talk) 07:40, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
I've attempted to mitigate the Canvassing offense by cross-posting a reference at the Village Pump. Thisisnotatest (talk) 08:33, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
There may be an implied local conensus to use tables for layout; but that does not override the project-wide consensus not to. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:23, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
I'd wonder how many people participated in the discussion originally at this accessibility page? It seems like the sort of thing a very narrow group of people would be interested in. Spanneraol (talk) 13:18, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Who said anything about "this accessibility page"? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:55, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
That the current discussion is taking place on this page is likely an error on my part, and I'm open to an admin moving it to the proper place if am correct that I was wrong. The original discussion likely took place at the Wikipedia Manual of Style: Accessibility talk page. Thisisnotatest (talk) 22:17, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

While I prefer the two column tables because it reduces the size of the page, what if we use single single column tables? It will allow the pages to be easily accessible to blind people, but looks better then just a list. JDDJS (talk) 19:50, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

It's an idea to consider. And it would seem to solve the accessibility issue. In terms of aesthetics and appearance, however, wouldn't that make the page awfully "long" (extending downward with a one-column table), and result in a vast amount of "dead" (empty) white space to the right of the table, all the way down the page? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:13, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Proposed solution[edit]

Sometimes I focus on the problem so much that I miss the solution. In brief, I'm proposing a solution. It does involve some code, but not much more code than the original. It's just a different technique than is currently being used, but one which conforms with Wikipedia guidelines and is accessible if read aloud in sequence as a layout table.

On trying to find the original discussion, I realized that Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Accessibility#Layout_tables does in fact say "For simple layouts tables can be an option." Still, it also says "do not use any caption, row, or column headers" and "Do not use structural elements for presentation purposes." The current two-column layout tables do in fact fail accessibility because the names of the awards both use the header marker ! and are in separate rows from the nominees of those awards.

However, if the names of the awards were in the same cells, and styled there without the !, there would be no accessibility issue. So the question then becomes, how do you put the name of an award and the award nominees into the same cell and style them differently? So, here's a snippet of the current, non-accessible table:

Best Picture Best Director

The above table is not accessible because (1) !, a structural element is used to achieve centering and formatting and (2) a blind user will hear: "Best picture Best director American Sniper...David Lancaster Wes Anderson..."

Here is the same table re-cast as an accessible table:

Not exactly the same but attractive, IMO, and accessible. It's accessible because (1) formatting is achieved without ! markup and (2) the name of the award is at the beginning of the same table cell. A blind user will hear "Best Picture American Sniper...David Lancaster Best Director Wes Anderson..."

Thisisnotatest (talk) 22:19, 19 January 2015 (UTC) amended Thisisnotatest (talk) 23:16, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

That solution works for me... though i dont have the time or patience to try to go back and edit all the awards pages to conform. Spanneraol (talk) 23:21, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm just trying to reach a consensus between accessibility advocates and attractiveness advocates so that if I were to go in and convert the pretty, non-accessible tables to pretty, accessible tables, that it won't just get reverted. Thisisnotatest (talk) 23:48, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
There is still the side question of which page or pages get the AccessibilityDispute template until this is resolved. I also flagged the 85th and 86th Academy awards, but the discussion is currently active around the 87th. I ask because the template was removed from the 86th and I reverted. Technically, it would be correct to mark all non-compliant awards pages, not that I have the patience to do that. The purpose would be to (1) Call attention to blind people that they may encounter difficulty with those pages and (2) Encourage editors with know-how to copy my code and patience to fix those pages to join in fixing the pages and (3) allowing them to find those pages easily at the AccessibilityDispute What Links Here page. Thisisnotatest (talk) 00:57, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I've reviewed a few of these articles at FLCs. My first impression is that Thisisnotatest has provided an elegant solution above as it retains the aesthetics while fixing accessibility issues which are important. Cowlibob (talk) 23:19, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure how a table with no header row marked up is "more accessible". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:20, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
@Andy: I thought that at first. The answer is that header rows aid screen readers to navigate around a data table's structured information. These tables are being used purely for layout so that every other row is a header. No screen reader will gain any benefit from having them marked up. What is actually happening is that the headers should be the list headers for the list below (and we both know that element is missing from html, <grin>). The most semantic solution - and hence most accessible - is to closely associate the headers with the lists by putting them inside the same layout cell. That means screen readers, which will almost certainly read these tables linearly (i.e. left-to-right, then top-to-bottom), will announce the name of the award immediately before the list of nominees. The previous layout didn't do that and Thisisnotatest's changes to place the name of the award and the nominees in the same cell is an improvement. --RexxS (talk) 15:09, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Replaced non-accessible table with accessible table over at 87th Academy Awards page. Thisisnotatest (talk) 09:11, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Thank you RexxS for your assistance in templating this. I made some slight adjustments and have implemented it on the 87th Academy Awards page. Thisisnotatest (talk) 08:42, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Alt text and figures in infoboxes[edit]

I recently noticed that the alt text I'd added to an infobox (locomotive infobox on GWR 5700 Class) was displayed when my cursor is over the image, but when the cursor is over any other images in the main text (using File: and alt text) nothing is displayed. BTW I'm using the monobook skin, Firefox and Windows 8.1. I wondered if this is intentional functionality or just an inconsistency. I guess that having the alt text displayed could be quite irritating to a sighted reader, but it also struck me that it would be quite useful to have a display option for editors so that the alt text is displayed for all images. It would then be very easy to see if there was alt text defined and to check if it was appropriate. Robevans123 (talk) 16:48, 25 January 2015 (UTC)