Enough's enough. The World-Wide Web promises a new way to let people communicate. But too many Web designers are being bewitched by "multimedia" - they load their sites with gigantic graphics, embedded sound clips and animation.
There's nothing wrong with that, as far as it goes. But increasingly, these Web designers are forgetting to include Lynx, one of the first Web browsers, in their HTML code.
Making a Web site Lynx friendly doesn't mean giving up all those snazzy graphics. HTML includes simple ways for designers to show a text message to Lynx users where Netscape users would see a picture. Text tool bars or links to text-only pages are other ways to ensure that Lynx users can navigate a site. Note: Joe Creighton and friends have even come up with a way to make image maps Lynx-friendly.
That's all we're asking.
For the former, an example would be:
<img src="image.gif" ALT="This is a picture of Henry VIII">
The latter is best employed for inline icons, for example:
<img src="redball.gif" ALT="">
ALT="" will eliminate entirely those annoying [IMAGE] statements that only Lynx users have to endure.
Image maps are another issue designers have to consider. It is nice that Netscape and Mosaic users can select things by positioning their cursors over specific locations on an image. But Lynx users see only [ISMAP] and if they try to click on that, they get an error statement.
To compensate for this, good designers will insert an ALT="" statement in their image-map tag and, more important, create a text-based toolbar somewhere on their page that lets non-graphical users navigate the site.