meloukhia: A drawing of a cupcake. 'Everyone loves me, I'm a cupcake' is printed above. (Everyone loves me (cupcake))
meloukhia ([personal profile] meloukhia) wrote in [site community profile] dw_accessibility2011-03-20 07:25 pm

Blocking animations?

Animations and flashing things (including animated user icons and mood icons) basically break my brain and they keep showing up on my reading list, much to my dismay. I'm wonder if it's possible to add an option to the user settings to block all animations on the site (in my innocence about web development, I have no idea how difficult this would be)? I know this is an accessibility need for other people as well. 
aithine: (Default)

[personal profile] aithine 2011-03-21 02:33 am (UTC)(link)
That's not the sort of thing that's the site's responsibility, IMO, it's the user's. :) You should install something like NoScript.
trouble: Icon showing the standard "accessibility" icons - wheelchair user, Sign, cane, and information (Accessibility)

[personal profile] trouble 2011-03-21 02:46 am (UTC)(link)
Dreamwidth has made a commitment, a very strong one, to accessibility. It may be that what [personal profile] meloukhia is asking for is not possible because of how images are served up, but saying "Oh, that's your responsibility, person with a disability!" is not helpful, especially in a community dedicated to raising accessibility-related concerns to the staff of this site.
aithine: (Default)

[personal profile] aithine 2011-03-21 03:16 am (UTC)(link)
I know that about DW, thanks. :) And yeah, I probably could've phrased it better. But there comes a point where you're talking about controlling content ("and they keep showing up on my reading list"), which is up to user, not the site.

I have issues with flashing graphics and Flash animation and horrible site design changes; I take control of all of those through using browsers that allow me to set how that sort of content is displayed. I was pointing out NS because it sounded to me like s/he might not have heard of it, if they're having the issues described above. *shrug*
trouble: Sketch of Hermoine from Harry Potter with "Bookworms will rule the world (after we finish the background reading)" on it (Default)

[personal profile] trouble 2011-03-21 03:24 am (UTC)(link)
That's great. Some of us don't use browsers that do that, or we surf the site at different locations and cannot have our browsers set up that way at every location, such as public access terminals or work terminals that don't allow one to download software onto them.

Also, do you consider it controlling other people's content that I have my default settings to not display videos? Because that's in the code right now, I checked a button for that. I could also check a button to not view images at all, to not honour cut-tags, and to not view other people's layouts ever. Do you consider all that controlling other people's content?

Honestly, I suspect, as I said, that this isn't something the site can do, but you're coming across as very rude and actively hostile to someone asking if the site can implement the same sort of thing that they do right now for videos and images but for animated gifs. meloukhia isn't asking for people to not do animated gifs anymore than I'm asking them to not put up videos.
foxfirefey: A guy looking ridiculous by doing a fashionable posing with a mouse, slinging the cord over his shoulders. (geek)

[personal profile] foxfirefey 2011-03-21 03:56 am (UTC)(link)
Just as a tangent to the discussion, not a point--I do recommend Portable Firefox for situations where you can't install software but do need some specialized browsing experiences.
jadelennox: Senora Sabasa Garcia, by Goya (Default)

[personal profile] jadelennox 2011-03-21 03:25 am (UTC)(link)
Well, we let the site override posting user styles. Why not override posting user animated mood themes and userpics?
aithine: (Default)

[personal profile] aithine 2011-03-21 03:35 am (UTC)(link)
Yep, it would be easy enough, I think, to extend the code that blocks stuff like embedded YouTube videos to suppress all userpics and/or all mood themes. But controlling just animated gifs, for example, would be much more server intensive. The GIF specification does include info on whether or not a GIF is animated, but every file would have to be checked every single time before they were displayed. So after some more pondering, yeah. *g*
jadelennox: Senora Sabasa Garcia, by Goya (Default)

[personal profile] jadelennox 2011-03-21 04:04 am (UTC)(link)
yeah, after I thought that through, I realized that turning off animated gifs wouldn't work. But turning off all userpics without turning off all images could be a feature. Actually it would be a nice alternative to what LJ dealt with back in the day as Boobgate, or what ever it ended up being called. Worried about NSFW user icons? Just turn them all off.

It's easy enough to override all the mood themes to simple smileys with our current configuration, so that's something.
aithine: (Default)

[personal profile] aithine 2011-03-21 04:16 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, that would be a nice option. I was also thinking it would be nice to have the ability to override by user--to be able to set an icon out of that user's icons that you've chosen as their default to display on your reading page (or pages where, say, light layout is specified) instead of whatever icon they've specified for that post. (If that makes sense. Brain's tired.)
jadelennox: Senora Sabasa Garcia, by Goya (Default)

[personal profile] jadelennox 2011-03-21 04:20 am (UTC)(link)
that makes perfect sense! I've wondered about that with my own icons, actually. Sometimes I switch icons halfway through commenting on a post, and I wonder if that causes cognitive issues for people who are associating me with one image. I feel like that could actually be a real cognitive gain, although I admit I am making that one up and have never actually seen somebody with a cognitive disability complain about people switching icons.
jumpuphigh: Pigeon with text "jumpuphigh" (Default)

[personal profile] jumpuphigh 2011-03-21 04:44 am (UTC)(link)
I associate people that I don't know that well with their default icons. Mid-conversation or people that I know well can switch icons at will without bothering me.
mercredigirl: Text icon: Mostly, we don't remember the days. We remember the moments. (We remember the moments.)

[personal profile] mercredigirl 2011-03-21 12:14 pm (UTC)(link)
My only issue (but obviously not speaking for everyone) are icons that turn out to be unintentional and irrational triggers. :/
codeman38: Osaka from Azumanga Daioh questioning whether Apple's 'think different' slogan should be 'differently'. (think different)

[personal profile] codeman38 2011-03-21 04:04 am (UTC)(link)
...Actually, that just gave me an idea. Since I'm guessing the icons are pulled from some sort of database... add a column indicating whether the image is animated, that's set at upload time.
aithine: (Default)

[personal profile] aithine 2011-03-21 04:12 am (UTC)(link)
Yep, that could solve the problem for icons--they would only have to be checked when uploaded or changed, rather than every single time. Could probably do the same thing for mood icons, assuming (again *g*) that the info where the mood theme pictures is stored in the db.
aithine: (Default)

[personal profile] aithine 2011-03-21 04:17 am (UTC)(link)
Also, I ♥ your grammar geek icon. *g*
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

[personal profile] lilacsigil 2011-03-21 06:37 am (UTC)(link)
That was a weirdly patronising response when DW is great for controlling other aspects of our content that we see. I control my internet experience via Firefox, but it also means that I never, ever use a computer other than my home or work ones. It would be great to know I could go somewhere and check out my DW or answer my comments on a public terminal.
automaticdoor: Carefully recreated screenshot of Britta from Community ep 3x08 captioned "Britta Perry, Anarchist Cat Owner" (Default)

[personal profile] automaticdoor 2011-03-21 05:16 pm (UTC)(link)
You know, I think that was a very patronizing response too, and it almost completely ignores the OP's problem. Ou is looking for constructive ideas from our fellow members and feedback from DW in particular, and you specifically said that it's not DW's responsibility. Well, this community is moderated by DW heads. I think they consider it their responsibility to make sure the site works for every user as best as they can.
jadelennox: Senora Sabasa Garcia, by Goya (Default)

[personal profile] jadelennox 2011-03-21 02:39 am (UTC)(link)
what's your browser? you should be able to turn them off on a per-site or all-Internet basis using browser settings.
hope: Art of a woman writing from tour poster (toshiko sato is smarter than you)

[personal profile] hope 2011-03-21 02:39 am (UTC)(link)
NoScript won't stop animated gifs, though, which are definitely just as much a problem as any other flashing thing created by flash/javascript.

In terms of an immediate user-side fix, if you're using Firefox you can tweak some settings to stop animations from playing:

There's also css "solution" to hide all gifs:

img[src*="gif"] { display: none !important; } 

You could add that to your journal style's stylesheet, and so long as you were viewing the page in your style, all gifs would be removed.

Of course, gifs aren't only used for animation, so it will likely remove lots of already-static graphics as well. Because of this, and the propensity for many site graphics (logos, icons, etc) to be gifs, I doubt it could be used as a site-wide solution :/
codeman38: Osaka from Azumanga Daioh questioning whether Apple's 'think different' slogan should be 'differently'. (think different)

[personal profile] codeman38 2011-03-21 02:51 am (UTC)(link)
The one thing that has prevented me from switching to Chrome, despite liking its engine better than Firefox, is that there's no built-in ability to disable animated GIFs.

(Yes, I know there are extensions that do that-- but they're very kludgy and don't always work.)
jadelennox: Senora Sabasa Garcia, by Goya (Default)

[personal profile] jadelennox 2011-03-21 03:24 am (UTC)(link)
Turning off animated gifs won't disable any site functionality, and that first link is animations only. I wish Firefox didn't obscure the accessibility settings as much as they do; there's no reasons to obfuscate them like that.
jadelennox: Senora Sabasa Garcia, by Goya (Default)

[personal profile] jadelennox 2011-03-21 03:22 am (UTC)(link)
One of the things I love about opera is how easy turning off animations site-wide is for even non-techy users. om nom nom site prefs.
trouble: Sketch of Hermoine from Harry Potter with "Bookworms will rule the world (after we finish the background reading)" on it (Default)

[personal profile] trouble 2011-03-21 03:25 am (UTC)(link)
Can you talk more about Opera? A friend of mine uses it, too.
jadelennox: Senora Sabasa Garcia, by Goya (Default)

[personal profile] jadelennox 2011-03-21 03:30 am (UTC)(link)
I have very mixed feelings about Opera; in some cases I need Opera for accessibility, and in others Firefox. Most of the time I have both browsers open all the time.

Opera has put an enormous amount of effort into making site-specific settings readily available to the user: cookies, JavaScript, animated icons, pop-ups, frames, etc. There are a huge number of basic browser features that you can get to with a single keystroke. The browser comes with a bunch of accessibility styles for a variety of needs (e.g. high contrast, high zoom, etc.) and they are user-configurable if you know CSS.


Firefox has that excellent user community which has been building extensions for years, so we get things like mouseless browsing and the UIUC accessibility extension. Those add-ons just don't exist for Opera. So I use both.
trouble: Sketch of Hermoine from Harry Potter with "Bookworms will rule the world (after we finish the background reading)" on it (Default)

[personal profile] trouble 2011-03-21 03:31 am (UTC)(link)
Awesome. Thank you!
jadelennox: Senora Sabasa Garcia, by Goya (Default)

[personal profile] jadelennox 2011-03-21 03:26 am (UTC)(link)
If you override everyone's mood themes with a theme of your own on your reading page, you can pick a non-animated one.
noracharles: (Default)

[personal profile] noracharles 2011-04-08 03:00 pm (UTC)(link)
I've picked the icons I tolerate the best for people on my reading list and set them to always display in my style.

This entry explains how. I'm sorry it's a mess from all the edits, I don't understand CSS enough myself to write a new coherent explanation incorporating the various refinements from the comments.

[personal profile] rtydmartel 2011-12-26 06:19 pm (UTC)(link)
This is more of a temporary fix until you find something more permanent, but, at least on Firefox and Internet Explorer (it doesn't appear to work with Chrome and Safari), if you press the "Esc" key on your keyboard all animated images in the page you're viewing freeze. It doesn't work for flashing text, though.

I hope that helps you at least for the moment?

[personal profile] rtydmartel 2011-12-27 11:35 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, that is even better! Thank you, this is good information to know.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)

[personal profile] sasha_feather 2011-12-31 06:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Why is the response here to put the responsibility in the hands of the disabled folks? The original request was for adding an option to the user settings.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2011-12-31 07:30 pm (UTC)(link)
Adding an option would be very, very hard. It would require us to pre-load every image every time a page loaded and inspect it for animation. This would not only double the traffic on our webservers (which are, if you've been following this week, already kind of overloaded at times of heavy use), it would slow down loading a page considerably.

It would also only be a solution for one website. If somebody is sensitive to animation, they're probably sensitive to animation everywhere -- so it's better to give people a solution that will work everywhere, not just on one website.
trouble: Sketch of Hermoine from Harry Potter with "Bookworms will rule the world (after we finish the background reading)" on it (Default)

[personal profile] trouble 2012-01-01 11:30 pm (UTC)(link)
Would it at all be possibly instead to have ticky-box on icons that indicated if they were animated and then have them not load for users who don't want animations? I'm not sure, I know nothing about programming, nor do I know anything about sensitivity to motion. :(
jeshyr: Dreamwidth Sheep in a wheelchair. Text "I Dream Of Accessibility" (DW Accessibility - Dream Of Accessibilit)

[personal profile] jeshyr 2012-01-01 11:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Unfortunately it's wildly impractical - although technically the code could be done it would rely on people actually ticking the box and the unfortunate reality is that most people probably wouldn't bother (witness the trouble we've had getting people to write descriptions).

Also it wouldn't cover things like people including animations in a post or a comment.

I agree 100% that changing a setting in the user's browser to block animations is the best idea in this case.
trouble: Sketch of Hermoine from Harry Potter with "Bookworms will rule the world (after we finish the background reading)" on it (Default)

[personal profile] trouble 2012-01-01 11:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, yes, but DW hasn't dropped image descriptions of icons just because not all people use them, you know? As for people using animations in posts, I can control how those images show up or don't on DW. I think they all get placeholders or something? And the same for video content. (I find this very convenient because they take forever to load on my laptop.)

Again, I have no idea if putting in a ticky box would be difficult or helpful to users who can't deal with animations, but I think discounting it as a possibility because some users don't do image descs on their icons and probably won't check a ticky isn't the right reason to discount it.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2012-01-02 12:50 am (UTC)(link)
But at the same time, the only potential harm in people not filling in descriptions is a screenreader user wouldn't be able to tell what the icon is. The potential harm if we offer a "is this animated?" tickbox and somebody doesn't tick it is, someone who was relying on that to block animations because they're sensitive to animations will then be exposed to an animated image that they were expecting us to block for them, and they've now been harmed by it.

I would much, much rather say "we can't guarantee that you will never be exposed to animated icons, so here is the information on how to block animations on the level of your browser" than say "tick this box to block animated icons. Maybe! If you're lucky and if people don't forget to identify their icons as animated!" The risk of causing harm is just too high.
trouble: Sketch of Hermoine from Harry Potter with "Bookworms will rule the world (after we finish the background reading)" on it (Default)

[personal profile] trouble 2012-01-02 01:22 am (UTC)(link)
It may have been more helpful if you had said that, though. I think that's what you meant with your response to the commenter who suggested browser-level changes, but your actual response was very dismissive and just a link, and was not to the original poster.

I'm not under the mistaken impression that you have all the time and energy and spoons to be everywhere all at once, but it just comes across as really dismissive to respond that way several months after the original post, and to not explain why your response was a link to how to change things at the browser-level. You've explained it now, and explained why my suggestion isn't feasible in a way that makes sense, and I appreciate that.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2012-01-02 01:35 am (UTC)(link)
I replied to not-the-original-poster so more than one person who needed the information would get the link as a comment notification, since the OP receives notifications of all comments made while other commenters in the thread only receive notifications of direct replies to them. I missed this post when it originally came through, which is why I didn't reply at the time it was made. The information will be going into one of our accessibility FAQs, which we are working on. I happened to have pulled together the information at a time I was physically unable to type for more than five minutes per day, or I would have left a link at that point. While pulling together things that needed to be in the accessibility FAQs the other day, I was reminded of the post, remembered "oh yeah there was that entry in dw-accessibility about the question, and left a link to the information in the hopes that it could be useful to someone in the meantime.

I am sorry that my attempt to be helpful and to provide someone with the information they need to help make the internet more accessible to them came across as dismissive.
sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)

[personal profile] sophie 2012-01-02 01:40 am (UTC)(link)
There's another option, but it has similar problems to the self-assigning "animated" checkbox.

It wouldn't be too difficult for DW to run a routine when somebody uploads an icon that detects if that icon is animated, and sets a flag in the database. However, while that alleviates the possibility that somebody might forget to tick the box, it shares a number of other problems:
  1. It would only work on icons. (It's possible that it might be able to get it to work on mood icons too, but I don't know about that.) It wouldn't work for any images that people include in the post itself - even if those images happen to be of somebody's icon. Icon posts would thus still show animated icons, even if you selected not to see animated icons.

  2. It wouldn't be possible to 'freeze' the image on its first frame without storing what's essentially an entire extra userpic's worth of information. (Meaning that if somebody had 100 icons and they were all animated, the extra work to isolate the first frame would mean DW would have to store 100 extra icons' worth, making a total of 200 icons' worth. And no doubt people would abuse this feature and set the first frame to flick by too quickly for anybody to notice, so they could then link to the 'static' version on purpose.)

    In other words, there would only be two choices at that point: Load the image (animations and all) or don't load the image at all. Granted, not loading the image is probably better in this case, if a person truly needs it, but it's something to bear in mind, and it would make it difficult for somebody to tell if it was broken or simply not displaying.
Basically, it comes down to the fact that DW simply can't do this feature in a manner that would work for everything, and even if it could, it would have to do so in a manner that wouldn't make for a very good experience on the part of the user who opted not to see animated icons.

Using the browser-based feature means that not only will every image be checked for animations, but you'll also get to see a non-animated version too, rather than the image simply not loading.
Edited (Formatting.) 2012-01-02 01:41 (UTC)