Alternative to Image Map for LYNX users

Byron C. Mayes bcmayes at
Sun Dec 21 12:31:57 EST 1997

On Sat, 20 Dec 1997, Bill Walker wrote:

> 	My question is this.  Is there an HTML trick which would allow the
> image map only to display in Netscape.  I have tried various alt=
> phrases within the <img src=....> section and they either don't work
> or cause Netscape to display the map and the old fashioned text
> links.  This looks terrible and defeats the purpose of the image map,
> because the graphic user sees the choices on the map and then as text.

One thing you can do is make sure your terminals (more accurately, the
server) are using the latest version of lynx (2.7.1f maybe?), which can
handle imagemaps. I *think* an alt= text can be used to change the
"USEMAP" to something meaningful, but I have not tried it and don't know 
for certain.

When the user selects a map, s/he is taken to a page displaying all of the
options available as links. Problem is, they're just a number and URL.
Your page looks like this (minus title and commands): 



If the alt= parameter works in changing USEMAP to a meaningful phrase,
then what you're left to do is give your links meaningful names. The 8.3
look of your files suggests an Intel-based server. That will limit you in
this respect, but it can be done. Choices 2 and 4 already make perfect
sense to me just looking at them, choice 3 is kinda clear, and choice one
might be better named "libinfo.htm" or "lib-info.htm" but it's clear, 
too. Choices 5-8 leave me guessing, especially inetpag2 and content2. If 
you're on a UNIX or Mac server, you can make them all make sense and even 
use initial caps.

You might chesk with the lynx people to find out if they've implemented some 
alt= tag that will change the URL to meaningful text when displayed as 
above. That would be a good idea, if they could swing it..

That said, another option might be to simply provide a text-only
alternative page and set up your in-house lynx to go directly there by
default. Add a "Text-only version" link to your graphical page. This will
benefit not only your lynx users, but any one accessing your page with
graphics off (there is still reason for some people to do this). 

This also means, of course, that you'll have to be concerned with updating
two pages (or sets of pages), which may be what you're trying to avoid (I
know *I* am). That's the trade-off.

Hope that's helpful.


 Prof. Byron C. Mayes
 Systems Librarian/Assistant Professor
 Hunter College of the City University of New York
 695 Park Avenue * New York, New York 10021
 bcmayes at  * 212-772-4168 * Fax: 212-772-5113

More information about the Web4lib mailing list