[Clients] Gemini and accessibility regarding preformatted code blocks

Vasco Costa vasco.costa at gmx.com
Thu Feb 25 22:41:03 GMT 2021

Hello Davin, welcome to Gemini and to this mailing list!

Thank you for your insight from the perspective of a screen reader user.
As a future developer of a Gemini client I'll take your word into
account when dealing with preformatted blocks of text and as a content
creator I'll now consider whether to use alt text at the beginning of
preformatted banners or to stop using them altogether.

I only use one at the top of my Gemini capsule and gopher hole, with a
large version of the title of my sites. At least on Gemini maybe it
makes more sense to use simply a first level header, which is already
rendered as bigger text on graphical browsers anyway.

I have a question for you. I don't use ASCII art on my banner, instead I
use ANSI art. Basically I draw the title of my capsule with ANSI block
characters, instead of alphanumeric characters. How do screen readers
typically handle this? Is it less or more problematic than ASCII? I
wonder if screen readers skip it or repeat something like "block" for
every character, which would obviously be extremely annoying. In case
you need a capsule to test this, my Gemini capsule starts with an ANSI


I believe that most of us enjoy Gemini for a common reason, which is the
fact that it serves content instead of format. At the end of the day,
that's what really matters, no matter whether we use screen readers or

Vasco Costa

AKA gluon. Enthusiastic about computers, motorsports, science,
technology, travelling and TV series. Yes I'm a bit of a geek.

Gemini: gemini://gluonspace.com/
Gopher: gopher://gopher.geeksphere.tk/

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