[whatwg] borders on images inside links

Ashley Sheridan ash at ashleysheridan.co.uk
Wed Apr 7 17:48:37 PDT 2010

On Wed, 2010-04-07 at 17:45 -0700, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:

> On Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 5:08 PM, Steve Dennis <admin at subcide.com> wrote:
> > On Thu, 8 Apr 2010, L. Ian Hickson wrote:
> >>
> >> Personally, my opinion is that images in links should have borders because
> >
> >> otherwise how do you know it's a link?
> >>
> >> This seems to be a minority view, though. People have been explicitly
> >> turning off this cue for literally over a decade.
> >
> > I think that browser defaults should make sense when the page is rendered
> > Without author styles.  While authors often override this particular feature
> > , there they have the option to represent linked images in other ways such
> > as hover states, or more attractive borders etc.
> >
> > Authors also often overwrite many other browser defaults such as font,
> > styles for horizontal rules, often margins on paragraphs/headings/lists etc.
> > But it's probably not a good idea to set these things to zero.
> >
> > At the end of the day, I've never found turning off borders much of a hassle
> > as an author.
> As Ian said, though, borders are turned off *so often* that I don't
> think it's an actual cue to users.  The actual cue I, and many normal
> people I know of, use to see if an image is a link is to put the mouse
> cursor over it and see if it turns into a pointer.  That's still
> present, so we should be good.  It's not ideal for mobile browsers
> without an explicit pointer, but I get along fine on my phone.
> ~TJ

A point that Ian also noted was where styles were turned off, or the
page was viewed in a browser not capable of displaying styles. Yes
they're rare, but they do exist. As he said, it's not a huge effort to
turn them off in a stylesheet, and is often just one of many things
people 'reset' along with table cell padding, header margins, font
sizes, etc. These are among the most often styles that I see people
typically change, and it's usually the same kinds of changes. Should the
browsers all change their behaviour to follow what is the trend of
styling now, or remain historically consistent and let the developers do
a little more legwork.

There is another side to this as well: what bandwidth impact might this
have if stylesheets online didn't have to consistently change the
default behaviour for popular elements?


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