Does Stackoverflow support text-only WEB-browsers? Sometimes it is comfortable to surf using links or lynx text-only browsers, and some people use them with speech recognition programms, but it seems that SO doesn't support text-based browsers well.

For example, I have to type manually my OpenID, cannot post a question as anonymous because of "You must enter the confirmation code in the box above", but a text browser doesn't display any graphics!

It would be nice if SO will support text-based browsers.

2 Answers 2


You want the captcha to be displayed in plain text?

  • yes, please (see previos, yesterdays discussions)
    – psihodelia
    Nov 26, 2009 at 15:05
  • 2
    When captcha is displayed in plain text, then the spam bots just copy it and paste. Rendering it useless. Nov 26, 2009 at 15:28
  • I'm afraid the two examples you used are absolutely unavoidable. One is javascript, the other requires by it's very definition an image.
    – Phoshi
    Nov 26, 2009 at 16:14
  • Captcha's exist that do not use images.. I propose replacement questions such as "What is the sum of 4 and 5"... I'm sure you can make the English more complex and difficult to parse, but I find those kinda spam blocks to be very effective and easy on the users.
    – Earlz
    Mar 1, 2010 at 14:57

Yesterday's discussion (that is, psihodelia's feature request) was about using logic problems or riddles instead of character recognition in captchas.

Character recognition would certainly be a problem to visually-impaired users, although there is no suggestion this applies to psihodelia.

SO provides the option of choosing a different set of characters and/or hearing the characters used in the captcha.

psihodelia validly argues that hearing the characters may be a problem for users whose first language is not English.

It's not clear where the responsibility to provide accessible web sites ends. The question hasn't received judicial attention in more than a few places.

I think it must be defined legally as making 'a reasonable effort' and Stack Overflow does that. There will always be some users whose needs are not completely satisfied.

Sydney Olympics Accessibility complaint: http://contenu.nu/socog.html
See the last sentence of this document

  • some people use text-only browsers with speech recognition programs; text-only browsers do not display Captcha-option of hearing and they not support Adobe Flash
    – psihodelia
    Nov 26, 2009 at 15:51
  • 1
    StackOverflow should not have to compromise the majority to help the minority. Removing the captcha would seriously affect the quality of content. If a person of limited sight wishes to join, they can use OpenID just fine.
    – Phoshi
    Nov 26, 2009 at 16:15
  • What was the last sentence of that document?
    – Arafangion
    Jun 29, 2011 at 15:22
  • The link doesn't work. Can you sum up? This question is 2 years old with no answer accepted. Nov 14, 2011 at 16:29

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