[Mediawiki-l] Putting a hyperlink/wikilink on an image

Agon S. Buchholz asb at kefk.net
Fri May 4 16:51:03 UTC 2007


I'm trying to find a way to put an (external) hyperlink and/or a 
wikilink directly on an image. There are two reasons:

a) In lots of templates in the Wikipeda sites, icons are used to make 
the textual content more visually appealing. However, those icons always 
point to themself (their description page), and not to the content they 
represent. This seems to irritate lots of users which click on the icons 
- as they are used from other software GUIs - but don't get where they 
intend to get.

b) I'd like to link images directy to other pages inside MediaWiki. 
(Fictual) example: The article "physiology of cats" includes several 
detailled shots of the cat's anatomy etc.; I'd like to link those images 
directly to the in-depth articles about "eyes of cats", "nose of cats", 
etc. Especially, I'd like to avoid to require the user to read the 
thumbnail's description an click on an adaequate Wikilink embedded in 
this description.

c) I'm drafting a "new" interface to the Wikipedia's content, which will 
be based on a radically visual approach to locate content (opposed to 
the mostly textual approach currently used). In short, The idea behind 
this is, that you might want to know something about a thing you don't 
have a name for. Example: On a wall, you see a sign; you don't know how 
it is called and thus can't look it up since you don't know the matching 
term (e.g. when you are on vacation in a country where a language is 
used that you can't read); however, you can describe th sign: it's shape 
is square with rounded edges, it's colour is blue, it contains bold 
letters and numbers in white and some lines. With a visual interface, 
you can look up "shape" -> "shape with colour" -> "shape with colour and 
letters and numbers"; now, most probably you will be close to similar 
things and you might have a chance to visually identify the sign - 
without needing any terms so far (such signs are used in Germany to 
indicate access to water pipelines; I really have no idea how they are 
called ;). Such an (mostly language independent) interface would only 
work, if images could be hotlinked to other images, or categories, or 
articles, or even external websites.

If I'm right, the default and only behaviour of MedaWiki is, to 
hyperlink images to their description page. As I understand, inside a 
MedaWiki site, the ony way to work around this is to use one of the 
image map extensions (opposed to vanilla HTML).

However, the syntax

    [http://www.example.com [[Image:some_image.jpg|300px|Description]]]

seems to work, at least under MedaiWiki 1.10.x. With this syntax, the 
thumbnail itself is still linked to the description page, but there 
appears the "external hyperlink" icon which points to 
http://www.example.com. Major drawback of this workaround: the user has 
to locate the "external hyperlink" icon and click on it (obviously, this 
is kind of sub-optimal).

Obviously also, the image map extensions are by far "oversized" for this 
matter; is there another, simpler and faster way to accomplish this in 

Thanks & regards, -asb

PS: I hope I was able to give you an idea what I'm trying to accomplish; 
if not, please feel free to ask ;)

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