4 hours ago

@CurvyBBW4 Again no #ImageDescription . So I can't say anything about Your content. Sad.

1 day ago

Anyone know of any good accounts to tag for visual descriptions of images?

Would love to post my art out here, but I'm horible at describing my own art. lol

#ImageDescription #blind #accessibility

Jupiter Rowland
2 days ago
@We Distribute First of all: I wouldn't make it only about #Mastodon. I wouldn't make it mainly about Mastodon either. #MastodonIsNotTheFediverse.

I wouldn't even make it look like it's only or mainly about Mastodon. I wouldn't give the impression that the #Fediverse is "Mastodon and some other stuff that was bolted onto Mastodon that nobody really gives a damn about, but someone told me I'd better mention that but, like, idfc..."

Also, I'd split it up, at least into various sub-topics.

First of alll, I'd present Fediverse projects, one by one, in chronological order instead of in order of size, importance or popularity. I'd with #StatusNet (2008). Or if I were to only include projects that at least understand #ActivityPub, I'd start with #Friendica (2010). I might skip projects that have been discontinued (Red Matrix, Osada, Zap...) or abandoned (Anfora, reel2bits...).

Also, I'd ask devs, creators who aren't necessarily the devs (#Diaspora*, Friendica and Hubzilla aren't maintained by their respective creators, for example) and experienced users. That's better than trying to only do my own research.

That is, I might include a mini-series with important dead projects, for example to show how #Hubzilla and #Streams came to exist. Okay, this example could be covered with one or two episodes.

Depending on the target audience, there could be a tech sub-topic which could cover protocols or other technology.

Another sub-topic would cover culture. Again, not with a focus solely on one specific project. For example, #ContentWarnings and the necessity therefor aren't only a Mastodon thing, especially since other projects cover them in different ways, unbeknownst to almost everyone on ActivityPub-based projects.

#FullTextSearch is a hot topic only on Mastodon which didn't even have it until a few days ago. On most other projects, it's absolutely normal to have it. #Quotes are similar: On Mastodon, they're still being debated. Almost everywhere else, they've been available forever, and even quoting Mastodon toots has been possible forever.

I'd also look at #AltText and #ImageDescriptions from a not-only-Mastodon point of view to break with the general perception that an #ImageDescription always goes into alt-text, full stop, because there's no room anywhere else.

A few episodes would be Mastodon-centric. One would be about the various stages of #TwitterMigration which pretty much exclusively led to Mastodon. Also, I might do an episode on how Mastodon newbies discover the Fediverse around #MastodonSocial by and by. And I'd certainly do one about how Mastodon users perceive and react upon the Fediverse outside of Mastodon and what comes in from there. Particularly those who either want the Fediverse to be Mastodon and only Mastodon or want everyone else out there to only do what can be done on Mastodon, i.e. forgo #TextFormatting and limit their posts to #500Characters, regardless of how many they could actually post.

The #Threadiverse in general and the #RedditMigration definitely deserve their own episode.

Another episode, later into the podcast, could cover cultural differences caused by how the various communities came into the Fediverse. There are the millions who have come over from #Twitter since late October 2022, and who have adapted parts of the old pre-Musk Twitter culture to Mastodon with little regard for anything else because they weren't even aware of there being anything else. There are the fresh arrivals who can't stop acting like they're still on #X, many of whom are pining for a #Bluesky invitation because it promises to be even closer to "literally Twitter without Musk". There is the "old guard" from Friendica and Hubzilla. There is the Threadiverse which basically continues to live the #Reddit culture in decentralised, non-corporate places now and tries to put up with hardly working moderation.

Last but not least, maybe a look at media coverage could be worth some episodes.

@bot #ImageDescription is missing...

4 days ago

@autoerot1ca Currently I am hiring help for the most nice #ImageDescription . Wanna try?

5 days ago

@ange11eya @phi0 Depends on how You look. The #ImageDescription is not quite descriptive about this.

Jupiter Rowland
5 days ago
And I'm already dissatisfied with the descriptions. Not so much because I've left two of the small ships in the third picture entirely undescribed.

Not because I could have put more effort into describing the preview picture on the teleporter in more details either. I mean, in order to do that, I could have just gone where that preview picture was taken. It would have been a walk of just a few minutes or a teleport of a few seconds. And then I could have looked around.

But, for example, I could have mentioned whether a certain piece of transcribed text is legible for sighted users or illegible or so small that the text itself has become invisible. At least I didn't transcribe text of which not even a bit is within view.

I could have mentioned if an element that I'm describing is partially or fully obscured.

In fact, I could have mentioned if an element that I'm describing is entirely invisible from the camera point-of-view because it is, for example, hidden deep within a spaceship or on its far side.

I could have put more effort into describing the six containers on that one freighter. I could at least have tried to transcribe those graffiti that are visible.

See, I didn't describe these pictures from looking at the pictures themselves. I described them by spending hours in the very virtual place where I've taken them and moving the camera around until I was done.

One could say I got carried away, and I didn't pay attention to whether something is fully obscured from the camera or not. I mean, some people may be curious about details of the ships or the space station that are not visible from the camera point-of-view. But technically speaking, they do not really belong into an #ImageDescription. And #Blind or #VisuallyImpaired people may assume that everything I've describes is actually in plain sight.

At least I didn't describe anything fully outside the pictures.

Or maybe I could have explained what the several destinations shown on the teleporter are. Or given a full list of available destinations as part of the technical description and explanation of the teleporter, even if only ten are actually shown on its surface. And explained all these destinations.

You never know what people might want to know. And after this week's Saturday, I won't be able to go back and research things to answer their questions because the event will be over, and the location will be shut down.
Jupiter Rowland
5 days ago
It's out.

A miracle has happened: has a character limit of not under 80,000 characters. I was actually able to post this giant. 76,780 characters raw and excluding the three alt-texts, 77,554 characters including BBcode and linked URLs. Not counting the 297-character summary/content warning, though. It took me the whole weekend to research and write this, including spending more than 24 hours in-world on the same sim.

The first #ImageDescription has 38,650 characters, the second one has 26,213 characters, the third one has only 9,687 characters. This has to be a #Fediverse record. I guess it won't be broken anytime soon, and if it will, I hope it won't be me who'll break it.

Still, I regret nothing. Maybe not putting some more work into the last image description because it might leave a few detail questions unanswered. Otherwise, nope.

Here's to hoping it makes it to Mastodon instances in one piece.
Jupiter Rowland
5 days ago
OpenSimFest 2023 doesn't only offer the latest and greatest in OpenSim creativity. It also shows some classics made by Arcadia Asylum in Second Life and legally preserved in OpenSim. This includes her space themes which are exhibited on three large displays.

The pictures in this post are digital 3-D renderings of exhibition displays at the annual OpenSimFest (official website) which has started on September 15th and will continue until September 30th. They were created using shaders, but without ray-tracing, as they were taken inside a virtual world based on OpenSimulator.

OpenSimulator (official website and wiki), OpenSim in short, is a free and open-source platform for 3-D virtual worlds that uses largely the same technology as the commercial virtual world Second Life. It was launched as early as 2007, and it mostly became a network of federated, interconnected worlds when the Hypergrid was introduced in 2008. It is accessed through client software running on desktop or laptop computers, so-called "viewers". It doesn't require a virtual reality headset, and it actually doesn't support virtual reality headsets.

Just like Second Life's virtual world, worlds based on OpenSim are referred to as "grids" because they are separated into square fields of 256 by 256 metres, so-called "regions". These regions can be empty and inaccessible, or there can be a "simulator" or "sim" running in them. Only these sims count a the actual land area of a grid. It is possible to both look into neighbouring sims and move your avatar across sim borders unless access limitations prevent this.

OpenSimFest takes place on its own grid. It is connected to the Hypergrid, so it isn't necessary to have an avatar on the OpenSimFest grid because you can visit it with an avatar that you have on another grid. It features a schedule of 12 hours each day, starting at 9 a.m. PDT. PDT is the standard time zone both in Second Life and on all OpenSim grids. On most days, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., there are live performances or DJ events on one of the four neighbouring event sims. Most of the other sims are much larger. They are so-called "varsims", something specific to OpenSim that doesn't exist in Second Life. They stretch across multiple regions arranged in a square without borders between the regions. Two of them are merchant sims where OpenSim creators offer mostly payware, but also a few freebies. Others are, for example, exhibition sims.

The motto of OpenSimFest 2023 is the Jazz/Blues Era.

These pictures were all taken on Sulfur, one of the two merchant sims. What they show, however, are displays of creations by the famous Second Life creator Arcadia Asylum. She started around 2006, and she was banned from Second Life several times, likely because she refused to charge money for her creations. Instead, she offered them for free, under a free, non-commercial copyleft license and with full permissions. Due to always being banned after a while, she went through several names. Arcadia Asylum was the first, followed by names such as Aley Arai, Lora Lemon and finally, when Second Life had removed the last names feature for new users, Aley Resident or simply Aley.

Her creations were mostly preserved by exporting them from Second Life and importing them into OpenSim. She wasn't opposed to this, she actually eventually gave her own official permission to do so. But she was never in OpenSim herself.

What is shown here are the preserved creations from her Space Pirates and Galactic Trade Union themes which she created from 2008 to 2011 under the guise of Lora Lemon except for a few items which she had to release through her Aley avatar. Most of them are static, unscripted objects. The displays are mostly surrounded by cubes which she had made, too, and which are amongst the items which she released as Aley. These cubes show space pictures on the inside, and they are fully transparent from the outside. Normally, they are the size of a whole region, but they were resized for OpenSimFest to work as display backdrops. The sides show various nebula while the top and the bottom only show a star field.

In the foreground, there is always a small bit of the broad walkways that connect the displays on Sulfur. Their textures give the impression of polished tannish stone tiles cut into two rectangular sizes, one wider, one narrower, but both with the same length. Between the walkways and the space cubes, there is always a very slightly sloped "ramp" with a medium grey texture that shows a stylised moon landscape covered in craters of various sizes.

The direction of view in the first picture is not perpendicular to the edge of the walkways; it is rotated to the left by about 10°.

The space cube in the first picture shows a photograph of otherwise nameless IC 434, as it is designated in the Index Catalogue, on the left-hand side. It is a part of the Orion B molecular cloud, a star-forming region in the constellation of Orion. However, the image seems to be altered. For starters, it is mirrored with the north to the right and the east to the bottom.

IC 434 itself is shown as a rose-coloured nebula extending mostly horizontally with an almost sharp lower edge below its long and thin brightest part, but flaring upwards from there with its brightness increasing in a number of steps. These flares increase in height, the farther to the right they are. In front of it, almost in the middle, there is the dark shape of the Horsehead Nebula, also known by its designations Barnard 33 and LDN 1630 in Lynds' Catalogue of Dark Nebulae.

Below and to the right of the Horsehead Nebula, the star HD 37903 can be seen shining with a faint lavender tint, but not so much the reflection nebula NGC 2023 which it would normally illuminate. What is even stranger is that Alnitak or Zeta Orionis which should be a very bright star to the right of IC 434 in this picture is missing; there is another, smaller purple nebula in its place. The Flame Nebula, also known by its designations NGC 2024 and Sharpless 277, is in its usual place below where Alnitak would be, glowing orange-red while being partially obscured by a darker cloud in the middle.

The texture in the back is a photograph of the Crab Nebula, also known by the designations Messier 1, NGC 1952 in the New General Catalogue, Taurus A and Sharpless 244. It is the remnant of the supernova SN 1054 that was observed on Earth from July 4th, 1054 on, and it is in the constellation of Taurus.

The Crab Nebula generally consists of two components. The remains of the supernova explosion have formed thin, thread-like and chaotic structures that glow from lime green near the upper right limits above the edge of the image to yellow slightly closer to the centre already to orange farther to the lower left to a deep red on the lower left limits. In addition, there is a diffuse, faint aqua blue cloud of glowing gas created by the Crab Pulsar which is what is left of the exploded star. It is smaller than the supernova remnants, and it doesn't reach nearly as far to the lower left.

The texture on the right-hand side is a photograph of otherwise nameless NGC 604, the ninth-largest known nebula. It is a star-forming region that resides in the Triangulum Galaxy which in turn is in the constellation of Triangulum.

The gases that make up the nebula are slowly contracting under their own gravitation to chaotic fibrous structures which might eventually form stars. The brightest parts are in the middle of the nebula, in the upper right corner of the image, where a cluster of about 200 young and massive stars are making the nebula glow by ionising it. Close to these stars, it is shown glowing in a cream or champagne tone. With no gradient in-between, the outer parts are glowing in a much less bright Burgundy red.

On the edge of the walkways towards the ramp, way to the right of the picture, stands a sign-like structure. It is actually a scripted teleporter on which destinations all over OpenSimFest can be chosen, but not outside OpenSimFest. Its basic structure is a flat, rectangular, upright box with a texture that roughly mimicks stainless steel brushed in an elliptical pattern. At the very top, still on the stainless steel texture, there is the name of the device or most of it in vantablack in an unidentified monospace typeface: "MD Teleport System".

Apart from the wide margin, the rest of the front is occupied by various rectangular panels, most of which share the same full width which is about 90% of the width of the whole device. Also, most of these panels are vantablack with yellow writing in the DejaVu Sans Mono monospace typeface on them. The top panel names the destination chosen for teleporting, "Steam Fair by Aley c.2015".

Below it is an image that shows a preview of the destination. The centre of this is a semi-elliptical arch construction that serves as the entrance of a Victorian-age amusement area on a wooden boardwalk. The structure itself is fairly elaborate with a texture that resembles slightly yellowish light wood.

At its front, there is a partially transparent sign that gives the impression of being three-dimensional through highlights and shading, implying light falling in from the left. It shows a light grey silhouette of a boardwalk with four different buildings in various sizes and shapes on it, two of them with one triangular pennant standing off a small flagpole on the roof towards the left, one with two of these. To the right of the left-most building, there is a silhouette of a ferris wheel that bears a strong resemblance to a ship's steering wheel with its eight spokes and no visible cabins.

The boardwalk silhouette is standing on a medium grey horizontal rod. Above it and connected to the rod at its end, there is a semi-elliptical double arch in the same medium grey. This double arch carries the writing "SEAVIEW" in sky blue letters in a very ornate but unidentified serif font which follows the shape of the arch. There is a light grey cartoon crab with big googly eyes and a happy expression with an open mouth and pincers spread wide wearing a white bowtie and a black top hat with a white hatband below the left-hand end of the "SEAVIEW" writing. Likewise, there is a light grey kraken with curled tentacles on the right.

Between the "SEAVIEW" writing and the boardwalk silhouette, there is the horizontal writing "Amusement Park" in a less ornate, Western-style typeface with small capitals, seemingly held in place by two horizontal rods that connect to the inner medium grey arch, one at the bottom and another one at the top only holding the actual capitals. In the same typeface, also in medium grey and with small capitals, but in front of the boardwalk silhouette and only slightly above the horizontal rod that carries it, there is another writing, "Est. 1869".

The floor of the entire structure is textured to resemble longitudinal and transversal wooden beams made of darker wood with diagonal planks made of even darker but still medium brown wood filling the large spaces between them, held in place with one large blue nail at each of their ends.

The point of view is above the bridge that leads to the boardwalk, going slightly uphill. It is lined with fence-like guards on both side, the same as those which surround the whole boardwalk, with a wooden texture that is about as light as that of the wooden "beams" in the ground texture, but more yellowish. These mostly consist of four long planks, the top one being oriented horizontally and mounted against the tops of the support poles, the other three being oriented vertially and mounted against the boardwalk sides of the support poles.

The sides of the bridge are also lined by two strings of small pennants that lead past the on-looker and end on the arch. The one on the left shows eight pennants in, from front to back, green, blue, yellow, blue again, yellow again, red, green again and blue again. The one on the right shows six pennants in, from front to back, green, this one is barely visible, red, green again, blue, yellow and red again.

To the left of the arch, there is a lamp on a lamppost. Both the lamp and the post seem to be made from the same wood as the fence except for the lamp glass which shows a yellow glow. To the right of the arch, there is one dark wooden booth. Behind that booth, there is another different arch with the same wooden texture as the one that is the centrepiece of the preview image.

In extension of the bridge, a wheelbarrow with a market stand with six boxes textured like they contain various unidentified items is standing on the boardwalk. Various other structures are on the boardwalk, mostly in the background, like tents with tarpaulins striped in beige and red or cream and brown as well as a target and another string of pennants.

All objects in this preview image so far were made by Arcadia Asylum.

Above the whole scene, there is a "ceiling" with a transparent texture that refracts the dark purple night sky. Farther in the background, barely identifiable through the "ceiling", two structures can be made out. To the left, there is the semi-transparent, black, box-shaped display booth of the Focus virtual art magazine. The fourth nebula texture of Arcadia Asylum's space cube can be seen through it; it is part of the third Arcadia Asylum space display which will be described along with its image. To the right, there is an enormous static wave with a constantly moving aqua blue texture on it.

Back to the teleporter itself: This image also triggers the actual teleport. If you click it, you are taken to the chosen destination.

The ten vantablack panels below list ten possible destinations. They show these destination labels in yellow writing: "A Whale of a Tale", "Diamond Queen - Ruth 2.4" which refers to the free, open-source mesh body Ruth2 v4, "Fashion Temple", "Kimberley's Fashion Lab", "FOCUS Magazine of Virtual Art", "Galactic Truckstop", "Space Pirates by Aley Arai", "More spaceships by Aley Arai" which is where this teleporter is standing, "Steam Fair by Aley c.2015" which is what is currently selected and "Chez Faire Beach display". Clicking them will select them as the teleport destination. These ten destinations are all on this sim, so they can also be reached by walking which would take a while due to the size of the sim, though.

At the bottom, there are four square vantablack buttons with yellow labels on them. The leftmost one has a question mark in the middle and "(DE)" in the bottom left corner. It gives you a notecard with a manual for the teleporter in German. The rightmost one is similar, only that "(EN)" is written in the bottom left corner. It also works the same, only that it provides an English manual. The buttons in-between are labelled "Pg Up" and "Pg Dn" respectively. With these two buttons, several pages with up to ten teleport destinations each can be flipped through.

On the far edge of the grey ramp, a few metres to the left from where the teleporter is standing, there is a vantablack sign that names and describes the display. In the same yellow DejaVu Sans Mono as the teleporter, it reads, "Name: More spaceships by Aley Arai | Owner: Ada.Radius | Description: Assets from the Arcadia/Aley library owned by New Media Arts, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation. Complete Opensim collection in Kitely grid." Kitely is the third-largest OpenSim grid and one of the oldest, launched in 2011 after preparations had started as early as 2008. The pipes in this transcription, the vertical lines, mark line breaks in the original.

While the sign is actually hovering above the ground, it is seemingly held by two more of Arcadia's creations, two robots facing the sign from the sides, both of which were released through her Aley avatar.

On the left, it is Rosie the Robot Maid which can also be used as an avatar. She is mostly a darker sky blue. Her head is "cylindrical" with a horizontal, transversal axis. On each side, along the extension of the head axis, sits one horizontal, conical antenna which is about 60% as long as the head is wide and ends in a bright red, double-conical knob. The sockets of the antenna consist of a short cylinder a bit more than 20% the diametre of the head and a slightly longer cone with about 20% the diametre of the head. Two red cylinders are the eyes. On top of each eye, there is one black protrusion in a shape roughly resembling a much-widened obelisk turned slightly outwards, mimicking eyelashes. A red box serves as the mouth with a sky blue box below it serving as the lower lip and another sky blue feature in a harder-to-describe shape above it serving as the upper lip and the tip of the nose.

The upper body is a trapezoid with separate rounded sides that widens more at the front and the back than to the sides. It has three small, cylindrical, bright red buttons at the front. Both arms consist of an upper and a lower arm with separate joints. The shoulder joints are held together and in place with one big bright red slotted pan head screw each. The elbow joints only have one sky blue cylindrical pin each. The hands are two-part clamps with cylindrical pins.

The lower body is shorter, black and can best be described as two trapezoids with rounded sides on top of each other. The top one is rather low and widens downward; the upper body protrudes through the rounded sides. The bottom one is basically of the same shape, but turned upside-down and stretched to about three and a half times the same height. The only foot is sky blue again. It consists of a cylindrical leg, an elliptical, conical upper part, an elliptical, but non-conical lower part and two simple black cylinders as wheels.

Rosie wears multiple white objects shaped like something between half an eight-point star and half a bloom with eight petals. One is standing on top of her head. Two are surrounding each of her wrists. Another two, arranged in an angle of 60 degrees, resemble an apron. Finally, there is a white bow made of two flattened cones on her lower back, right above where her upper and lower body meet.

Due to the low resolution of the meshes, everything that is supposed to be round is actually octogonal.

The robot on the right of the sign is Asteroid Al. He is much more humanoid and uses fewer, but more complex shapes. He also makes more use of complex textures, especially for his body and his head which are mostly covered in detailed metal-like textures. The head is stretched upwards and backwards with large deep cavities for eye sockets and where the ears would be. The mouth is a grille and part of the head texture. The eyes are almost completely baby blue and more reminiscent of two headlights, but they aren't glowing. They're textured onto the ends of what roughly appears like two black cylinders bending into the head towards the back with several golden rings around them.

He is wearing a brick red sleeveless shirt which is textured on rather than a separate object. On the front and the back, there is a picture of a "galactic truck stop" which looks completely different from what Arcadia had built and given the same name and rather resembles that in the Mel Brooks film Spaceballs. From what can be seen in the very-low-resolution image, it seems to have been built on top of an artificially flattened asteroid with the debris from the flattening still around it, and it has three circular landing pads with spaceships on it and structures both above and below landing pad level. The highest point is a purple "GALACTIC TRUCK STOP" sign. The same writing is on the shirt as well, "GALACTIC" above the image, "TRUCK STOP" below it.

Another robot is floating above and behind the image, closer to Asteroid Al than to Rosie: the tiny maintenance bot Widget. Widget is basically a sphere with things attached to it. These are two short clamp arms, three jointless legs with suction-cup-like feet, two eyes similar to Al's, but with silver rings around the cylinders, two tool-like hexagonal attachments on the upper sides, a structure on the back built around an elliptical orb glowing teal and two cylindrical red protrusions, one at the top, one at the bottom. The one at the top serves as the attachment point for a small "satellite dish" that is oriented more forward than upward.

Most of Widget's textures have too low a resolution to be able to identify them. The full-resolution textures might never have made it over from Second Life. But the dominant texture for the attachments is black with diagonal yellow stripes. And the texture of the cylindrical body, probably mostly black with diagonal yellow stripes, too, shows circular blue signs on the left and the right, each surrounded by a silver rim and showing two crossed white tools which may be a pickaxe and a hammer.

Behind the sign and the three robots, slightly to the left again, there is a vortex-like object that is not textured onto the space cube. It looks like the accretion disc of a black hole. The inner half is mostly white, lavender and baby blue whereas the outer half is rose and brick red. It implies a clockwise rotation, but it is static. In order to appear blurrier, it was made of two semi-transparent objects with similar textures. The one up front has a texture that is blurred more, and it has a higher transparency. The object is labelled as a wormhole, but non-functional.

As for spaceships, this display shows tens of them, three of which are parked on the grey ramp in front of the space cube.

The leftmost ship in the foreground, oriented with its bow to the right, is named Retro Rocket Ship. Its fuselage is cylindrical in the middle with slightly elongate spherical ends. It has five fins with a curved, back-swept shape reminiscent of Buck Rogers aesthetics, but with a rectangular cross-section. Two of them are mounted on the sides of the cylindrical part like wings. The other three are mounted on the rear, one on top, the other two rotated slightly downward from the sides. The ship has a short nose that ends in a sphere. Fuselage, nose and fins have textures that suggest that they're riveted together from steel plates with no surface treatment. The ship has no visible landing gear.

The interior of the ship can be seen through 15 portholes which are riveted into the fuselage. The spherical bow contains the cockpit with two padded seats and eight portholes. Behind it, in the fore half of the cylindrical section, there is the crew compartment with a double bunk bed. It has two portholes on each side and more control panels like those in the cockpit below them. The other half of the ship is the engine room with a "rocket engine" that leads to a dark grey rocket nozzle on the back of the ship. It has one porthole and the ship's only door on the port side, two portholes on the starboard site and even more control panels below the portholes. The compartments are separated by double sliding doors which are closed.

While this ship was only inspired by Buck Rogers, the tiny ship in front of its nose, bow oriented roughly towards the front, had its design lifted from actual 1930s Buck Rogers toys. It is one out of only two ships on this display with no visible interior, and it is one out of only two with a glossy surface. Unlike the toys, but following Arcadia's style, it still looks like it's riveted.

Its front contains the cockpit. It is spherical with a strongly semi-elliptical cross-section. On top, there are six roughly rectangular windows in side-by-side pairs of two with light blue panes. Farther back, there are two short, stubby wings, one on each side, with partly elliptical fore edges and straight aft edges. Above each wing, there is one porthole with a light blue pane in it. There is a partly cylindrical, partly conical tube on the nose from which a structure made out of two long, thin, very slight cones protrudes.

Right behind the cockpit, nine elliptical pipe-like objects are arranged in such a way that they appear like 18 small thrust or exhaust nozzles, judging from the soot on their ends and the fuselage aft of them. The soot also covers the door with porthole on each side. The longer aft section of the fuselage is semi-elliptic in shape again, but stretched more than the cockpit section. Four semi-elliptical fins are mounted on it, one on the top, one on each side, one on the bottom. Between these fins, there are four slightly larger and much longer nozzles. Unlike those behind the cockpit, they aren't straight but protruding from the fuselage in a curve. A small normal rocket nozzle sits on the rear end between the fins.

This ship has landing gear. Two wheels are located under the cockpit at the same length as the portholes and the wings. Dark patches in the fuselage texture suggest that they can be retracted; actually, they are static. The third wheel is mounted on the bottom fin slightly aft of the larger nozzles. All three wheels sit in streamlined shrouds which add to its 1930s-style looks, tying in neatly with the motto of OpenSimFest 2023. None of the wheels touch the ground, though.

The ship behind these two is near the ground of the space cube, facing out of the cube, but rotated about 20 degrees clockwise away from standing perpendicularly to the walkways. It is labelled as the Retropolis retro future spaceship. At first glance, it is very similar to the Retro Rocket Ship, but shinier, neater and less grubby. It has a more elaborate nose which ends in a cone. Instead of the two wings, it has three fins around the cylindrical section. These wings are more simple in shape than those on the Retro Rocket Ship. They have multi-part, largely conical insertions vaguely reminiscent of early aircraft jet engines, one sitting on the outer edge. Between the outermost two, the wings are extended towards the back. The stern is surrounded by four diagonally-mounted fins now, similar in shape, but each with only one two-cone construct on the outer edge. The rocket nozzle was replaced with a different, more obviously octogonal and non-conical one, surrounded by four "cylindrical" objects above and below it as well as on its sides which could have been booster nozzles earlier. It's rather obvious that not all original textures have come from Second Life to OpenSim with this ship. Arcadia's space themes are rather problematic in this regard.

The interior is easier to access, also because the single door is open; it opens downwards. The engine compartment has some additional handles and pipes and a larger rocket engine. The other two compartments can be access through the sliding doors, one of each is open now. In fact, one of the cockpit doors is misplaced and clips through the fuselage on the port side. The crew compartment has a small round table, a chair, four cargo shelves, eleven wooden crates all over the port side place and a third bunk. The four shelves even extend into the cockpit where they hold another five crates. Also, the cockpit not only has one handwheel in front of each seat, but it also has a ship's steering wheel in the middle and, for some reason, even a periscope above it.

Another vessel is half-hidden behind the retro future spaceship. The Centurion cargofighter of the Galactic Trade Union has a strong resemblance to post-war jet fighters. It doesn't have a modelled interior; the glass of the cockpit cupola is completely opaque and black. The long nose is slightly curved from the sides, but hexagonal in its cross-section. The two wide wings have winglets on their ends, slightly tilted outward. They also carry what appears to be four hexagonal ray weapons on their weapon mounts.

Most of the rest of the ship is more rounded except for the four square engine nacelles, one mounted into each of the four fins arranged in an X. The nozzles at the ends of the nacelles are round again. Most other details are drawn onto the textures. These include 14 "portholes" similar to those on vintage Buicks, four behind the cockpit and above the wings and three below the wings on each side, as well as several safety markings with black and yellow diagonal stripes, different safety markings with black and red diagonal stripes on the rayguns and a painted-on "shark maw" on the underside below the cockpit.

The "landing gear" consists of three rather elaborate, but unarticulated vertical legs. They suggest or rather require vertical take-off and landing capabilities of which the rest of the Centurion doesn't show any traces.

Right above and farther to the back hovers another, larger, less elegant ship: the Behemoth Freighter of the Galactic Trade Union, facing to the left and slightly to the front. This ship was a cooperation with Jim Carter. It is covered almost entirely in a texture that looks like a wild and chaotic "patchwork" of rectangular metal panels, only that these aren't riveted.

The centre-piece of this ship is its boxy main cargo hold. On each side, two massive cylindrical engines are mounted with intakes at the front which make them partially seem more like turbofan engines. On top of the cargo hold, there is an empty dome which can be accessed via a ladder. The trapezoid stern features the loading ramp which is the only access to the ship's interior. The ramp is lowered almost completely. Above the ramp sits a third engine which is as big as the other two, but of a different type. Invisible from the on-looker's point of view, there are also twelve cube-shaped crates of different kinds in the cargo hold.

Forward from the cargo hold, the fuselage not only narrows, but also rises both at the bottom and at the top towards the elevated cockpit. This section two crew seats, a bed, a touch panel, a microwave and a "Mr. Coffee" coffee maker from Spaceballs. The cockpit has only got one seat which is surrounded by control panels. It is also the only part of the ship with windows. Two rows of ten rectangular windows with rounded corners each are wrapped around the semi-elliptical cockpit section.

The landing gear is lowered again. It consists of four legs, each with four feet with four extending pads each, connected to the upper struts via double shock absorbers. One pair is installed under the rear end of the cargo hold, the other one under the rear end of the "neck" between the cockpit and the cargo hold.

To the right and farther above, there is a ship simply named Saucer that looks the part. It is basically the stereotypical flying saucer. Most of its details are painted onto the texture again. It is oriented in such a way that the open hatch which doubles as a ramp faces the on-looker. The improperly installed double sliding door behind it grants a glimpse into the interior of the ship which, however, lacks any notable details except for the ladder up to the cockpit.

As usually for flying saucers, the cockpit is under a cupola on top and in the middle of the vessel. It shows a great deal of part recycling by Arcadia: Not only are the textures for the control panels standard, but the textures for the 16 windows surrounding the cockpit are the same as on the Behemoth, and the three black padded seats are the same as those in the cockpit of the Retro Rocket. On top of the cupola, there is a structure which is identical to the Retro Rocket's nose except for the texture and the pulsating blue glow around the narrow part below the sphere at the top.

Three partly diagonal, partly vertical struts with round feet make up the extracted landing gear. Also, glowing, translucent purple rings are slowly descending from the bottom of the ship to where the ground would be. Normally, four of them are visible at the same time.

Another much smaller flying saucer is hovering to the right of the Buck Rogers ship. It is simply named the Small Saucer. The very detailed texture on the main fuselage gives it a worn-out apperance. Above it, there is an egg-like cupola with the now-well-known window texture and 32 panes altogether, but the tiny vessel lacks an interior. It emits similar purple rings from the bottom as the Saucer, but they widen on their way down, and only two are visible most of the time.

The light-grey ship seen from behind below the Saucer is the Orion Jump Freighter, another cargo ship. Its rear is facing the on-looker with its rather inconveniently installed cargo hatch open, showing an arch-shaped black and yellow safety marking around its outer edge and granting an easy view into the cargo hold. The surface is mostly covered in identical rectangular texture panels which have rectangular safety markings with diagonal black and yellow stripes and rounded corners in two corners and slightly darker patches with one large circular structure between two smaller ones in the other two corners. The seams are shown as being covered with silver metal stripes.

Its fuselage mostly consists of two half-spheres, connected by a half-cylinder. The bottom halves of all three are actually flattened. The rear half-sphere contains the cargo hold. It also carries four fins with cylindrical engine nacelles at their end, two sloping sharply upward, two sloping slightly downward. The engines have white and orange textures on their rear ends. Between the upper nacelles, there is a rear wing much like on a sports car. The cargo hold contains the usual cube boxes, this time in various sizes. Together with the rear wing, they suggest that the ship has been made in jest.

The front section contains the spacious cockpit with three brown seats with black padding. It is half-surrounded by four rows of ten rectangular windows, re-using the same window texture yet again. In the middle of both the cockpit and the cargo hold, there is one column each carrying what might be a holoprojector. A semi-translucent cube is rotating slowly and clockwise above the one in the cockpit, but showing an animated standard plywood texture because the original texture is lost. Three dark grey ranged weapons are mounted next to each other under the cockpit.

The landing gear consists of three legs of the same kind as under the Behemoth, one under the cockpit, two under the cargo hold, but with different textures.

A rather unusual vessel, created in cooperation with Jim Carter again. is located in the background to the right of the Orion in the image. The Dromedary Super Freighter of the Galactic Trade Union is basically a space-going big rig. It doesn't have a fuselage in the traditional sense. Instead, it has a structure to which six standardised, octogonal cargo containers can be attached, two on each side and two on top. This structure also carries the six landing legs like those on the other two freighters which don't look like they can be retracted here. Three big drive engines are attached to the rear end, the middle one being mounted higher than the other two by a bit more than half its diametre. All four have the same white and orange textures inside their nozzles as also seen on the Orion.

The front, mostly obscured by the Orion and shaped like two joined trapezoids, looks more like the driver's cabin of a lorry. It is mostly red with one wide and two narrow stripes on the sides, the front and the roof. Said front is also adorned by two double headlights and a chrome-plated grille, all of which are part of the texture. There are several hatches and even two stainless-steel fuel tanks textured on the sides.

Access to the cockpit is granted by a door on the port side which leads into a room clad in red artifical leather padding except for the inside of the door and the ceiling which are covered in structured stainless steel. Other than the ladder that leads up to the actual cockpit, it only contains a bed. Likewise, the cockpit is mostly clad in the same padding except for the stainless steel floor. The single seat is the same brown seat as in the Orion's cockpit. The window texture has been re-used, too, but tinted red. On the roof, there is a communications dish aiming forward and slightly upward.

All six container bays are occupied. The front left container is orange. It shows a white label with the black writing "TITAN SHIPPING" and "UNIT 14 ANDROMEDA SPACE DOCK" on it. It is the only one without graffiti. The rear left container is dark red. Any writing it might have is covered in graffiti. The front top container is green with lots of graffiti on it and labelled "GRIDLAG SHIPPING INC." in a white stencil typeface. Grid lag refers to a phenomenon that might happen if a server running an OpenSim grid cannot keep up with its tasks. The rear top container is yellow; any labels on it are covered in graffiti again. The front right container is brown with lots of graffiti and "GREY GOO INTERSIM TRANSPORT" written on it in a yellow military stencil typeface. The rear right container is grey and unlabelled except for the number 3669 and the usual lot of graffiti.

Finally, standing on the grey ramp all the way to the right, the tenth and last spaceship is also the most unusual one. Its shape is mostly defined by a seemingly wild arrangement of ellipsoids, and its glossy surface texture is separated into panels with a large variety of "greebles" on them. Even electric wires appear to be strapped openly across the dome-like shape that makes up the top. The nose object from the Retro Rocket re-appears yet again with the same flashing blue light as on the Saucer, but since the object is much smaller now, the flashing is more easily visible.

The cockpit is almost entirely surrounded by black control panels with mostly white, red and blue buttons on them. It features a single medium grey, dark grey and dark blue seat. It cannot be accessed because the bottom hatch is too small; ironically, the open lid is way too big for the hatch. It can only be seen through the windscreen which is covered in a pattern of ellipses. One ranged weapon is installed on each side. Radiation warning signs on them suggest that they use something radioactive at least internally. The ship is standing on three strangely shaped and actually asymmetrical legs.

To the left, behind the rear end of the Retro Rocket, a bit of natural ground can be seen with the default diffuse green texture with irregular patches of light brown. It ends at a somewhat irregular and steep shoreline. Beyond it and all along the left-hand edge of the image, the ocean is stretching up to the horizon. It is mostly a bluish lilac with slightly less saturated reflections of clouds on the lower parts and a gradient towards purple near the horizon. The sky above it shows a gradient from a faint rose on the horizon to purple near the top left corner.

Close to the horizon, right next to the left-hand edge of the space cube, a single star is glowing.

The scene is illuminated by ambient light and by "sunlight" coming in from a low position opposite the display. There is no actual sun in the scene.

The second picture shows the second display of space-themed Arcadia Asylum creations. It has a direction of view which is straightly eastward and perpendicular to the walkways. These and the grey ramp area between the walkways and the space cube are basically identical to the first image.

The space cube is pushed back by about a metre and a half, uncovering the ground below which has the same mostly green default texture as the ground described in the first picture. It is the same space cube as in the first picture, but rotated counter-clockwise by 90 degrees. The Crab Nebula is on the left-hand side now, and NGC 604 is in the back.

On the right-hand side, there is a photograph of the Lagoon Nebula, also known by the designations Messier 8, Sharpless 25, RCW 146 in the Rodgers, Campbell & Whiteoak Catalogue and Gum 72 in the Gum catalogue of emission nebulae. It is a star-forming region in the constellation of Sagittarius. The nebula itself is greatly shifted to the left on the texture and thereby towards the background from the on-looker's point-of-view.

In comparison with NGC 604, the Lagoon Nebula appears much more as an actual nebula. The gases are more diffuse and spread more homogenously. The brightest spot is also known as the Hourglass Nebula or NGC 6523. On its left-hand edge, hardly separatable from the Hourglass Nebula itself, there is the very young star Herschel 36 which ionises the gases in the nebula and makes them glow, is left of centre in the picture, but far to the right in the nebula. The Hourglass Nebula shows a light teal glow. In turn, it is surrounded by darker clouds through which some more young stars manage shine, including smaller, very dark and dense clouds which are slowly collapsing under their own gravity and may eventually turn into stars themselves. Immediately to the right of the Hourglass Nebula and below it in a dark cloud, there are a few bits of nebula glowing purple.

To the left of the large dark cloud to the left of the bright centre, there is NGC 6530, a particularly striking open cluster of young giant and hypergiant stars which contribute to the brighter glow extending farther to the left than to the right. The cluster extends to the top left of the bright centre behind a very large dark cloud, contributing to the unbalanced spread of the glow some more. Towards the edges, the nebula fades through a faint taupe to Bordeaux red. The faint glow to the left of the star cluster NGC 6523 is designated as an individual nebula, IC 4678; a small part of it is cut off at the texture edge.

Outside the Lagoon Nebula, way to the right and above the bright spot that is the Hourglass Nebula, on the bottom right edge of a Bordeaux red nebula cloud, there is a bright star designated as HD 164385 in the Henry Draper Catalogue. Farther in the same direction are two more, less luminous stars. The brighter one is HD 314895; I couldn't find a designation for the one nearby to its upper left.

In front of NGC 604 on the rear side of the space cube, what appears to be an image of Earth edited into the texture towards its top left corner is an actual sphere with an Earth texture on it. It is oriented so that open international waters east or northeast of French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean way to the west of South America are facing the on-looker.

On the edge between the walkways, a few metres right of centre, there is a teleporter that is identical to the one in the first picture. I myself have set it to the same teleport target as the one in the first picture so that I wouldn't have to write another description for an image within an image with over 4,000 characters.

On the far edge of the grey ramp, right in the middle, there is a vantablack info sign with yellow writing in the DejaVu sans Mono typeface on it which is similar to the one in the first place. This one reads, "Name: Space pirates by Aley Arai | Owner: Ada.Radius | Description: Astonishing artwork created in Second Life by the avatar known as Arcadia Asylum, Aley Arai, Lora Lemon, Aley and other alts, exported with the artist's permission by many volunteers to OpenSim." "Alts" are short for alternate avatars, avatars which users may have in addition to their primary avatar. In both Second Life and OpenSim, it is possible to have multiple avatars. The pipes in this transcription, the vertical lines, mark line breaks in the original.

To the left of the info sign, there is an info kiosk built by Arcadia Asylum and, like most other displays, published under the guise of Lora Lemon. It has a square footprint, and all four sides are identical. The uppermost part is a symmetrical trapezoid that narrows downward. Its top surface has a science-fiction-style "structured" grey texture which is also used on the sides of the lowermost part with vertical edges. Its sides show a trapeze-shaped image of a dense field of small asteroids in front of a star field, surrounded by frame in very light and medium grey, again, with a "structured", relief-like appearance. On the image, there is a writing in teal letters in a science-fiction-style, unidentified typeface: "The EXCITING History of Asteroid Mining!"

Right below is a semi-translucent cube that serves as an image display. It circles through 16 pictures and changes them every two seconds. All four sides always show the same image. Here it currently shows a picture of what appears to be a small mining vessel in an asteroid field. The latter is shown as about a hundred big and small rocks before a grey "haze" which is tilted from horizontal orientation to the left by about 30 degrees. The ship appears mostly black, so details are hard or impossible to make out. It has a vaguely egg-shaped main fuselage with a single ignited rocket engine nozzle at the back. It also has two probably cylindrical nacelles on the sides with rounded ends and position lights on their rear undersides, red on the left, green on the right. It is located way to the left within the asteroid field and aligned with it, the rear end facing the left, but it is rotated around its own longitudinal axis to the left by almost 90 degrees. It also appears to have made contact with an asteroid slightly smaller than itself on its bow, and the active rocket engine suggests that it is pushing the asteroid.

Between the screen cube and the lowermost box, there is another trapezoid of the same size and shape as the one on the top, but turned around with the small side up. On its top, it has a fairly abstract black and green science-fiction texture which can be seen through the screen cube and which is the same as on the bottom of the upper trapezoid. All four sides show a science-fiction-style control panel which is way too elaborate for an info kiosk with 45 square buttons, three round buttons, nine dial knobs, 34 rocker switches, a 3.5-inch socket and four black-and-mostly-green displays, including at least one radar. All displays are static.

The large display in the centre has a writing on it in the same typeface as on the trapeze-shaped picture on the uppermost part, but it is green and much smaller now. It reads, "80 years ago asteroid minng (sic!) was still a vibrent (sic!) buisness (sic!), With the advent of more advanced atomic fules (sic!) and subsequent improvements in intersteller (sic!) drive engines the need to refule (sic!) from asteroid minning (sic!) pased (sic!) into the glorious annels (sic!) of galactic hstory (sic!)... Blah blah."

The vantablack display info sign is also surrounded by altogether four robots. A worker robot labelled Sculpty Robot (Industrial Model) is standing between the display info sign and the info kiosk, facing the latter. It is similar to Asteroid Al in the first picture, but in a more simple posture, without the sleeveless shirt and with silver rings around the "eye apparatus" instead of golden ones. It seems to be the basic version of these robots. Apparently, it was released by Arcadia under the name Aley Arai.

The same applies to another derivative of this robot which is standing to the right of the display info sign, facing the on-looker. It is called the Bell hop bot (Bellbot). It is identical to the robot looking at the info kiosk except for a red cylindrical bell-hop cap with black and golden trim, a red bell-hop jacket with black and golden trim and many golden buttons, a white button-down shirt underneath and a black bowtie.

Another robot creation released under the Aley Arai guise is still in its original package and lying on its right side underneath the display info sign. It has a much more humanoid and actually female look. Its face is that of a human. She has the same eyes as the two other robots, only that they are elliptical now instead of circular. She has an ellipsoid on her head that stands in for hair; it has an angular cutout for the face all the way back to the ears which are built into the head. She has a more pronounced chest with two round features on the texture that suggest a pair of breasts, a slimmer waist below and a skirt-like attachment around her waist farther below. Also, her arms and legs are somewhat more human-like.

The package box has metal grey science-fiction outer textures all around except for the mostly transparent front where it re-uses the spaceship window texture. The inside is completely textured in what looks like aqua blue padding. There is an opaque, light blue rectangle extending from the left-hand edge of the window about 70% across and from right below the robot's knees to about a third of the way up to its thighs. It has the product name of the robot written on it in black letters in the same science-fiction typeface as used on the asteroid mining info kiosk. The upper line reads, "ROBOMAID-3000", and the lower line reads, "ROBOT DOMESTIC".

The gap between this rectangle and the right-hand edge of the window is closed by another, upright rectangle in the same tone of blue which extends beyond the upper and lower edges of the first rectangle by 75% of the latter's height. It shows the logo of the manufacturer. In the middle, there is a black rectangle with rounded edges surrounded by a thin black line with a light blue robotic hand modelled after a human's left hand in front of a background of zeroes and ones in dark grey digits in an unidentified monospace typeface. "Positronic" is written above the rectangle in what appears to be a bold, italic and condensed Helvetica variant except for the quite stylised, science-fiction-style capital P. Below the rectangle, "ROBOTICS" is written in a different, unidentified sans-serif title typeface. All this writing is in black again.

Below the first rectangle, there are two barcodes. The one to the left appears to follow the Universal Product Code standard as per International Standard ISO/IEC 15420. The code number is 1-33023-81220-0. To my best knowledge, it is either a fantasy code, or it has expired years ago. The barcode to the left is a fantasy code that makes use of what appears to be a 16-colour scheme in three rows with various heights.

At both the top and the bottom of the window, "CAUTION HANDLE WITH CARE" is written in a stencil typeface which can also be seen on one of the containers on the Dromedary Super Freighter in the first picture, but in yellow with thick black outlines. On both sides of each writing, there is a triangular caution sign with rounded corners, a red frame and a black exclamation mark in front of a yellow centre.

The fourth robot in the group, released under the Aley guise again, is another female robot and much more well-known. It is modelled after the robot Maria from Fritz Lang's 1928 silent movie Metropolis. Unlike the other robots, it looks like it was entirely made from brass. It has also got a very detailed body instead of details drawn onto the textures. It is standing to the right of the Bell hop bot on a trapezoid pedestal which has the official logo of the film on the front, surrounded by a golden rectangular frame. The pedestal is partially sunk into the grey ramp below, however. This robot was actually made to be used as an avatar. The avatar variant can be acquired for free elsewhere, and yet another place which I've described several months ago uses it as an automated non-player character.

Above Maria and slightly to the right, a spherical contraption called Confederation Police Drone is hovering, another product by Aley. It is mostly spherical with bright yellow-orange cylindrical extensions at the top and the bottom, similar to the red ones on Widget in the first picture. Again, only a low-quality version of its main body texture seems to have been preserved. It is mostly Prussian blue. Two stripes full of technological "greebles" with dark grey trim along both edges surround the body below the top and above the bottom. One night blue stripe each goes around its vertical axis and its longitudinal axis with black, silver and black again trim along both edges. The "greeble" stripes cut through the blue stripe around the longitudinal axis, but their dark grey trim doesn't.

On both sides, where the blue stripes meet, there is a circular police badge with medium blue as its basic colour. It has a multi-layer frame around its edge which starts with a thin silver grey or bright golden circle, followed inward by a gradient from what appears to be dark grey to medium grey, followed again by a thick golden inner frame which appears to be elevated due to the shading on its edges. The same applies to the other golden elements in the badge. There is a star with four points at the top, at the bottom and on the sides which connect to the thin outer ring of the surrounding frame and cut through the elevated golden ring and four less-than-half-sized points between them. In the middle of the star, the outlines of the number 42 are cut into it. "Confederation" is written across the top of the badge and "Police" across its bottom, both cutting through both the inner frame and the star. "SECURITY DRONE" is written in two lines on the blue stripe to the left and to the right of each badge. All writing uses the previously seen science-fiction typeface again.

It has three horizontally arranged identical weapons at the front. What kinds of weapons they are remains unclear. Otherwise, it doesn't have any farther attachments.

Farther up and fully inside the space cube, there are also four different spaceships. The highest up, right in front of the nebula NGC 604 in the background and the farthest back in the space cube, hovers the Pirate Shark Ship which belongs to the Galactic Trade Union theme. It is pointing past the on-looker to the left. Its fuselage is mostly cylindrical with semi-spherical ends. On the top and slightly below the middles of the sides, three fins are mounted, backswept like those of a shark. Each one of them has an engine installed near its end. The engines have ellipsoid, hollowed out casings with a funnel on each end. The funnels have both the same chaotic blue and teal texture which might originally have been made for water surfaces. Here, however, it is animated. At the front of the engine, it moves inward, at the end, it moves outward. Also, each lateral fin has three dark grey ranged weapons mounted on its front edge.

The name is justified by the front design. From the upper half of the frontal semi-sphere protrudes an ellipsoid that emulates the nose of a shark. On each side of the nose, there is one bulgy, menacing eye with a red iris on a black eyeball mounted on the seam between the cylindrical mid-section and the sphere. Below the nose, on the frontal semi-sphere, there is a shark maw with two rows of pointy teeth on a dark red background which is shaded in order to appear like it's actually built into the ship rather than painted on. And on both sides of the maw, there is a dark grey structure that resembles a cogwheel with no hub which might even imply that the shark maw can be opened. In spite of the many "greebles" on the grey texture that covers almost the whole ship, it doesn't seem to have any hatches or other openings.

Also, it doesn't have an interior. The cockpit is not much more than a cupola on top of the ship, mostly on the nose, with four opaque black panes, one at the front, one at the back, one on each side. Right behind the cupola and in front of the top fin with its engine intake, a small communications dish is rotating clockwise, about once every three seconds, slightly tilted upward.

Both sides of the cylindrical mid-section are labelled. In the middle, there is a white human skill in front of two crossed sabers with black outlines in front of a black playing card spade with a white outline. Next to it, towards the bow, there is a sign made of three black chevrons with cream outlines, one from the top, two slightly tilted from the sides. On the other side, towards the stern, there is a hexagonal badge with black and yellow chevrons and a black outline which has previously appeared on the Orion Jump Freighter in the first image. The chevrons point towards the bow in the usual direction of movement. "PRIVATEER SPACE PIRATES" is written above these three emblems and "RESISTANCE IS FUN!" below them, both in the now usual science-fiction typeface and in black with beige outlines.

The tail consists of a cylindrical cone with a circular cross-section that is mounted against the middle of the rear semi-sphere plus two thin backswept hollow fins with two pointy ends each, one at the top, one at the bottom. Each fin has another one of the same engines installed as the fins on the middle fuselage section. On each side, there are two yellow lightning bolts pointing backwards; the lower one is a mirrored variant of the upper one.

There is no landing gear on the ship.

The ship below the middle that appears to be almost immediately below the Pirate Shark ship is actually a lot closer to the front. It is the Sloth Armored Transport, another ship from the Galactic Trade Union theme.

Its main fuselage section is about three and a half times as long as it is wide or high. It is octogonal from all sides, but differently from ahead or astern than from above or below and from the sides where it has the longest stretches of diagonal shape. It carries two large brackets on each side, consisting of a thick vertical connector plate and two thinner fins protruding from them diagonally which carry the actual turbine-like drive nacelles with the same white and orange rear nozzle textures as the Orion and the Dromedary, one from the top, one from the bottom. The fins also cut through one curved shield-like plate on each side which seems to be part of the brackets, and which seems to imply that the drives are not to be trusted. Most of the outside shows a texture that emulates slightly rusty steel plates with sometimes widening gaps between them.

The rectangular cargo hatch at the end is open, and since the ship is seen from behind, it reveals the interior which mostly shows a different, lighter, embossed texture. The same arrangement of twelve cargo boxes shaped like slightly flattened cubes is standing on each side, but rotated by 180 degrees towards each other. Only the boxes on the port side are visible in the image. Towards the stern, there are four stacks of four boxes each. Farther ahead, there are only two boxes. There are four different boxes, all with the same texture on all sides, arranged in alternating pairs in all directions.

Within the rearmost stack, the box at the top and the second one from the bottom have lids with a picture of a planet apparently made of melting cheese below the centre, slightly cut off at the bottom. A sleek, dark golden flying saucer comes dashing around it from the left, leaving a golden trail behind. Another mostly green flying saucer is in the top right corner, surrounded by a magenta halo and with a beige trail behind it. The planet is surrounded by an arch of golden embossed letters in a serif typeface which spell out, "PLANET CHEESE".

The other two boxes in the stack seem to be held shut with two yellow rectangular brackets riveted around each corner. In their middle, there is a rectangular logo with a medium blue background and a frame with diagonal black and yellow warning stripes around it. Towards the top right corner, there is a somewhat large grey cogwheel with six spokes and black outlines. Another slightly smaller and lighter cogwheel connects to it from the opposite corner. In the top left corner, there is the capital letter "C"; in the bottom right corner, there is the capital letter "G". Below the logo, "CAPITAL GOODS" is written. All writing is yellow and in a stencil typeface.

The boxes ahead of each Planet Cheese box have lime green corner reinforcements. Most of each side shows black and yellow diagonal warning stripes. In the middle, there is a circular logo with a faint golden frame around it and a crossed shovel and pickaxe together with three identical cream-coloured dodecahedra standing in for rock pieces on it. In black letters in the usual science-fiction typeface, "PROCESSED" is written above the logo and "ASTEROID ORE" below it.

The remaining boxes ahead of each Capital Goods box and above and below each processed asteroid ore box appear like they've got internal cooling systems and bolted-on lids. In the middle, there appears to be a window surrounded by black and yellow diagonal warning stripes through which various food items inside the box can be seen; this is of course only part of the texture. On each side of this window, "REFRIGERATED FOOD STORAGE" is written in yellow stencil letters. The writing is always vertical; to the left of the window, it is rotated clockwise, to the right, it is rotated counter-clockwise.

Ahead of the cargo hold, there is a box-shaped "neck" with the cockpit in a structure that can be described as a transversally-mounted barrel. Across the front, two rows of eleven windows using the standard space ship window texture allow for views inside or outside. The cockpit itself has two seats. The control panel ahead of them and below the front window is animated. Underneath the cockpit, there is the ship's only landing leg which is identical to those of the freighters in the first picture. Apparently, the ship uses the lower engines and the curved shields as rear landing gear.

Towards the right, below the Lagoon Nebula as seen in the picture, there is a smaller freighter with a quite angular fuselage whose most striking features are the four big engines protruding from the stern, each again with the white and orange textures. It is called the Tarsus II Tramp Freighter, another Galactic Trade Union ship, the smallest one of the cargo ships and the only one with an elaborate interior, but no access from outside. Its outside texture has lots of hatches, black and yellow safety markings, vents and other "greebles", but it does not have any door or hatch.

Most of the trapezoid bottom of the fuselage is used as the cargo hold which contains six boxes, two Capital Goods and refrigerated food storage boxes each and one Planet Cheese and processed asteroid ore box each. The top part is a bit more complex in shape. At its front, there are two rows of five windows for the cockpit; the usual window textures had to be modified for this use-case. On each side, a ranged weapon is mounted on the angular seam between top and bottom. A static dish is mounted on top of the ship.

The upper level, connected to the cargo hold via a ladder, has to be the most comfortable one on all ships. Apart from lots of control panels and the same brown seats with white seams and black padding seen on other ships before, it has a double bunk bed, and it is also equipped with the column of touch panel, microwave oven and Mr. Coffee also found inside the Behemoth freighter in the first picture. Camming through the ship would reveal a bathroom with a sink, a toilet and a bathtub filled with a slowly rotating bubble bath. Outside the bathroom, the upper has even got a patterned green carpet on the floor.

Last but not least, there is what may be the most unusual vessel of all. Fairly down low and a bit to the left, seen mostly from behind again, the Slee Banana Cruiser 2 is tagged as published by Aley again. Its main fuselage is yellow and actually shaped like a banana, riveted together from steel plates. At the rear end, there is a rocket nozzle which consists of three riveted funnels nested inside one another. The fin shape from the Retro Rocket in the first picture is re-used for one single fin on top of the nozzle, but with a simple brushed metal texture now. The front is decorated with a rusty figurehead shaped like a stylised bald female human.

The wings re-use both the rear fins from the Pirate Shark Ship and, like most of the ship, the riveted steel textures from the Retropolis retro future spaceship in the first picture. Each one holds a hexagonal vertical pod through its leading edge. From each one of these pods, a pair of double-bladed fans like on a gyrocopter protrude upward on a long shaft, and what gives the impression of a machine gun is mounted underneath. The guns seem to also double as landing gear.

The cockpit is inside a yellow sphere which holds onto the banana below with two humanoid arms. The lower half is made of riveted steel on the outside and covered in control panels on the inside. The upper half uses the window texture for a strangely asymmetrical arrangement of 15 windows. Inside, there is a padded red seat behind a hooded yellow instrument panel with a yoke.

To the left of the space cube, a bit of the neighbouring space cube from the first picture can be seen with a small part of its Crab Nebula texture. To the right, there is another bit of land, sea and sky as already described in the first picture. In the top right corner, there is a bit of a cloud. One particular bright star is shining right below the cloud and a smaller one farther below on the edge of the space cube.

Again, the scene is illuminated by ambient light and by "sunlight" coming in from a low position opposite the display. There is no actual sun in the scene.

The third picture shows the third and last display of space-themed Arcadia Asylum creations. Its direction of view has turned southward, but it is perpendicular to the walkways again. These and the grey ramp area between the walkways and the space cube are basically identical to the other two images.

Unlike in the second picture, but like in the first one, the space cube aligns with the ramp. It is placed with the same orientation as in the second picture, but it is being looked at from a different side now, thus showing NGC 604 on the left, the Lagoon Nebula in the back and the mirrored and edited picture of IC 434 with the Horsehead Nebula on the right.

On the edge between the walkways, a few metres right of centre, there is the same teleporter as in the other two pictures again. And once again, I have taken care that it also shows the same teleport destination.

To the left of it, there is a white sign which can also be found between the other two displays, but which cannot be seen in the other two pictures. It is white with black writing on it. It counts down Arcadia Asylum's main avatar names in Second Life and the themes associated with them: "Arcadia Asylum 2006-2007 | Slum City/Urban Blight, Hobos, Street Urchins, Subway System, Modular Sewer System, Greenies, Loli Caverns", a blank line following, "Aley Arai 2008-2011 | Space Pirates, Robots, Space stations, asteroids and wormholes", another blank line following, "Aley 2011 - 2015 | Flotsam Pirate Town, Pirate ships, The Abyss, Nemo's world and submarine, Mer, sunken ruins, Clockworks, Mad Scientist, Aquatics, Steam Fair". Again, the pipes in this transcription, the vertical lines, mark line breaks in the original.

The vantablack display info sign is in its usual place in the middle near the far edge of the grey ramp. This time, it reads, "Galactic Truckstop and Honest Zorg's by Aley | Owner: Ada.Radius | Description: Astonishing artwork created in Second Life by the avatar known as Arcadia Asylum, Aley Arai, Lora Lemon, Aley and other alts, exported with the artist's permission by many volunteers to OpenSim.." Once again, the pipes in this transcription mark line breaks in the original.

The centre-piece of this display is the Galactic Truck Stop in the back and almost in the middle. Its most striking feature is the two-level cupola on top. It uses the same texture for its ten rows of windows as some of the ships in the first two pictures use for their cockpit windows. The top level is a social area with eight dark grey armchairs. The level below has eight sleeping compartments, each with a double bunk bed, a hard-to-define piece of furniture and a scripted sliding door. Still, all these rooms have "glass walls" to the outside all the way to the floor, no curtains and illuminated ceilings.

The structure extends downward in a cylinder with a smaller diametre than the cupola. Directly below the cupola, there are four structures which appear to be fuel storages. They have a label on the side which consists of the Shell logo, a white rectangle below with a red and yellow logo that might be original and "FUEL" written under it in yellow letters with red outlines in a previously unseen science-fiction-style typeface and finally another upside-down Shell logo below that. There is a large porthole divided into 25 panes below each fuel storage.

Between the portholes, there are cylindrical airlocks protruding with two sets of doors. Each airlock leads to a landing pad shaped like a section of a circle. On the edges and towards the airlocks, these pads show striped black and yellow safety marking. The landing areas themselves are marked with white circles from which short white lines protrude into four directions. Inside the white circles, each landing pad has a label with an individual number, always written in red narrow and stencil-like characters with the number at the top, "PAD" below and a horizontal line between the number and the word. The landing pads on this level have even numbers; the ones towards the fronts are numbers 2 on the left and 4 on the right whereas the ones in the back are numbers 8 on the left and 6 on the right.

On the inside, this level contains a diner with a robot similar to Asteroid Al and two tables with four seats each. By default, when trying to enter any of the airlocks by clicking on them, one ends up sitting on one of these chairs.

The bottom level has its own set of four shorter landing pads. These, the corresponding air locks and the portholes between them are offset from those one floor up by 45 degrees. They have odd numbers; number 7 is oriented towards the on-looker. The portholes even have fuel storages above them again which are hanging underneath the upper landing pads. The airlocks appear to be standing wide open because the doors are misaligned; the outer door for airlock number 5 to the left even lacks textures. They are scripted nonetheless.

On the inside, the bottom level holds a big souvenir and duty-free shop with Asteroid Al himself behind the counter as the shopkeep.

All levels inside the station have brownish metal panels with lots of small slot-like holes in them on the ground. They are connected via a lift with red buttons inside which is actually a set of teleporters in disguise.

Above each airlock, the writing "GALACTIC TRUCK STOP" in the same fashion as on Asteroid Al's shirt in the first picture re-appears, but without the picture. In the typical science-fiction typeface from the second picture and the same tone of purple, "Last fule (sic!) n Restrooms for 20,000 Lightyears" is written below. The writing is not connected to anything.

Way to the right and near the front, there is the other part of this display: Honest Zorg's Used Spaceships. It is located on a small, slightly irregular round asteroid with a brown, crater-littered surface and an almost flat top. Interestingly, even the flat top has craters on it, so it came to exist naturally rather than through mining.

Four riveted steel poles are holding up two strings of pennants that surround the dealership. It's a pattern of 16 pennants in five colours: blue, white, red, yellow, green in this order. The 16th pennant to fill the number up after three repetitions is red again. The front left and rear right poles also carry signs painted onto riveted steel plates with the same structure texture as on the Dromedary on the back. The larger part of the sign with a slanted right-hand edge and a pointy upper right corner is painted denim blue with "HONEST ZORG'S" written on it in a heavy stretched Futura typeface and a thick yellow arrow pointing downward on its left-hand side; both are yellow. To the right of the arrow, there is an additional red and rectangular panel with the red writing "USED SPACESHIPS" on it which is made to appear like neon lights.

Within the strings of pennants, there are six small vessels which appear to be personal spacecraft, three on each side, most of which have rather odd shapes. In the back to the left, there is the only ship with transparent windows, another small flying saucer, which doesn't have any cockpit interior, though. Opposite of it, a rocket-style ship stands vertically on eight rear fins. It doesn't even have a cockpit, and with the sleeve around more than half its length, it rather resembles a big turbojet engine with a long pointy nose. The almost white ship to the left in the front has a chubby, mostly ellipsoid fuselage, a "collar" behind its small cockpit and eight tail fins. The oddly shaped one opposite of it in various tones of grey with a cockpit cupola similar to that on the Pirate Shark Ship has even got 16 tail fins. All these ships have in common that they lack visible drive components; this only doesn't matter for the flying saucer. But they all lack landing gear as well. Except for the upright rocket, they are sitting on their bellies.

The office in the back is basically a Retro Rocket Ship as seen in the first picture. However, its wings were cut off with no traces of their whereabouts. The rocket engine was removed; it is standing in front of the ship in two parts with a picnic table in front of the engine. The door is not only open, but dislodged and lying on the ground. The separation wall towards the cockpit including the doors is missing, as is one of the doors to the former crew compartment where the bunk beds have been removed, too. The former engine room is the office with the sales counter now. Honest Zorg turns out to be a grimy worker robot based on the same shape as Asteroid Al again. And the whole ship is slightly tilted forward because it seems to have dug itself into the ground, somewhat like in a crash landing.

There is a sign above the door which is completely obstructed by the dealership sign at the front. Through the porthole ahead of the open door, the bright teal sign on the counter is partially visible. In the same slightly stretched Futura as on the sign on the pole, but in blue, it reads, "Welcome to Honest Zorg's! We sell the finest in used and reconditioned Spacecraft". Below, in red and a bit smaller, there is added, "This is NOT the complaints office!!!" On top of the counter, the dark grey cash register can partially be made out.

This time, the image was taken in such a way that nothing is visible to the sides of the space cube. The scene is illuminated by ambient light and by "sunlight" coming in from the right. Due to the space cube not having visible outside textures, the directed "sunlight" can fall in through it, so, for example, parts of the Galactic Truck Stop or the ships at Honest Zorg's cast shadows. There is no actual sun in the scene.

#OpenSim #OpenSimulator #OpenSimFest #OSFest #OSFest2023 #ArcadiaAsylum #SecondLife #Metaverse #VirtualWorlds #VirtualPhotography #ScienceFiction #Spaceships #Long #LongPost #EyeContact #AltText #ImageDescription #ImageDescriptions
The third image described in the post text. It is a shaded, non-ray-traced digital rendering from inside a 3-D virtual world that shows a display at the virtual exhibition event OpenSimFest, featuring a cube-shaped backdrop with nebulae on it, a space station and a used spaceship dealership, all built by Arcadia Asylum in the late 2000s and early 2010s. There are also two info signs, and a teleporter is standing at the front edge of the display. A more detailed description including transcriptions of the sign and the teleporter labels can be found in the post text.
The second image described in the post text. It is a shaded, non-ray-traced digital rendering from inside a 3-D virtual world that shows a display at the virtual exhibition event OpenSimFest, featuring a cube-shaped backdrop with nebulae on it, four robots, a drone, an info kiosk and four spaceships, all built by Arcadia Asylum in the late 2000s and early 2010s. There is also an info sign, and a teleporter is standing at the front edge of the display. A more detailed description including transcriptions of the sign, the teleporter labels and the writings on the kiosk can be found in the post text.
The first image described in the post text. It is a shaded, non-ray-traced digital rendering from inside a 3-D virtual world that shows a display at the virtual exhibition event OpenSimFest, featuring a cube-shaped backdrop with nebulae on it, three robots and ten spaceships, all built by Arcadia Asylum in the late 2000s and early 2010s. There is also an info sign, and a teleporter is standing at the front edge of the display. A more detailed description including transcriptions of the sign and the teleporter labels can be found in the post text.
Jupiter Rowland
5 days ago
9,694 characters for the third #ImageDescription, even though this could only be achieved by skipping the description of two of the used little ships altogether. But they're all rather odd.

Now I can get the images ready and see if I can post this monster.
Jupiter Rowland
5 days ago
The third #ImageDescription is looking good so far. Two transcribed signs, one fully described space station, no complex individual ships to write about. I might actually stay below 80,000 characters. But I still don't know if I'll be able to post it here.
Jupiter Rowland
5 days ago
I think the second #ImageDescription is done. It stands at 26,196 characters now which might change with further edits. In the meantime, the first one has grown to 38,749 characters.

I wonder if this hub has a character limit. #AltText for both described pictures included, I'm over 65,000 characters already. Chances are good that the final character count will surpass 90,000.
Jupiter Rowland
5 days ago
Make that 25,000 characters at least. I'm having to deal with four kinds of cargo boxes inside a ship, all of which have writing on them.

Writing means #Transcription is necessary. Even if you can't read the text. Especially then, actually. And a transcription would be non-sense if I didn't also describe what each box looks like.

Another ship that'll go way beyond 3,000 characters.

Jupiter Rowland
5 days ago
It will go well beyond 20,000 characters. I'm at over 17,700 now, and I've got three more ships to write about. I've just used 3,300 characters to describe a ship that doesn't even have an interior.

Jupiter Rowland
6 days ago
I might be halfway through the second #ImageDescription. The robots are done, the kiosk is done. What's still missing is a police drone and four spaceships.

I'm at over 12,600 characters now. This might go well beyond 20,000 characters in the end, especially seeing as none of the ships is actually simple in any way.

And then I'll have to write the description for the third image. I'm afraid the final post will exceed 80,000 characters.
Jupiter Rowland
6 days ago
By the way: I've used about a dozen websites including Stellarium Net and over 2,300 characters to describe the Lagoon Nebula. But I'm done describing nebulae.

Jupiter Rowland
6 days ago
I've decided to give some basic information in the #AltText of each picture, aside from explaining which #ImageDescription belongs to it.

That's because I'm going to hide the post itself behind a summary (that's a content warning for those of you on ActivityPub-based projects like Mastodon) which will mention how long the post is. And many will shy away from opening that and reading the monster post. But they will still want at least some information about the images.

I'm fully aware that this will cause redundancy. I know that this is, technically speaking, bad style. But it's the best I can do. And I won't actually describe or explain any of the things mentioned in the alt-text. If you need that, go for the monstrous #ImageDescriptions.
Jupiter Rowland
6 days ago
@Death by Lambda @Ulrike Franke By the same logic again, everyone in the #Fediverse, no matter where they are, would be required to satisfy absolutely everyone else.

Everyone on projects outside of #Mastodon would be required to not make use of their higher character limits because a few Mastodon users don't want to see posts with over #500Characters.

This would essentially render detailed #ImageDescriptions impossible. If you put them into the post, it'd exceed the 500-character mark. If you put them into the #AltText, physically disabled might be unable to access them, and so any information only available in the #ImageDescription would be inaccessible for them.

Users of #Friendica, #Hubzilla and #Streams would not be allowed to have more than one image in their posts because Mastodon reverses the order of images when converting them to file attachments, confusing its users. Also, they would not be allowed to embed images between text blocks because that'd make look their posts weird and confusing to Mastodon users.

In fact, users of Friendica, Hubzilla and (streams) would not be allowed to post images at all because these images might trigger someone, and they can't hide their images from Mastodon users.

Actually, detailed or hard-to-understand images would be completely forbidden Fediverse-wide in order not to dissatisfy those who like to read image descriptions to understand pictures.

Everyone would have to have a list of at least 90 #ContentWarnings ready, not counting country-specific politics, and make use of each one of them whenever they might be even the least bit applicable. In order to satisfy those with working reader-side #ContentWarning applications, each content warning would have to be doubled with at least one hashtag. Only having 500 characters would not be an acceptable excuse for Mastodon users.

On the other hand, the above would trigger those who dislike content warnings. So posting anything that could make anyone feel uncomfortable would not be allowed at all anymore. And yes, this includes automobiles, cats and Linux.

Users of just about everything that isn't Mastodon would not be allowed to #quote Mastodon users, even if they had the technical means to do so (which they have), and Mastodon has the technical means to show the quote correctly (which it has) due to #QuoteToots essentially equalling potential harassment.

Users of just about everything that isn't Mastodon would not be allowed to use text formatting because it might disturb those who still weep after Mastodon 3.x which completely removed all traces of text formatting from posts coming in from outside.

Nobody, especially not users of literally everything that isn't Mastodon, would be allowed to tell Mastodon users that #MastodonIsNotTheFediverse, and that there is more to the Fediverse than Mastodon. Some Mastodon users don't want to hear that.

Users of #Misskey, #Firefish, #FoundKey, Friendica, Hubzilla and (streams) would have to refrain from ever mentioning anyone so that users of other projects, especially Mastodon, would not be disturbed by how weird their mentions look.

Finally, Hubzilla and (streams) users would not be allowed to react upon these requirements by turning their #ActivityPub connectors off and thereby cutting Mastodon and all the other projects completely off. If they were technically in the Fediverse, but impossible to connect to from Mastodon, they'd create a situation that'd be too confusing, hard to understand and disturbing for Mastodon users and users of other ActivityPub-based projects. Also, it'd be a rude display of alleged superiority, entitlement and privilege.

@da_667 #ImageDescription is missing.

Addendum: Thx for fixing.

6 days ago

@CurvyBBW4 How shall I tell without an #ImageDescription ?

Jupiter Rowland
6 days ago
I think the first #ImageDescription is completed. It took me eleven hours to complete, and it measures 38,035 characters, now including the nebulae.

However, I've come to the realisation that I can't make this a thread. I'll need a "content warning" on the follow-up comment which would be the continuation. However, you can't add a summary (which is a content warning on #"Mastodon") to a comment on #Hubzilla. But without it, some mobile users will have a wall of text of tens of at least 25,000 characters in their federated timelines with nothing rolling it up or covering it up.

So I either have to drop everything into one post which won't be done until Sunday evening. I expect it to grow beyond 60,000 characters with all #ImageDescriptions in it. Downside: I don't know the character limit for posts on this hub or on the one where I have my clone. If it's 60,000 characters or lower, I'm doomed.

Or I have to make it two separate posts with the second one referencing the first one. The second one will therefore include a link to the first one. Downside: The link will most likely open in a Web browser. Also, I know for a fact that Hubzilla articles don't work in a #ScreenReader, so I guess neither do Hubzilla posts which renders the image descriptions largely moot.

Or I have to make it two separate, unrelated posts with no reference to the first one. Downside: The image descriptions in the second post would grow much, much longer because I'd have to repeat a whole lot of stuff from the first post.
Jupiter Rowland
6 days ago
Over 13 hours in. Almost 34,000 characters for one #ImageDescription. And I'm still not done yet.

I've only got one spaceship left to describe, and this can be fairly short because that vessel is hard to "paint with words" due to its unusual design. And then there will be a few words about the surrounding scenery which I usually add last.

But I still haven't written the descriptions of the four nebulae, three of which I need for this image description. I can describe spaceships halfway decently, but I don't think I can do the same at the same level of detail with nebulae. And I absolutely need descriptions for them in order not to let non-sighted users down and come over as some ableist swine.

Maybe I should #AskFedi to do that or even resort to #Alt4Me. (The nebulae in question would be IC 434 including the Horsehead Nebula as well as NGC 2023 and the other surroundings, the Crab Nebula, NGC 604 and, irrelevant for this first picture, the Lagoon Nebula.)

Also, I might actually split the post I've planned in two. I currently estimate the whole thing including a triple image description to go well beyond 60,000 characters. I'm not even sure if that's still within the character limit of the hubs where I have my channel. It would definitely exceed 50,000 characters.

The downside would be that the double image description in the second post would have to use that in the first post as a reference. I'm not sure if and how this will work for #Mastodon users, especially those with a #ScreenReader. The alternative would be to put the whole 4,200-character non-image-specific lead-in into both #ImageDescriptions.
Jupiter Rowland
6 days ago
@MarvintheMartian ☕️ I know how that feels, but on a bigger scale because I have more to describe, and I've got more room to do so because I'm not bound to character limits much. At least I hope I'm not.

I often decide against making pictures in the first place if I know that the #ImageDescription will go completely out of hand again. And if I do make a picture, I take care that there won't be too much for me to describe and explain in them. That is, a basic amount of explanation is always necessary to even tell where the image is from.

But this morning, I decided to go all-in for demonstrational purposes. Three pictures from a virtual exhibition.

As of now, almost twelve hours later, I'm still writing the first description. 29,000 characters, and thousands more to go for this description alone. Even though I probably won't need that many for the other two because much is covered in the first, I've got my doubts that the whole thing will stay below 50,000 characters.

Needless to say that I've got several reasons not to squeeze them into #AltText.
Jupiter Rowland
6 days ago
@volkris There isn't much I can do about it.

If I only mention what is in the images, then #Blind or #VisuallyImpaired users might complain that I don't tell thim what it looks like.

This would definitely matter even if the images were real-life photographs. But they won't be real-life photographs. They will be taken in a virtual 3-D world. A very obscure one. As in, absolutely nothing in these pictures will be familiar for anyone. Except for a few dozen out of over 13 million Fediverse users. Another reason why I'll have to describe and explain everything in an #ImageDescription.

So the first of these three images will have to get descriptions of
  • the walkway in the foreground (done)
  • a cubic background for a display (done) including three real-life nebulae (mentioned, but not described yet)
  • the ground that connects the walkway with the cube (done)
  • the teleporter in front of the display (done) including descriptions and transcriptions of all labels and buttons (done) and a description of the currently selected preview image (done)
  • a sign including transcription (done)
  • three different robots (done)
  • a black-hole-like object (done)
  • ten different fictional spaceships (four are done)
  • the surrounding ground, water and sky

The second image will have to get descriptions of
  • the walkway in the foreground (covered with the first image)
  • a cubic background for a display (covered with the first image) including three real-life nebulae (two covered with the first image, one new)
  • the ground that connects the walkway with the cube (covered with the first image)
  • the teleporter in front of the display including descriptions and transcriptions of all labels and buttons (only the top label and the four buttons at the bottom are covered with the first image unless I deliberately manipulate the teleporter to show the same as in the first image)
  • a sign including transcription (only the general look is covered with the first image)
  • four robots, one of them on a display stand, one in packaging (only one is partially covered with the first image)
  • an info kiosk
  • an armed drone
  • four spaceships
  • the surrounding ground, water and sky (will be covered with the first image)

The third image will have to get descriptions of
  • the walkway in the foreground (covered with the first image)
  • a cubic background for a display (covered with the other images)
  • the ground that connects the walkway with the cube (covered with the first image)
  • the teleporter in front of the display including descriptions and transcriptions of all labels and buttons (only the top label and the four buttons at the bottom are covered with the first image unless I deliberately manipulate the teleporter to show the same as in the first image)
  • two signs including transcription (only the general look of one of them is covered with the first image)
  • an elaborate space station with numerous writings to transcribe
  • a small asteroid with a used spaceship dealership on it, including seven spaceships (only two of them are partially covered with the first image), one robot (partly covered with the first two images) and three signs to transcribe
  • the surrounding ground, water and sky (will be covered with the first image)

Also, I have to mention where these pictures were taken. This is important within the context of the post.

They were taken in a place called Sulfur at an event called OpenSimFest 2023.

Would you know right off the bat what either of them is? No? See, that's why I have to explain that. Without this explanation, nobody would even understand what I'm writing about.

In order to explain it, I have to explain what OpenSim is.

Also, I have to explain why these exhibits matter, who created the items in them, the whole shtick, because it's all important to understand these pictures.

These initial explanations alone take up over 4,200 words.

This is also why I don't write three fully separate, stand-alone image descriptions: I'd have to add this 4,200+-word lead-in to each of them, causing massive redundancy.

This, in turn, is why I can't go gradually into more detail: I have to do the full 4,200+-word lead-in before I can even mention what is in each picture individually. Otherwise, I'd have to do a short lead-in, then describe what is in the first picture (the lead-in will only be part of the description of the first picture), then jump back to a general explanation for all three pictures, then jump back to the first picture. That'd be way too confusing.

Everything concerning all three pictures has to be explained before I can start writing anything about any individual picture.
Jupiter Rowland
6 days ago
Eight hours, 26,000 characters. I've still got six spaceships to describe, not to mention the nebula. And not to mention what'll be in the other two pictures.

Strike "half a day". I can be lucky if I can get this #ImageDescription done before midnight and the other two before Monday.

At least I probably won't have to research anything anymore.
Jupiter Rowland
1 week ago
Five hours and 18,000 characters so far. Personal record. Maybe Fediverse record for an #ImageDescription. Most recently, about 1,150 characters for a robot that's not much more than a 6-pixel speck in the picture.

And I'm not even half done describing one image. Out of three planned images.

I could just mention what's in the image and be done with it. But that wouldn't help #Blind or #VisuallyImpaired users because they wouldn't know what it looks like. And nobody would even know what it is.
Jupiter Rowland
1 week ago
This image is part of a teleporter. I've just used almost 7,000 characters only to describe the teleporter.

IMHO, this is fully justified because nothing like this exists in real life, and most of you have never seen anything like it.

Jupiter Rowland
1 week ago
I've just finished describing an image within an image. It fits into 30x13 pixels in a picture that'll end up at 800x533 pixels.

Only this partial description is about 4,700 characters long now. And it's far from complete. I could go even further. Maybe I'll actually do that later.

I still haven't described the four nebulae yet.

Jupiter Rowland
1 week ago
There are Fediverse users who have to be reminded to add #AltText to their images.

And then there's me who has gone from trying to arrange and crop images so that the #ImageDescription doesn't go completely out of proportion to scheduling the taking of one picture and the description writing process so that I can do it when I actually have time for it.

Or I look at something might be worth a picture, I start assembling a description in my head, and then I decide against even taking the picture because describing it would be too tedious, or because I hit some obstacle in my "description simulation".
Jupiter Rowland
1 week ago
@Franz Graf That is, I think it does have its limitations in comparison with a human writing an #ImageDescription.

I've got my doubts that it can correctly identify, name and explain things which over 99% of all Fediverse users don't even know. And I'm certain that it can't transcribe text that's illegible or even so small it's basically invisible. I can do that because I can transcribe it by visiting the place where the picture in question was taken.

@matthew_d_green I guess @briankrebs has a follow-up to do regarding #Ubiquiti...

Needless to say that is really bad!

Also why is there neither an #ImageDescription nor #LinkToSources???

@scoutlynn I'll boost it once you add an #ImageDescription and #LinkToSource to it!


#ALT4you #ImageDescription

Photo d’une foule derrière une banderole « Justice pour Nahel », avec le texte : Marche unitaire contre les violences policières, contre le racisme systémique et pour les libertés publiques
Le 23 septembre 2023
14h30 à Gare du Nord (Paris), et partout en France

Jupiter Rowland
2 weeks ago
@Cheryl Furse Not as funny as you think.

I did post one picture of #OSG16B. I even took care not to have too much in the image so I wouldn't have to describe too much.

Still, 3,000+-word #ImageDescription.

Jupiter Rowland
2 weeks ago
I'd love to take and post pictures of #OSFest2023, maybe even the events. But I'd have to spend several hours writing an #ImageDescription for each one of them. It'd be even worse with other avatars in the pictures, the more avatars, the worse. Descriptions for event pictures would probably be completed days after the event itself, extensive research for each avatar included.

And then someone will complain that my post is over #500Characters long. Well, the several-thousand-character description for only one measly image had to go somewhere, and that couldn't possibly be the #AltText.

#OpenSim #OpenSimulator #OpenSimFest #OSFest #Metaverse #VirtualWorlds
Jonathan T
2 weeks ago

An interesting new feature that I've only just noticed has been added to @MonaApp:

Adding an image from your Photos library to which you have already added a Caption (in Photos) automatically adds that caption as your image description/alt-text in Mona.

The video shows this in action (nb the centre bit where I locate the photo has been edited to remove personal content).

#Mona #MonaApp #Accessibilty #ImageDescription #AltText #iOS #macOS @main

A video showing a photo in the Photos app. I swipe up to reveal the caption I have already added to that image. I swipe to open Mona and find and add this image to my post. It has an icon on it showing that alt-text has already been added. Tapping the image and then the Edit description button shows that the caption from Photos has automatically been added to the image. I swipe back and forth to the Photos app to show that this is the same description.
2 weeks ago

@xxlolaxx @hmm_feet Hi. I am blind and therefore can't see the picture. I am curious. Would You mind adding #ImageDescription , so blind folks also know whats hot?

2 weeks ago

@EllaFord @ritahayuni Oh hi. I am blind and therefore can't see the picture. Would You be so kind and add an #ImageDescription , so I may experience the whole context?

3 weeks ago

Could some of You please tell her, how important #ImageDescription is? I tell her over and over, but she doesn't even react. Posting every picture without description. We also whant to know her contents. @CurvyBBW4

Jupiter Rowland
3 weeks ago

Long time no #Meme. And this time it's not even an old and stale one, but a fairly new one: Adidas Sports Bra Medium Support. When I came cross it a few hours ago, it kind of reminded me what shapes of female mesh bodies are considered "normal" in #OpenSimulator and #SecondLife. So I couldn't help but adapt it.

(On a sidenote: I don't go out of my way and describe meme pictures at the same pain-staking level of detail as my pictures from within #VirtualWorlds. The image itself plus the link to KnowYourMeme should be informative enough to understand the post so that I don't have to drop thousands of characters of #ImageDescription into meme posts. This #AltText here should be sufficient, and it shouldn't contain any information that isn't available anywhere else in the post or the link.)

#OpenSim #Metaverse #MediumSupportMeme
Exploitable meme based on a photograph showing two light grey upper body mannequins on a store shelf. The one to the right is rather voluptuous, the one to the left much less so. Both are wearing black Adidas Medium Support sports bras in their respective sizes. Above the photograph, there is a stripe of white background on which is written, "Mesh bodies be like". The mannequin to the left is labelled, "Petite". The much more voluptuous mannequin to the right is labelled, "Regular".

@75338 but the dildo is not real, is it?

Also #ImageDescription is missing...

Jupiter Rowland
3 weeks ago
@Link I'd like to add one more point.

If you absolutely want to write a detailed #ImageDescription, or you have to (yes, there can be reasons for that), and you're on something that isn't #Mastodon, don't put it into the #AltText.

Sure, the alt-text culture largely came from Mastodon. And most #Fediverse users have probably been taught what alt-text is while on Mastodon, and if not, then by Mastodon users. And yes, Mastodon gives you much more space in alt-text than in the post text.

But all the other Fediverse projects don't.

Mastodon gives you 500 characters save for modified instances. But:
#Misskey gives you 3,000 characters.
#Firefish gives you 3,000 characters at default settings.
#Pleroma gives you 5,000 characters at default settings.
#Akkoma gives you 5,000 characters at default settings.
#Friendica, #Hubzilla and #Streams all give you a practically unlimited amount of characters.

So "there's no room in the post" isn't true in most cases. Mastodon's limitations only apply to Mastodon. Everywhere else, you're free from them.

Besides, the longer an alt-text is, the more inconvenient it becomes for #ScreenReader users. A screen reader can only read alt-text in one chunk. It can't rewind to one specific point in the alt-text and re-read from there. If screen reader users want something re-read, they'll have to go all the way back to the beginning of the alt-text.

Lastly, you should never put any information that's only available in the image description into the alt-text. There are actually people who cannot access alt-text, for example due to a physical disability that prevents them from hovering a mouse cursor over an image (some of us sighted people aren't on mobile). Any information that's only in the alt-text is inaccessible and therefore lost to them. They can only read what's in the post text itself.

Yes, a full-blown image description in the post text doesn't look good. Yes, posts look neater with the image description tucked away in the alt-text. Yes, some Mastodon users protest against posts with over 500 characters in their federated timelines. But there are also Mastodon users who protest against having to write alt-text because they can't be bothered.

And there are disabled Mastodon users who'd protest against detailed image descriptions in alt-text that they'd like to read, but can't, if they knew that such image descriptions exist underneath particular images.

I've actually conducted a test and demonstration with a very long image description:

in alt-text where it was expectedly cut off at the 1,500-character mark by Mastodon and other projects

in a separate article which not only is inconvenient again, but only available to #Hubzilla users and people with websites of their own

in the post text which blew the initially very short post way out of proportion, but which was the most accessible method by far

As far as I can see, putting the image description into the post text is the preferred way.
Jupiter Rowland
3 weeks ago
@Megan Lynch (she/her) I'd never expect a machine to be capable of even correctly identifying as much in my images as myself, much less describing and explaining it correctly. My images are usually very niche.

And a machine will most likely never be able to transcribe text that's illegible to the point of being almost invisible. Given the right circumstances, I can do that, and I've done so in the past.

#ImageDescription #AltText #Accessibility #A11y

1. #ImageDescription is missing!
2. Who did that sick joke??

Jupiter Rowland
4 weeks ago
@Klaus Baldermann 📜 The article is finished now.

The #ImageDescription is external and linked because it ended up at 11,184 characters after a little less than two hours. Putting it into the post for maximum #accessibility would have been even worse style than doing so in a post. And while I would have been able to put it into the #AltText, no GUI would be able to display it in full. Hence a link to a separate article with the image description in it.
Jupiter Rowland
4 weeks ago

Some of you might have trouble setting up the landing points on their sims in #SecondLife or #OpenSim, whether you're aware of it or not.

Consider yourselves lucky, for I've written an article on that matter.

(For those of you who demand #AltText for all pictures in the #Fediverse: Since I've posted this article on this #Hubzilla channel of mine, it's technically still in the Fediverse. So I've added an #ImageDescription which I hope is informative enough. It took me almost two hours to write, and it's 11,184 characters long. Thus, putting it into the alt-text was completely out of question, as was putting it directly into the article which only measures 6,842 characters. I could only solve this by putting the image description into a separate article, thus sacrificing a bit of #Accessibility to style.)

#OpenSimulator #Metaverse #VirtualWorlds
Jupiter Rowland
4 weeks ago
One and a quarter hours in. Still writing an #ImageDescription for a dialogue window. I'm approaching the 10,000-character mark.

Only three #Fediverse projects are left on which I can post this in one piece by default. They'd also let me put everything into #AltText, but #Mastodon and others would mercilessly truncate it at 1,500 characters.

I've actually used almost 700 characters to describe a placeholder image.
Jupiter Rowland
4 weeks ago
@Borealis AKA the LiteralGrill You have to keep a few things in mind.

One, not everyone uses #Mastodon through its Web interface on a desktop computer. There's a plethora of mobile apps for it, and most people are on mobile phones.

Two, #MastodonIsNotTheFediverse. Not everyone is on Mastodon. About 20% of the #Fediverse aren't Mastodon. Even though I'm currently the only one in this thread who isn't.

If you want to implement mandatory #AltText in the entire Fediverse, you have to make dozens of independent projects implement it. And I know at least three of them on which alt-text is not created through a dedicated text field on the GUI.

(By the way, I'm not against alt-text and #ImageDescriptions. I'm currently taking a break from writing an #ImageDescription that'll be several times longer than what Mastodon's alt-text could possibly contain.)
Stefan Bohacek
4 weeks ago

Genuinely surprised by the results posted by @AltTextHealthCheck. I would have guessed more than half the images are captioned, at least that seems to be my experience.

Reminder: @alttexthalloffame

#accessibility #a11y #ImageDescription #AltText

A bar chart showing how many images are captioned across the tracked fediverse servers:

Tracked 21,049 posts across 2,906 instances.

Federated: 34% -  Found 8,813 descriptions set on 26,028 images.

Local: 21% - Found 1,154 descriptions set on 5,627 images.
Ellen Bratsche
4 weeks ago

Good morning (well on my side of the world) beautiful people — I’d love some #mastoHelp
How do I see other people’s image description? I’m using the browser version on my phone.
…cause I’m curious and I want to learn how I can improve my own descriptions 🙏 #imageDescription

@carrieberry #ImageDescription would've made it cooler tho...

Sally Strange
1 month ago

@baarda Image description: A video of many (my estimate: 100 altogether, about 50 actively grasping the edges of the biscuit at one time) ants working together to move a round biscuit. #ImageDescription #Alt4You #accessibility

Jupiter Rowland
2 months ago
Full-blown #ImageDescriptions in #AltText are a #Mastodon invention. No, really. And Mastodon is the only place where you can really have a justification for them.

First of all, "Mastodon" does not stand for the whole #Fediverse. The length of this post should be a give-away that I might not even be on Mastodon myself. Because I'm not.

Next, allow me to elaborate.

Look at all those many articles on the Web that explain what alt-text is and what it should look like. Unless they were explicitly written for Mastodon, they don't take Mastodon or the Fediverse in general into consideration.

If they speak of "social media", what they mean are #𝕏 with a limit of 500 characters in alt-text and #Facebook with a limit of only 100 characters. Also, they take into account that older #ScreenReaders are limited to 200 characters, and #blind or #VisuallyImpaired #ScreenReader users are normally the only target audience for alt-text.

Thus, these articles say that alt-text should be short and concise and limited to what matters in the image within the context of the webpage or article or post it is part of.

Then came Mastodon. With it came a new culture of #inclusion and more or less voluntarily-granted #accessibility, also because it became a safe haven for #disabled people who had fled from the rampant social Darwinism on #Twitter.

Not only that, but Mastodon raised its alt-text character limit from 450 to 1,500 characters. For each image, not for all of them together, as far as I know.

The next thing that happened was that people suggested image descriptions in alt-text to be more detailed. Instead of being limited to what's important, they should fully describe images. For one, a detailed image description could help even sighted people understand an image better, for example, if it contains something technical.

Besides, since most Fediverse users mostly or exclusively use the Fediverse on mobile phones, another use-case for image descriptions emerged, namely as a replacement for the image proper when the network is so weak that the image doesn't load.

And then people started writing detailed image descriptions. Yes, in alt-text. It felt only natural to do so because most people who started describing images in alt-text had never written an #ImageDescription before. And alt-text is what describes an image, right?

On Mastodon, it was and still is actually fully justified: You have 1,500 characters for alt-text per image. For the post itself, you only have 500 characters. And these 500 characters have to include the post text, extra hashtags and even the content warnings. You may end up with fewer than 100 characters for an image description. Alt-text grants you you 1,400 characters more.

However, just because it's what everyone does on Mastodon because they don't have a choice, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. Especially not if you do have a choice.

(To be continued...)
Jupiter Rowland
2 months ago
@Aaron An #LLM will probably never be as reliable at describing images as a human, much less as a human who's an expert in what an image shows.

Nobody should really expect an #AI to describe any image you throw at it, no matter what may be in it, with the same detail, the same accuracy, the same precision and the same confidence as a human. I can show you images that I've described, and that no AI will be able to even come close to describing the way I've described it, much less exceed it, anytime soon.

It's one thing that people rely on AIs writing their #ImageDescriptions. It's something else that they put absolutely blind faith in these machine-written descriptions because they're too lazy or too busy to check them.

Stefan Bohacek
2 months ago

Huge thanks to everyone who shared their opinion and experience in this poll and the responses!

Be also sure to visit and follow @alttexthalloffame.

#blind #VisuallyImpaired #accessibility #a11y #AltText #ImageDescription

Jupiter Rowland
2 months ago
@Stefan Bohacek I was curious about that myself.

I don't write my #ImageDescriptions only for #blind or #VisuallyImpaired users. I write them for everyone for whom they may be of use. I write them for people who wouldn't be able to identify and/or understand what's in the pictures I post. Seeing as the content in my pictures tends to be very unusual, I almost always have to go into detail a lot.

Now, I'm not on #Mastodon. I'm not bound to 500 characters for the post plus the content warning, and I'm only bound to 1,500 characters for the #AltText because that's the length at which Mastodon, #MissKey, #Firefish and probably other #Fediverse projects cut off longer alt-text. I practically don't have any character limit whatsoever.

This means that I've actually got much, much, much more space for an #ImageDescription in the post itself where it should actually belong than in the alt-text. And I really need that space to describe the images I usually post. So the image description goes into the post, and the alt-text briefly mentions the image plus that its description is in the post.

It does have a few downsides, though: Sighted Mastodon users might have to scroll past an enormous wall of text before they reach the image that's described. This multiplies with each image, should I put more than one into a post.

Besides, I have to add a #ContentWarning for a long post, also mentioning how long the post is. To my best knowledge, a long post warning should be issued for anything over 280 characters or five lines on Mastodon's default Web interface, whichever is reached first, and my posts with image descriptions tend to exceed that by magnitudes.

It's interesting to see that about one out of six blind or visually-impaired users prefers image descriptions that are "as detailed as possible" although "possible" can be stretched to oblivion. And frankly, not only have I yet to encounter someone who complains about my image descriptions being too long, but at least some people have declared they like the way, as they say, I "paint with words".

Still, this poll makes me wonder what the other five out of six think about extensive and detailed image descriptions, especially when they're in the post text itself and not in the alt-text where they can be hard for #ScreenReader users to navigate.
Stefan Bohacek
2 months ago

Question for #blind #VisuallyImpaired folks, what kind of image descriptions do you prefer?

#accessibility #a11y #AltText #ImageDescription

Stefan Bohacek
2 months ago

What are some examples of well-written image descriptions? Where do you get inspiration when writing one yourself?

How else can you make your posts accessible?

#AltText #ImageDescription #accessibility #a11y #AltTextHallOfFame

Jupiter Rowland
2 months ago
@Patrick H. Lauke I'm kind of torn here. Torn between a good post style and easy availability of information, at least as long as an #ImageDescription doesn't end up so massive that it's too long for #AltText anywhere.

On the one hand, when I post something with a picture, it isn't always Instagram-style/Tumblr-style/Pixelfed-style where the post is about the picture, in which case describing the picture in plain sight doesn't hurt the post, style-wise.

It may just as well be an announcement or a bit of news or a commentary, and the picture is only illustration/decoration and technically unnecessary. If I describe an image in the text of a post which is not about the image, in details even, that's terrible style.

On the other hand, I've heard about enough cases in which alt-text is plain inaccessible for users for various reasons. Some of them might even find it hard to navigate to an image description outside the post itself which would also have the disadvantage that it's impossible to access the image and its description simultaneously. So #accessibility basically demands to throw any traces of good post style overboard, put the full image description into the visible part of the post and have the alt-text only mention that the image in question is being described in the post.

Sometimes I have to do this anyway, namely when following all rules of good and detailed and informative image descriptions to a tee results in truly enormous image descriptions like you've probably never seen one. I'm not only talking about too long for Mastodon (1,500 characters). I'm talking about so long that no front-end for any Fediverse project that has been launched since 2010 can display it in a satisfying way.

I'm on Hubzilla. I can put an image in a post and give it a 50,000+++-character alt-text if I want to. Practically no limit here. But even Hubzilla couldn't display anything nearly that long. And most screen readers would have to spend an eternity rattling the whole thing down. Not to mention that Mastodon would cut everything beyond the 1,500-character mark off.

I've been in a situation which might be an absolute edge-case, but which still is a case.

To sum up the situation:

Picture with lots and lots and lots of details in it.

Some Fediverse users want image descriptions that go beyond what's absolutely necessary within the context of the image. And some Fediverse users actually write highly detailed image descriptions, only about images with not nearly as many details that were taken in real-life settings which people can be supposed to be halfway familiar with.

The picture was taken for and is used in a very short kind of news post which is not about the picture. It is only there to "illustrate" the news while not providing any extra information.

The picture was taken in a virtual 3-D world. Maybe four out of 13,000,000+ Fediverse users know the location. This isn't Times Square, and this isn't the Eiffel Tower either. If people are unfamiliar with a place, it needs to be described. So this place needs a full description.

Since the picture was taken in that virtual 3-D world as opposed to real-life, mentioning what's in that picture doesn't cut it. People don't know the stuff that's being mentioned. A lot of it needs to be explained. In fact, they have to be introduced to that virtual 3-D world system first and foremost.

Lots and lots of signs and logos and stuff with text on them. Even disregarding surfaces that face away from the on-looker, thus being completely invisible, the image still shows more than 20 instances of text in some way which, from the perspective of the image, can be seen.

Good image description style demands that any and all text in an image be transcribed. The only exception I've ever read about is when a transcription compromises someone's privacy. This does not apply anywhere in the picture.

If you take a look at the image at the resolution I've used, you may see that most of that text is so small that it can't be read anyway. Three letters "M" are large enough. Nothing else is larger than two or three pixels. Some text is in the sub-pixel range and therefore partially actually invisible. There's even a big sign in the middle that's partly obscured by a tree trunk.

However, there's no rule against transcribing text that's illegible to begin with, at least none I'm aware of. If I can transcribe it, I will. And I did. In fact, illegible text should definitely be transcribed because absolutely everybody can't read it, not only those with poor or without eyesight. I only made one exception: I didn't transcribe what's written on the "screen" of the laptop computer at the info desk which you wouldn't even know that it's there if I hadn't told you. The resolution is too small even in-world.

In addition, more than one third of all that text is not even in English. Some is in German, some is in French, some is in Latin. Since transcriptions aren't transcriptions if they aren't 100% verbatim and identical with the original, I transcribed them all word by word, letter by letter, including special characters and diacritics, only leaving out line breaks. Then I translated them into English. The only time when I didn't translate something which was also available in English right above or below was when the English version in the picture was already a direct translation of the German version, and it directly followed the German version on the very same sign.

After following all rules of good, detailed, informative #ImageDescriptions I'm aware of, I had something that might be the longest image description in the history of the Fediverse: 13,215 characters. That's almost nine times as long as Mastodon's alt-text limit at which the image description has only just barely begun describing the location. And that's over 26 times as long as Mastodon's toot limit. If I were on Mastodon, posting the image description as a thread might have taken me half an hour.

Research, including in-world research (I visited a static preserved copy of that very same place to transcribe most of the text and see more details in detail), writing and redacting must have taken me some five or six hours altogether. Only for this one picture, only to comply with existing standards and people's requirements/needs/wishes.

The first time I used the picture was in early July 2022. That was before I wrote alt-texts, so the image doesn't have one. Here's the post I used the picture in:

A few days ago, I remade the post four times in various styles with alt-text plus an explanation, just to show four different ways of handling the situation.

Variation 1: short alt-text which some Fediverse users ask for; absolutely no detailed image description.

Variation 2: full image description in the alt-text, just to show that it doesn't even work. The only difference between the image description here and that in variations 3 and 4 is that this one doesn't have line breaks and links; otherwise, they're identical.

Variation 3: full image description in an external article, alt-text refers to the link that takes you to the description. No visible image description disturbs the post yet; it looks fairly good. Still, an image description is available.

Variation 4: full image description in the post itself. That's 115 characters of post text, an image and 13,000+ characters of image description. For Mastodon users, it's 115 characters of post text and 13,000+ characters of description for an image they won't even see until they've scrolled all the way down this massive description. Still, it's the most accessible variant.

Judge for yourself which one looks best, and which one works best while being informative.
Jupiter Rowland
2 months ago
@Robert Kingett What if an #ImageDescription is available, but someplace else than the #AltText? Like in the post itself for everyone to see or as an external document which the post links to? If the alt-text only mentions that the image is described elsewhere in either case rather than describing the image itself?

Does the "all images must be described sufficiently in the alt-text" crowd consider this valid?

By the way, yes, this may happen. For it may happen that an image description grows too long for alt-text. So long that #Mastodon would cap it if it's alt-text. So long that a #ScreenReader would spend several minutes rambling down the alt-text unstoppably if it could access it in its full length.

It has actually happened to me.

Now, I'm not on Mastodon. I'm on #Hubzilla. I don't have to deal with any character limits. I can pump tens of thousands of characters into one post.

I can also pump tens of thousands of characters into one alt-text, only that there's next to no way to read it then. And Mastodon would crop it to 1,500 characters while it wouldn't crop the post at all.

So if I have an image description that exceeds 1,500 characters, I don't have any other choice than to put it elsewhere than the alt-text and then have the alt-text mention where the image is described.

Would that still count as valid? Or would it fall under "non-informative alt-text, won't boost", no matter how informative the image description outside the alt-text is?
Jupiter Rowland
2 months ago
#AltText is only for people who can't see properly, they say.

A short and concise alt-text that's reduced to what really matters within the context of a post is enough, they say.

Non-sense, I say. And so do others.

There's more than enough justification for giving full and detailed #ImageDescriptions including #transcripts of everything written in them and explanations of things which your audience may not know or understand otherwise.

Here are some excerpts from another #Mastodon thread (

KydiaMusic schrieb den folgenden Beitrag Wed, 26 Jul 2023 02:51:54 +0200 A gentle reminder that this is Disability Pride Month—a perfect time to get into the habit of adding ALT text to any pictures you post. There are many sight-impaired individuals who would appreciate it, and even those with excellent vision sometimes need clarity on what is going on in a picture, or what is significant about it. ALT text is also a great opportunity to add more context, humor, or commentary.
*see addendum below

#ALTText #DisabilityPride #Disability #SightImpaired #VisionImpaired
👩‍🦯The Blind Fraggle schrieb den folgenden Beitrag Wed, 26 Jul 2023 03:10:56 +0200 @KydiaMusic And if you're an aspiring writer, it's a great chance to work on your skills!

This also goes for screenshots of text. Screen readers see them as images, which means they can't read them. So yep, that means you've gotta type them all out. Sorry, even the long ones.
Smythe schrieb den folgenden Beitrag Wed, 26 Jul 2023 04:38:31 +0200 @KydiaMusic Another benefit of ALT text is that you may be waiting for a slower instance to update an older image, but the ALT-text will let you know if you really need to wait, but telling you what the image is.
impulsenine schrieb den folgenden Beitrag Wed, 26 Jul 2023 10:36:25 +0200 @KydiaMusic shout-out to my fellow sighted people who are just really easily confused 😅
Zazzoo 🇨🇦 schrieb den folgenden Beitrag Wed, 26 Jul 2023 19:43:20 +0200 @KydiaMusic I love alt-text, it's a brilliant feature. It's not only useful to people with screen readers but it's a fun place to be creative and add additional commentary about the image that otherwise wouldn't fit within your instance's character limit.

(Disclaimer: These excerpts were neither hand-typed nor copy-pasted. They were generated semi-automatically by the Share functionality that has been built into #Hubzilla since it's inception. They are guaranteed to be full, verbatim quotes.)

#Fediverse #ImageDescription #Transcription #Accessibility #A11y #Inclusion #Inclusivity
Gregory J. Rosmaita
3 months ago

@FilmNoirPosters First of all, I appreciate your effort. However, I fail to understand what's so onerous about what I asked. These are fundamental pieces of information about any film which are visually communicated through the movie poster. ALL of the information I requested is found on the poster itself. If you can see & read it, why should I not be able to hear or feel it?

You can use LiveText on iOS or Google Lens on any UI to extract text from the image of the poster.

As for the accompanying image, that is primary content. It is intended to stick in the viewer's mind. It shapes one's expectations for the film, consciously & subconsciously. A description of a movie poster cannot be considered complete without a description of the image.

Try this. Imagine you're describing the image to someone over a landline telephone. You want them to have the same reaction to the image they would have if they saw it.

Finally, if none of this convinces you, providing as an equivalent experience of purely visual content for the blind, visually impaired & the neurodivergent is simply the right thing to do.

#film #ImageDescription #FilmNoir #cinema #ALT #AlwaysAddALT

I was looking at old toots and came across a couple of boosts which contained images.

But the images were no longer available and only the image description remained.


Daniel Carkner🦆
5 months ago

It's just a small private workshop they are giving to my office, but they did mention this public lecture from last year by DAISY which I suspect will cover a lot of the same concepts:
#ImageDescription #a11y #AltText

Talya (she/her)
5 months ago

Caption your images and videos. Follow bots like @PleaseCaption to never forget.
You can't imagine how much more accessible and just better the Fediverse is thanks to people who do.

(4/4 END)
#PleaseCaption #Accessibility #ImageDescription #PleaseBoost

Stefan Bohacek
5 months ago

Personally, I like to add context describing where a screenshot was taken, if it is one, and the full text. #accesibility #a11y #AltText #ImageDescription

Stefan Bohacek
5 months ago

A bit more explanation.

"Transcribe the full text": All the text that's in the image.
"Transcribe and provide context": All the text, but also add that this is a screenshot of a news article, or a tweet, etc.
"Rough description of the image": Just to get the point across, omitting some details.
"I don't add description". Oh come on!

#accessibility #a11y #AltText #ImageDescription

Stefan Bohacek
5 months ago

When you write a description (alt text) for your images, do you typically:

#poll #survey #fediverse #accessibility #a11y #AltText #ImageDescription

Joanne Fisher
6 months ago

There are many posts I see that I would love to boost, but they lack an image description. Please consider the people who have to use a screen reader.

#imagedescription #screenreader

There are loads of really great and interesting posts on here that don't use #AltText or #ImageDescription. Let's all try and bear in mind the thousands of sight-impaired people who use #ScreenReaders here on #Mastodon and make them all as welcome and well-informed as we can.
#Inclusivity #Ableism #Sharing #JoinIn

7 months ago

#ImageDescription for post by @stephenfry:
A tour bus operated by #KrakVille Tours which depicts several of their destinations / tours, and the captions "and much more..." and "simply the best":
#Auschwitz & #Birkenau (accompanied by a photo of the dreadful "Arbeid Macht Frei" entrance sign), #Wieliczka Salt Mine (with a photo of the salt crystal chandeliers inside the mines, probably taken at the underground cathedral), #Schindler's Sites (accompanied by a black and white photo of Nazi soldiers), #Zakopane & #Tatra Mountains (with a photo of those mountains and the body of water in front of it), and their "KrakVille Tours" logo.

Dreadful marketing aside, I've visited both Auschwitz (& Birkenau) and the Wieliczka Salt Mine, and both were impressive in their own ways. The former in a "please, never again" kind of impression, while the latter has some really beautiful salt sculptures and entire chapels hewn out of the rocks. (Sadly the nazis also abused the mine for weapons manufacturing and forced labour by their many prisoners..)