Demonstration of CSS pseudo-element generated brackets wrapping an edit link.
At present section edit links are wrapped by brackets in the HTML content, like so:
<span class="mw-editsection">[<a href="/w/index.php?title=Talk:Example&action=edit&section=1" title="Edit section: Example">edit</a>]</span>
This makes the links difficult to restyle effectively (for example, I have several links in the interface appearing as buttons) because the end result will always be cluttered by the brackets.
I propose replacing the brackets in HTML with brackets generated by CSS pseudo-elements, as in the attached demonstration. This would allow stylesheet authors to remove them if desired. It could also allow a new preference setting for users to hide the brackets if they don't like them.
- Accessibility: screen readers don't, to my knowledge, understand generated content. As a result, this change would actually improve the accessibility of MediaWiki to visually-impaired users by eliminating the problem described at http://blind.wikia.com/wiki/Mediawiki_and_Accessibility#Section_title_and_edit_link of hearing "left bracket edit right bracket link".
- Browser support: generally very good. http://caniuse.com/#feat=css-gencontent However, versions of IE prior to 8 do not support generated content. I don't know what our policy is regarding supporting older versions of Internet Explorer.