[wp-trac] [WordPress Trac] #14930: Enable automatic longdesc for images

WordPress Trac wp-trac at lists.automattic.com
Fri Jul 15 23:17:30 UTC 2011

#14930: Enable automatic longdesc for images
 Reporter:  mfields                   |       Owner:
     Type:  enhancement               |      Status:  new
 Priority:  normal                    |   Milestone:  Future Release
Component:  Accessibility             |     Version:  3.0.1
 Severity:  normal                    |  Resolution:
 Keywords:  dev-feedback needs-patch  |

Comment (by Elpie):

 Replying to [comment:6 mfields]:
 > Elpie,
 > As Hakre suggested above, I bundled this into a plugin and uploaded to
 the plugins directory. Please take a look at how it works:
 > It adds the longdesc attribute to an image when the user adds it to a
 post. A url to the image's page is feed to the longdesc attribute with a
 custom query var which tells the plugin to load a "light" template for the
 query. You can see an example of this working on this page:
 > http://wordpress.mfields.org/2010/screenshot-of-the-new-taxonomy-widget-
 > The first image in the content section has a longdesc tag which points
 to a page that better describes the image. I believe that this is the
 intended use of the longdesc tag.
 > A solution similar to this is what I was proposing for core.

 The purpose of longdesc is to provide extended textual alternatives to
 image content, ie. it describes, in full, the image content. Here's an
 example: http://www.w3.org/WAI/wcag-curric/sam3-0.htm

 However, it has several constraints that are difficult to handle
 programmatically. Firstly, there is currently no support for it outside of
 Opera. Secondly, accessing the long description cannot take the screen
 reader user away from the their position in the document containing the
 image where the description was invoked.

 A blind user has to be able to choose how they interact with longdesc and
 the file containing the description must contain site navigation as well
 as a link back to the exact place in the page where they were before going
 to the description linked by longdesc.

 Features added to core tend to get used, even by people who have no idea
 how they should be used. Currently, anyone wanting to include longdesc can
 do so by creating a page with the text equivalent of an image's content,
 adding the longdesc manually an image, adding an anchor on the original
 image for navigation back to that place, and adding the page as an
 exclusion in robots.txt to avoid having it indexed by search engines.

 For these reasons, plus the fact that longdesc has been removed from the
 HTML spec, I feel it is plugin or content authoring territory and should
 not be added to core.

Ticket URL: <http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/14930#comment:7>
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