https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=26066

           Summary: longdesc support for assistive technology
           Product: MediaWiki
           Version: wikimedia-deployment
          Platform: All
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Severity: enhancement
          Priority: Normal
         Component: General/Unknown
        AssignedTo: wikibugs-l@lists.wikimedia.org
        ReportedBy: r...@robburns.com


HTML 4.01 provides for a longdesc attribute which accepts a URI linking to a
resource or resource fragment for a description of any image embedded in a
page. MediaWIki currently requests an image description from editors and
provides a link to the overall page about an uploaded image/media resource.
However, by providing a longdesc URI to the description itself, this would aid
assistive technology in finding the description in a standardized manner.

Simplest fix:
add an id attribute to the meidai file’s description table cell and then add a
longdesc attribute to the img element which references just the description
fragment.

Better fix:
check for non-empty content of the description cell of the table and include a
longdesc attribute on the image only when that description is populated.

The longdesc attribute is not suitable for ornamental images, however for most
of the images and media uploaded by editors, the longdesc is suitable and quite
appropriate. Especially where the accompanying article might discuss salient
features of the image immediately apparent to sighted readers, the longdesc can
fill in the missing gaps for visually impaired users or users otherwise unable
to load and view the accompanying image (because of their client application’s
capabilities, bandwidth limitations ,etc.).

As an example in a Wikipedia article which embeds an image from the WIkiMedia
commons (adding the longdesc attribute and the id attribute for fragment
reference and indicating added text by wrapping in three asterisks *** ):


<a href="/wiki/File:filename.file-extension" class="image" title="<Title>">
     <img 
              alt="" 
        ***
longdesc="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fb/filename.file-extension/225px-filename.file-extension#description";
***
             
src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fb/filename.file-extension/225px-filename.file-extension";
 
              width="225" 
              height="270" />
</a>

Then on the uploaded media page (the id attribute added to the table cell
containing the actual description):

<th style="background: #ccf; text-align: right; vertical-align: top;
padding-right: 0.4em; width: 15%" id="fileinfotpl_desc">Description
</th>
<td *** id="description" ***>
      <span class="summary" style="display:none"><filename>.<file-extension>
      </span>
      <p>[A user/editor entered description of the subject, and salient visual
properties of the image]
       </p>
</td>

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