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Re: long description v. d-link

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From: Jared Smith
Date: Aug 31, 2009 4:00PM


On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 3:18 PM, Mark Guisinger wrote:
> So, has the d-link fallen out of favor to the long description?
> I'm not seeing the d-link used very often on the sites I'm looking
> at.  If not, is there any good guidelines as to when to use one
> versus the other?

D-link is not a good strategy. Most people have no idea what that
little letter "D" next to an image is even for. The longdesc attribute
also has very poor support - while it's supported in some screen
readers, it's not available to sighted keyboard users and sighted
mouse users have to open the image properties to even tell if the
image has a long description value.

We generally recommend that you put the long description text directly
within the context of the image. This is by far the most accessible
and friendly, but doesn't work well for many complex images.

If this isn't feasible, then you should provide a link to the long
description page. Either the image itself (with a brief descriptive
alternative text) can be linked or you can add a text link adjacent to
the image that adequately describes where the link will take the user
(e.g., "Sales data for 2005-2009"). If you provide such a link, you
can also provide the longdesc attribute as another way of giving
screen reader users access to the long description page, but it is not
necessary.

Jared Smith
WebAIM