how is alt text work supposed to work on DK?

Besame's Avatar


16 Nov, 2020 06:34 PM

I wrote about this for KosAbility yesterday -

And included an example in the lead image but when the story published, the alt text wasn't visible as a hover/scroll over. Not for me nor for others. Then two hours or so later, it was visible. Okay weird but that's not my question. I want to make this info more available but first want to know what DK tech says should happen.

Do all images through the DK IL with text added to the "Description" field in the IL have that info available in a hover/scrollover AND to screen readers? If it isn't visible in a hover, is it still picked up by a screen reader?

For images, e.g., Getty, that have embedded alt text, does this automatically enter in the Description field in the IL and then become the alt text for screen readers? What if someone erases the auto-text from the embed from Description field and adds something different? What then is picked up by screen readers?

And - that embedded text from Getty etc, that's required as part of the license? So it isn't a sound practice for users to delete it from Description and add something different?


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Daily Kos Staff on 17 Nov, 2020 06:34 PM

    Daily Kos Staff's Avatar

    Hello, and thanks for your questions. The post is very interesting and truly a big assist--pun intended--for site documentation/best practices. Thank you for writing it.

    I'll answer the hover question second, since that's a little bit of an aside (and may lead to more inquiries).

    For the screenreader behavior, the answer is intended to be yes, any content in the Description field will be identified as alt text for its image. (There are cues in the code for the screenreaders to pull that text.) That would remain true for any edited text as well, although your question about Getty-sourced images is spot on: the description they supply IS part of our licensing agreement with them and should remain unedited.

    We don't have an exhaustive set of screenreaders at our disposal to confirm proper behavior, but that's what we see with those we do have for checking. We'll continue to expand our repertoire and of course we would want to know about anomalies.

    As for the lag in the hover appearance, that is possibly related to variations in the processing time for elements on a given page. The text, images, and then content related to the images all load from different sources, and while they're supposed to load "simultaneously" that might differ in detectable practice. The javascript responsible for the hover is often a weak link in the process. It might also be a phenomenon related to the IL upload to the database as much or more as story processing. So, we'll keep an eye on this issue too, in case it needs ticketing.

    I hope that covers it all for now. Thanks again for the documentation as we continue to strive toward more comprehensive accessibility.

  2. Daily Kos Staff closed this discussion on 17 Nov, 2020 06:34 PM.

  3. Besame re-opened this discussion on 18 Nov, 2020 02:25 AM

  4. 2 Posted by Besame on 18 Nov, 2020 02:25 AM

    Besame's Avatar

    Thanks - clear info and just what I needed. I'm going to write about this
    again - is there anything else I should know?

    One added bit for you in case this relates to the slowness of the alt text
    embed and deserves ticketing. The lead photo had alt text in the
    description that wasn't showing as a hover for anyone but when I loaded the
    same image from the IL into a comment, we all could see the hover - I also
    checked the lead image after posting the image in a comment just to see if
    I'd somehow missed it before. Nope. It wasn't visible in the lead image
    then. The person who reported seeing the hover in the lead image commented
    about 50 minutes after I posted it in a comment.

  5. Support Staff 3 Posted by Daily Kos Staff on 19 Nov, 2020 08:48 PM

    Daily Kos Staff's Avatar

    Glad it was helpful, at least for now.

    I can't think of anything else you'd need to know, but then again I did not read through all the comments on your story. If there's anything else arising from them to address, please alert us and we'll take a look.

    That's a very good detail to have--the lag in the hover being an issue for the story image much more than with a comment. Probably it'll help narrow down the cause and suggest a remedy. Thanks again.

  6. Daily Kos Staff closed this discussion on 19 Nov, 2020 08:48 PM.

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