Adding Londesc support to Opera 10.10

Hot on the heels of the launch of Opera 10 we have a sneak preview of Opera 10.10 not only complete with Unite but also with added Longdesc support.

There has always been a bit of a longdesc lottery on the web  with the duel problem of developers incorrectly implementing it and browsers not supporting it.  While there’s guidance out there on how to correctly implement longdesc if you’re a developer we thought we’d address how it’s handled in Opera.

Check out our implementation (needs Opera 10.10)


  • Clicking on “Image description” defaults to opening a new tab.
  • Only images that have a longdesc will show the text “Image description” when the context menu is opened. Text is removed altogether when longdesc is not coded so as to avoid both clutter and confusion.
  • If you right click to access the image context menu, select “Image properties” you can access and copy the URL from there.
  • Opera is working on WAI-ARIA support which will include support for aria-describedby which is intended to eventually replace longdesc. You can keep abreast of implementation support of WAI-ARIA in Web specifications supported in Opera Presto 2.2.
  • There is work needed on making this fully keyboard accessible which is part of wider work looking at menu keyboard access. Stay tuned…

You can read a full break down of how Opera’s MAMA (Metadata Analysis and Mining Application) report 2008 listed usage of longdesc in the wild.

13 thoughts on “Adding Londesc support to Opera 10.10

  1. Do users actually find the feature?

    Considering that a recent WAI consensus was OK with obsoleting longdesc in favor of aria-describedby, I’m a bit surprised to see an implementation of longdesc now. I’m wondering what the reasoning is for implementing this instead of focusing on supporting aria-describedby which was endorsed by the WAI consensus.

  2. Hi Henri – a fair enough question. Work on this was already in the pipeline so it seemed reasonable just to implement it and get it out there. Opera is working on WAI-ARIA support as well as longdesc which will of course mean support for aria-describedby. You can keep abreast of implementation support of WAI-ARIA in Web specifications supported in Opera Presto 2.2.

    I’ve updated the post to include this information.

  3. Finally, there’s an implementation that seems very sensible. The aria-describedby, if that’s the preferred, can happen when it happens. This needs to be supported all round in the meantime.

    Now to pick a nit; cirrectly should be correctly, and reletive should be relative.

  4. How about local anchors?
    I would like to explicitly specify where to find description of some image on a page. For example:
    longdesc=”#description” (should not open new tab, just scroll to an anchor)
    longdesc=”longdesc.html#description” (probably should not open new tab too, since URL points to the same page)
    longdesc=”descriptions.html#description123″ (should open new tab and scroll to anchor)

Comments are closed.