Incorrect Semantics

Semantic elements and attributes improve communication. For details please consult the semantics document.

The semantics of an iframe does not provide a clear, direct, explicit, and strong semantic for an image long description. An iframe provides a generic link.

Forces a Visual Encumbrance

The iframe technique would force a visual encumbrance on sighted users unless additional code (in the form of CSS or hidden) were added. Please refer to Cascading Style Sheets and hidden for details of why using these techniques are a bad idea.

An iframe using CSS or hidden Lacks Discoverability

Allowing for discoverability serves other use cases.

Adds Needless Complexity

Using an iframe to supply long descriptions would introduce needless complexity. Complexity confuses and leads to errors.

longdesc is a simple link.

Reinvents the Wheel

Attempting to use iframe to provide a long description reinvents the wheel by duplicating a basic method that has already previously been created.

No use cases of iframe for a long description has been presented that are not already satisfied by longdesc.

Lacks Educational Material

No tutorials, books, or documentation exists that explain to authors how to make an accessible long text alternative with iframe.

No Examples in the Wild

No examples in the wild of accessible long text alternatives with iframe have been presented for any of the use cases. No evidence exists that authors have or will use it for accessible long text alternatives.

Lacks Backwards Compatibility

The iframe technique lacks backwards compatibility. For further rationale please consult the backwards compatibility document.

Retrofitting Problem

Any proposed solution should be easy for authors who are already publishing content with longdesc to retrofit their existing pages. Retrofitting with iframe would be difficult, labor intensive, and error prone.

No retrofitting is required for longdesc.

No Evidence of Improvement

No evidence has been presented that iframe produces more accessible content for long descriptions than longdesc or that more authors would use it correctly.