Although I have used GitHub regularly for a few years, it remains mostly to me a Rube Goldberg like machine, I still get push and pull interchanged, and frequently munge up commits.

This matters less for my code, where basically I am the only developer. Something like the WordPress JetPack code is a different beast entirely. Today it shows 274 branches (variants of the main codebase) with 19,472 commits (that’s how many times code has been added), from 392 authors.

I know have my own little piece of the action. A feature I suggested via an issue (on Nov 9, 2018) was more or less shelved as a ‘worthy idea- why not add it yourself’ today made it into the official code.

This all goes back to my ranting about alt text description tags for images sent out via twitter, while touted as a feature of accessibility, continues in my investigations to be pretty completely ignored by 99.999999% of twitter users.

But in my original post to a WordPress blog using the JetPack plugin, I noticed that the information needed to tweet alt text (from the original image) were not published to the open graph tags, despite that the og protocol called for use of the of:image:alt metadata.

Or in other words, when a blog post was tweeted, the JetPack module for Sharing was not publishing what it ought to so tweeted featured images would carry the alt tag written in WordPress.

I started by posting a comment in the WordPress support area for JetPack. Someone suggested I added it as a request in GitHUb so I did so as an Open Graph Missing Support for og:image:alt.

Time went by.

On January 16, 2019 (two months later), I snarked a comment:

Bueller? Bueller? Is this where issues go to die?

And to their credit, I got a quick reply.

This feature is not on our roadmap right now, but I labelled it “Good for Community”; if you’d like to contribute a PR with that improvement, we’d be happy to review it!

That was not the comment I was looking for; I have no idea where/how to change the code. That’s not my ball of yarn.

So I shrugged.

But aha! Today the word came that someone else must have done it! A merged commit Sharing: add alt text to OG tags and Twitter Cards #11401 looks like it went to the big codehouse.

This should mean that on WordPress.com and soon to plugins like mine, when updated, if I have the JetPack settings to tweet a post, the tweet should go out with alt text (if it’s in mine). If I am reading my version right (7.0.1) it might even work on this post.

Small things can feel big if you had a hand in them.

UPDATE: I was wrong, his change will not go in until JetPack plugin hits version 7.1

Still fun to see this happen!


Featured Image: Modified by adding screenshots and JetPack/GitHub logos to Equipment to monitor the functioning of the wet composting system flickr photo by Sustainable sanitation shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

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