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Opened 4 years ago

Last modified 2 weeks ago

#35391 reopened defect (bug)

Remove title attributes: the Posts Date column full date and time

Reported by: afercia Owned by: afercia
Milestone: 5.4 Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version:
Component: Administration Keywords: has-screenshots title-attribute tooltips has-patch 2nd-opinion
Focuses: ui, accessibility Cc:
PR Number:


Splitting this out from #35313.

See related #24766 and all the following tickets about title attributes.

The date column is a special case: in the "List View" there's an abbreviation with a title attribute that repeats the date and adds the time. In the "Excerpt View", the time is displayed in plain text next to the date. Pages don't have the "Excerpt View".


Tried to rebuild some history and it's pretty interesting. Once upon a time :) the full date and time was displayed in plain text:


Following relevant changes:

  • the title attribute was added in [6856] and the link to view the post was on the date
  • the abbreviation was added in [7168] and the link to view the post was moved to the status column
  • the post_date_column_time filter was introduced in [7640]
  • the "List View" and "Excerpt View" switch was added in preparation for the crazy horse redesign in [8682] see also #7552 but couldn't find any reference about the reason why the date is displayed differently in the two views
  • finally, the status was moved to the date column in [9167]

I'd say the published time is a relevant information, especially for sites with an intensive editorial flow, by the way touch devices users will miss this information, as well as assistive tech users.

I'd propose to always display the full date and time in plain text, both in the "List View" and the "Excerpt View".

Worth noting the recently added "Submitted On" column in the Comments screen displays the date and time in plain text, so for consistency I'd propose to use the same format.


Attachments (5)

35391.patch (3.2 KB) - added by afercia 4 years ago.
35391.1.diff (3.2 KB) - added by audrasjb 2 weeks ago.
Refreshes the patch and adds some fresh docs
35391-posts-desktop-after.png (125.8 KB) - added by audrasjb 2 weeks ago.
35391-posts-mobile-after.png (56.6 KB) - added by audrasjb 2 weeks ago.
35391-comments-desktop-after.png (157.7 KB) - added by audrasjb 2 weeks ago.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (19)

4 years ago

#1 @afercia
4 years ago

  • Keywords has-screenshots has-patch added
  • Owner set to afercia
  • Status changed from new to assigned

First pass. Would appreciate some feedback about the post_date_column_time filter. Screenshot:


#2 @ocean90
4 years ago

  • Version 4.4 deleted

That wasn't new in 4.4. :)

Last edited 4 years ago by ocean90 (previous) (diff)

#3 @TimothyBlynJacobs
4 years ago

In my mind, the reason the time is hidden by default, is that for most people in their day-to-day operations don't need to see the exact time a post was published or modified. It seems only relevant to people ( mostly publishers ) who are posting content multiple times per-day at a rapid frequency. When on mobile, it seems like the exact publish date is even less of a concern. But it is available by toggling to the excerpt view, if needed.

Comments are different, you would expect ( hope :) ) to have multiple comments within a day, so the time becomes an important differentiating factor.

Lastly, while increasing the width of the date column isn't too bad in a default install, once you have a couple of plugins adding extra columns to your posts list table, it is already incredibly cluttered and information dense.

Is there a way to have the full date hidden and still be accessible friendly? I'm by no means an accessibility expert, so please correct me if I am wrong. Would it be possible to display the full post time to screen readers using .screen-reader-text, but leave the <abbr> tag?

Not sure if at all it would work well, but just a thought.

<abbr title="full date">Day <span class="screen-reader-text">Time</span></abbr>

#4 @afercia
4 years ago

@TimothyBlynJacobs thanks for your feedback. Have already considered all your points but the primary goal of this ticket is to remove the title attribute. I wouldn't recommend any solution that still relies on the title attribute for several reasons you can find expanded in all the previous tickets related to title attributes. 42 tickets at the moment :) Some points:

  • the "Excerpt view" is for Excerpts, that's why is called "Excerpt view" and not "Full date and time view". Also wondering how many users have ever noticed the full date/time displayed there or how many have ever used the Excerpt view at all :)
  • plugins: unfortunately yes, but if they're breaking the table that would likely happen anyways, the date column width is in percentage so the exact size will vary but the difference is something about just 50/60 pixels
  • it's not just about accessibility: title attributes exclude a lot of users: the Web is evolving and title attributes are more and more the best way to hide content from users
  • please also consider relying on the title attribute is currently discouraged in HTML5 http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/dom.html#the-title-attribute

I'm open to suggestions, but I really see title attributes as a thing of the past, ideally we should strive to find new ways to convey expanded information to all users, on hover, focus and mobile-friendly as pointed out by @joedolson in a recent comment.

#5 @truonght
4 years ago

#35525 was marked as a duplicate.

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #accessibility by afercia. View the logs.

4 years ago

#7 @afercia
4 years ago

  • Keywords needs-patch added; has-patch removed
  • Milestone changed from 4.5 to Future Release

Discussed this during today's a11y bugscrub on Slack and agreed we can't think of an optimal solution for now. The current patch doesn't make things better for all users because the short, human readable, date is valuable when looking for quick infos, while the expanded date make sense when looking for details and when there are, for example, several sequential posts all saying today's date.
Moving out of the 4.5 report. Brilliant, new, ideas are very welcome :)

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #accessibility by afercia. View the logs.

3 years ago

#9 @afercia
3 years ago

  • Milestone Future Release deleted
  • Resolution set to maybelater
  • Status changed from assigned to closed

#10 @afercia
3 years ago

  • Keywords title-attribute added

#11 @afercia
5 months ago

  • Keywords tooltips added

#12 @afercia
5 months ago

  • Milestone set to Future Release
  • Resolution maybelater deleted
  • Status changed from closed to reopened

The new block editor (Gutenberg) introduced tooltips for interactive controls. They could be an option to solve this issue. I'd like to propose to reopen this ticket from closed / maybelater to open / future release.

2 weeks ago

Refreshes the patch and adds some fresh docs

#13 @audrasjb
2 weeks ago

  • Keywords has-patch added; needs-patch removed
  • Milestone changed from Future Release to 5.4


In my opinion, it would be better to reconsider the initially proposed patch as it still solves the issue. Also, I tested it it's looking pretty good on my side.

35391.1.diff refreshes the previous patch and adds some fresh docs.
Concening the mode @param tag, I'm wondering if we should use "Optional" (like I did in the patch) or "Deprecated", as this parameter is no longer needed.


Last edited 2 weeks ago by audrasjb (previous) (diff)

#14 @audrasjb
2 weeks ago

  • Keywords 2nd-opinion added
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