[whatwg] Apple Proposal for Timed Media Elements

Dave Singer singer at apple.com
Fri Oct 12 17:37:21 PDT 2007

At 0:30  +0000 13/10/07, Ian Hickson wrote:
>On Thu, 22 Mar 2007, Dave Raggett wrote:
>>  From an accessibility perspective the proposal lacks support for
>>  captioning. There should be a mechanism for enabling/disabling captions
>>  to avoid disadvantaging people who have difficulties with hearing the
>>  audio. It should further be possible to control the font size for
>>  captions to avoid disadvantaging people who don't find small font sizes
>>  intelligible. I don't think that the Web Accessibility folks will find
>>  the fall back text to be a compelling solution, and it is no longer
>>  acceptable to ignore accessibility.
>I've added text to indicate that user agents should make subtitles
>available to the user.

I (we) agree completely that accessibility is both important and 
should be explicitly addressed in the spec.   I don't think it makes 
sense to talk only about one kind, however.  We've sent a previous 
email outlining how a user could express their accessibility needs 
('i need captions'), and how source selection and/or content-specific 
enabling could supply them.

Some content has captions 'burned in', and to get them, you need to 
select the content with the burned-in captions.  Other systems have 
provision for enable-able captions, and in that case, the same soyrce 
serves, and it should enable the captions in response to the user's 

I know it's ugly to have the ability to 'get captions' at two layers 
(HTML source selection, media player feature enablement).  But 
captions known as such within the media player have superior 
characteristics to burned-in ones (e.g. they can also respond to 
bigger/smaller requests), but not all systems support true 
(non-burned-in) captions.

David Singer

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