[whatwg] Spec should require UAs to have control to mute/ pause audio/ video

Erik Vorhes erik at textivism.com
Tue May 12 12:07:01 PDT 2009

On Sat, May 9, 2009, at 2:16 PM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
> The issue is that not all browsers have significant configs (I'm
> thinking of mobile browsers here), and I don't believe their inability
> to provide such a choice to the user should make them nonconforming.

If a UA is incapable of audio output, by extension it conforms to
wording that uses MUST. (That is, it mutes audio by default, as it
provides no means to play audio.) So I'm not sure this is an actual
issue. In the illogical event that an audio-free UA wouldn't conform
to this requirement, surely it's possible to word the specification in
such a way that exempts those browsers from the requirement.

> As well, recall that the majority browser for 'unsophisticated' users
> is still IE6 or 7, and IE8 still lacks any support for <video> at all

What does the lack of support for <video> in IE 6-8 have to do with an
argument against requiring UAs to mute audio in <audio> and <video>?
Because those browsers exist without support for those elements, it
falls upon developers, content producers, et al., to make a good-faith
effort to provide accessible (and screenreader-friendly) content; the
wording of the HTML5 spec doesn't change current conditions, nor
should it be expected to.

Erik Vorhes

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