[whatwg] Google Feedback on the HTML5 media a11y specifications

Kevin Marks kevinmarks at gmail.com
Wed Feb 16 00:23:28 PST 2011

On Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 6:57 PM, Silvia Pfeiffer
<silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi Philip, all,
> On Sun, Jan 23, 2011 at 1:23 AM, Philip Jägenstedt <philipj at opera.com>
> wrote:
> > On Fri, 14 Jan 2011 10:01:38 +0100, Silvia Pfeiffer
> > <silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> 5. Ability to move captions out of the way
> >>
> >> Our experience with automated caption creation and positioning on
> >> YouTube indicates that it is almost impossible to always place the
> >> captions out of the way of where a user may be interested to look at.
> >> We therefore allow users to dynamically move the caption rendering
> >> area to a different viewport position to reveal what is underneath. We
> >> recommend such drag-and-drop functionality also be made available for
> >> TimedTrack captions on the Web, especially when no specific
> >> positioning information is provided.
> >
> > This would indeed be rather nice, but wouldn't it interfere with text
> > selection? Detaching the captions into a floating, draggable window via
> the
> > context menu would be a theoretically possible solution, but that's
> getting
> > rather far ahead of ourselves before we have basic captioning support.
> On YouTube you can only move them within the video viewport. You
> should try it - it's really awesome actually.

Moving them only within the video viewport is a bug, not a feature. Classic
TV required this (especially with overscan), but on modern TV's there is
often a letterbox or pillarbox are that captions should go in. On a
decent-sized computer screen, there is no real excuse for obscuring the
video with the captions rather than putting them underneath or alongside.

I know the flash implementation of YouTube ends up treating the video
viewport as a surrogate screen, as you can't draw outside it, but the HTML5
version could do this better.

> When you say "interfere with text selection" are you suggesting that
> the text of captions/subtitles should be able to be cut and pasted? I
> wonder what copyright holders think about that.

What they think is beside the point; fair use/fair dealing applies in many
cases. Omitting a useful feature because of vague fears of what people think
is the opposite of a use case.

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