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RE: HTML 5, SMIL, Video

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2010 18:12:48 -0800 (PST)
To: "'Silvia Pfeiffer'" <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>, "'Geoff Freed'" <geoff_freed@wgbh.org>
Cc: "'Dick Bulterman'" <Dick.Bulterman@cwi.nl>, <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, <markku.hakkinen@gmail.com>, <symm@w3.org>
Message-ID: <018f01cab109$083a2210$18ae6630$@edu>
Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
> 
> Its huge uptake online is the big advantage here, so it would be more
> productive to look at it as identical to the most basic functionality
> in DFXP or in SmilText: text with start and end time. In fact, I
> believe that should be the lowest possible profile of DFXP, too, so in
> essence it becomes identical to srt. Then it's just a choice similar
> to the one between atom and rss.

Hi All,

While the standards/policy wonk in me is solidly behind DFXP and smilText,
the reality is as Silvia says: in the wild (especially in non-english
countries) .SRT has made huge strides and inroads, thanks in large part to
bootleg movies/bit torrent/etc. 'Kids' create subtitles to redistribute
with those bootleg movies, and funny enough sometimes those bootleg
subtitles in .SRT emerge before the studio's 'official' subtitle track
appears. (And it's those 'kids' who are going to ultimately take
captioning outside of "have to" and move it into "want to", so I really
don't want to lose them)

>From an implementation perspective, I would hate to frustrate captioning
(as opposed to subtitles, but for those 'kids' they are the same thing -
and let's not have that discussion here <grin>) on simply the grounds of
political rightness. Yes, DFXP and smilText have advantages, and are W3C
Recommendations, but if we get the RFC for .SRT authored then, while I
would encourage the use of DFXP, I wouldn't halt progress because somebody
is using .SRT - my personal bottom line is that we just want more videos
captioned - period.

The automated system we've created here at Stanford spits out DFXP and SRT
files, and the 'copy and paste' code we supply authors references the XML
file (over the SRT file), but enough people on campus told me they wanted
SRT as well that we just went ahead and did it. Computationally, it cost
me nothing more to provide.

In a conversation with Ken Harrenstien (Google/YouTube), I asked him about
a 'preferred' format for YouTube - as many of the videos being produced
here on campus end up living at YouTube. His answer both surprised me and
made me laugh: none of the formats made a difference to him, as he was
converting the files to a proprietary time-format, so it didn't matter.
Start and End time were all he needed. (BTW, I believe the reason why most
campus folks asked me for SRT, is that YouTube was suggesting that this
was the format to use - even though ultimately to Google it didn't/doesn't
matter) Now I don't agree with Ken's 'solution' either, but really,
outside of some styling considerations (which DFXP's XML format will
facilitate) all that we really need at the most basic level is start and
end, so, the pragmatist in me says - hey, the kids are using it (SRT)
today, let's encourage them to keep up the good work (let's build on
inertia, not fight it).


> 
> Is there a reason that both SmilText and DFXP should be recommended?
> The examples at http://www.w3.org/TR/SMIL3/smil-text.html look a lot
> like some of the examples in DFXP.

Turn it around - is there a reason why we cannot support SmilText along
with DFXP and SRT?

JF


> 
> Best Regards,
> Silvia.
Received on Friday, 19 February 2010 02:13:29 GMT

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