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Re: Issue 142: Video Poster [Was: Reminder: January Change Proposal Deadlines]

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2011 14:43:52 -0800
Cc: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-Id: <512ED76A-E1B4-4559-A31A-3A12953754CE@apple.com>
To: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>
I am really concerned that this leads to confused and confusing markup.  

If you *want* to show something that is semantically different, and needs its own labeling, then it is easy to do;  show a div that, when clicked on, hides itself and shows the video.  In that div you can put whatever you like, including an image with an alt text, screen readable material, and so on.

By providing this we would be making the message that we believe that the movie and its initial image *are* different, when in fact we need to send the exactly opposite message - they are the same thing, semantically.

I'm sorry the word that the industry uses is 'poster', because that suggests an advertising piece, or something that is not 'the movie'.  But it is an accident of history.  Maybe we should rename it proxy_image, to make clear it is only a proxy to fill otherwise blank space, and drop the historic and misleading term 'poster'.

I am also concerned that 'alt' breaks a very fundamental design principle.  The ML in both HTML and XML stands for Markup Language, and is supposed to mark-up material that is for user presentation, which is in the body.  'alt' puts presented material in the markup rather than the body, which makes it inaccessible to styling, ruby, or any other kind of markup or annotation.  

Finally, we have real accessibility issues which this is distracting from:
* can we have short 'alt' text on the movie itself?
* can we link to a long description?
* can we link a transcript?
* can we have assistive 'track's which are other than textual (e.g. sign language, audio description of video)?

David Singer
Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Tuesday, 4 January 2011 22:44:55 UTC

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