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RE: @longdesc scope (was: HTML Media Transcript, Issue-194: Are we done?)

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2012 07:48:13 -0700
To: "'Chaals McCathieNevile'" <w3b@chaals.com>, "'HTML Accessibility Task Force'" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000301cd5abd$37f6c390$a7e44ab0$@ca>
Chaals McCathieNevile wrote:

> Leif wrote:
> > So if one cannot change the name of the red rose, then one should at
> > least specify that it isn't always red.

But what if one of them is in fact not a rose, but a Hyacinth? Equally
fragrant, equally beautiful, yet significantly different.

> >
> > E.g. the long descriptions[1] for the CSSquirrel cartoon[2] are often
> > better described as transcripts than as long descriptions. In fact,
> > there is a comics search engine (which searches a database of comics
> > transcriptions) that talks about comics transcription.[3]
> >
> > Thus, ideally, the proposed longdesc spec text should give better
> hints
> > about what a "long description" and "long text alternatives" are -
> that
> > it can in fact be a transcript. [4]
> Maybe. I think that is relatively editorial.

I actually kind of disagree here. There is a world of difference between a
longer textual description about a movie, and the actual transcript, which
is essentially closer to the script or screenplay of the movie, than the
description of the movie.

For example, looking at Oceans 11 (the 1960's version starring Frank Sinatra
and his Rat pack Friends), the "longer textual description" of this code

   <video src="oceans11.mp4" controls> 

...would be:

	"Danny Ocean gathers a group of his World War II compatriots to pull
off the ultimate Las Vegas heist. Together the eleven friends plan to rob
five Las Vegas casinos in one night. Stars: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and
Sammy Davis Jr. Director: Lewis Milestone"

...Which of course is different than this one (from the 2001 remake):

	"Danny Ocean and his eleven accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas
casinos simultaneously. Stars: George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts.
Director: Steven Soderbergh."

...And significantly different than:

"One con under escort. Open gate one.

Man walking.

Open gate two.

- Let's go. Face the wall.

- Got one under escort.

- Good morning.

- Morning.

- State your name for the record.

- Daniel Ocean.

- Thank you. The purpose of this hearing is to determine...

...whether you are  likely to break the law again.

(yada yada - source:

I significantly also make this distinction as part of the set up for the
following use-case:

Website called "Then and Again" features a side-by-side comparison of movies
and their remakes. The interface has an H1 (Oceans 11) and the following:

<video src="oceans11_60.mp4" poster="http://john.foliot.ca/1960"> 
<video src="oceans11_01.mp4" poster="http://john.foliot.ca/2001"> 

(and yes, go ahead, those image files referenced in @poster are live)

The art director at "Then and Again" specifies that no other text be
included on the page - simply 2 video players positioned side-by-side,
arguing that the poster image will provide the differentiation between the 2
films, and that once a move is started it will go to "Full Screen" anyway,
so why bother with extra text.

Outside of captioning for each movie, we now need (for each film) the
following information *before the movie starts to play*:

Short textual alternative (accessible-name)
Long textual description of the media itself (accessible description - see
Transcripts associated to each movie (when available)

... oh ya, and we also need to describe those visual posters as well, as
they are neither the "description of the movie" (which I've provided
already), nor the transcript (which I have referenced at least one
fan-version here)...

Received on Thursday, 5 July 2012 14:48:49 UTC

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