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Re: HTML Media Transcript, Issue-194: Are we done?

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2012 07:21:58 +0200
To: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>
Cc: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, Eric Carlson <eric.carlson@apple.com>, Edward O'Connor <eoconnor@apple.com>, Sean Hayes <Sean.Hayes@microsoft.com>, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>, Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>
Message-ID: <20120628072158538734.e4f7ad10@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Janina Sajka, Tue, 26 Jun 2012 23:45:31 -0400:
> regarding Issue-194.  This latest draft is at:
> http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposal/ISSUE-194/TranscriptURL

> Is there anything here you can't live with? Is something missing?

Having read me up on this proposal, I would like to propose that 
@transcript is extended to <img>, and perhaps <object> and <embed>. 
Thus in essence, that it replaces @longdesc.


* Ted noted: [1] "This attribute is purpose-built for transcripts and 
transcripts only, so we can't reuse it in the future for non-transcript 
description needs." And by 'purpose-built' he probably referred to the 
name - 'transcript'.

* However, I would argue that, for images, when e.g. @longdesc points 
to description of an technical illustration, then its purpose is to 
describe what "happens" in the image, which is very similar to 
'transcript'. Also, some images are animations - GIFs and more. And one 
of the "killer user cases" for @longdesc is in fact cartoons - when one 
image is split into multiple scenes. And also: A detailed description 
of an image is no different from a, let's say, still picture in a 
video. And more and more often, an image might contain a scan of a text.

Further more, the main use case of @transcript - embedding, is probably 
also the context where @longdesc is the most necessary.

Yes, 'transcript' can probably seem a little bit mind twisting for an 
image. But when you give it a thought, then "transcript" gives a much 
better recipe, to the author, about what content to put there, than 
"long description" does. In fact, @longdesc seems much too closely 
linked to the concept of short versus long description - which is a 
good and important concept. However, the name @transcript would 
probably communicate this meaning better: @transcript is 'show', where 
@longdesc is 'tell'.

'Transcript' has a wide range of meanings.[2] 
Replication/Transcription/Translation are synonyms.[3] Transcription 
from signs is already concept: 'Transcribe …[is]… To convert a 
representation of language, typically speech but also sign language, 
etc., to another representation.' [4] Music can be transcribed - from 
sound to notes.[5] And paleographical/hand written material is 
transcribed to. [6][7] Also known as "text image transcription". [8] 
And here in Norway, we have the last year kept reading two 
psychological reports, each at around 300 A4 page, illegally published 
as JPEG images by a news pages… And then we have projects like 
Gutenberg and Runeberg, which scans and publish old books.

And what is a screen reader, if not a live transcription tool? 

Yes, the word 'transcript' probably feels more natural when the image 
involves text or scenes (like in gifs and cartoons). However, photos 
etc are also often scenes.

Pros of @transcript for <img>:
 1) Fresh start - one might be able to fade out @longdesc; 
 2) Telling name for authors once they give it a thought - 
    it would perhaps be understood and regarded more.
 3) Unified approach to audio, video an images: both authors
    and vendors will benefit. Even users, who will stumble
    upon the same feature more often!
 4) Longdesc skills can be reused, for those that have them.
 5) @longdesc has the problem that it doesn't as name for
    an attribute that refers to a "text rendering" of image.
 6) Personally, I often feel helpless in front of the word
    "(long) description)". To instead be told to describe what 
    'happens' in the image, would be a tremendous writing aid,
    for myself.
Cons of @transcript for <img>:
 1) @longdesc is already implemented (but not that widely),
    and of course some authors would use both @longdesc 
    and @transcript, in the transition period.
 2) Now and then 'transcript' might come across as confusing name


[2] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/transcribe?db=dictionary

[3] http://www.vcbio.science.ru.nl/en/virtuallessons/cellcycle/trans/

[4] http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/transcribe#Verb

[5] http://t-pen.org/TPEN/

[6] http://www.seventhstring.com/xscribe/overview.html

[7] http://descendants-and-ancestors.com/newspaper/?p=272


Leif Halvard Silli 
Received on Thursday, 28 June 2012 05:22:35 UTC

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