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[Bug 10944] WebSRT seems to too much focus on captions

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Fri, 01 Oct 2010 15:19:59 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1P1hOx-00088i-Tg@jessica.w3.org>

--- Comment #2 from John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu> 2010-10-01 15:19:59 UTC ---
(In reply to comment #1)
> What makes you think that WebSRT will provide synthesized audio or SL?  WebSRT
> is a captioning format.  Perhaps some other feature of <video> or UAs will
> provide those, but I don't think it's something that WebSRT is meant to handle.

WebSRT is, as far as I can tell, a format for applying time-stamped data for
the synchronization of texts to media. It can be used for captions, sub-titling
and possibly other uses as well. It is not yet part of the W3C specification,
and is in fact a draft spec produced by WHATWG. (I am unaware of any production
ready examples in the wild)

If WebSRT cannot be used to also deliver synthesized audio then it might not be
the right candidate as a baseline time-stamp format, as this need is both clear
and real: descriptive text is an identified requirement that has both legal
precedent and real-world examples. As well, using the time/synchronization
"time-stamps" we should be able to provide descriptive texts to non-sighted
users, and the IBM team (of which  Masatomo is a part of) have already
developed a proof of concept that uses time-stamped texts and synthesized
voices to deliver this requirement.

It is for these reasons that WebSRT has not yet been incorporated into the W3C
spec - the assessment of the suitability or non-suitability of that possible
format has not yet been completed.

Tab if this is a topic of interest to you, I encourage you (and others) to
review http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Media_Accessibility_Checklist - in
fact, one of the next steps is to start mapping potential solutions against
this checklist looking for holes and defects. Help here would be greatly
appreciated - feel free to ping the public-html-a11y@w3.org mailing list and
preface the subject with [media] - we can use all the help we can get. (Come on
in, grab a spot!)

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