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Re: conflation of issues or convergence of interests?

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2007 16:31:52 +1000
Message-ID: <46AC3458.1050708@lachy.id.au>
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>
CC: public-html@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org

Patrick H. Lauke wrote:
> Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>> Consider how difficult it is for a user to access the alternative 
>> content nested within <object>.  AFAIK, the only way to do so in most 
>> graphical browsers is to view the source.  So, if an audio file was 
>> embedded using <object> (or <audio>) and the transcript was nested 
>> within, that would make it difficult for users without assistive 
>> technology to access it.
> 
> But, unless I'm mistaken, no current UA even renders HTML5's <audio> and 
> <video>,

There is an experimental implementation of <video> with only basic 
functionality in a preview release of Opera, but nothing really 
substantial in a shipped version of any browser.

> so comparing how they currently handle HTML4's <object> may not 
> be all that relevant. And if the spec stated that UAs need to handle 
> fallback content a certain way (possibly making reference to UAAG 1.0 in 
> passing as well) that gives users control, would that be a likely step 
> in the right direction? Or is the historically flaky implementation of 
> <object> going to kill this idea off right from the get-go?

We should certainly take past experience into account, especially where 
there are similarities with new features.  There are known problems with 
the object fallback mechanism in all the major browsers, and it would be 
silly to ignore that evidence.  We should investigate what has caused 
these problems in the past and try to understand why, so that we don't 
repeat the same mistakes.

We should also seriously consider the usability impact of introducing a 
radically new way of accessing content.  It might sound like a good idea 
for a UA to give the user full control to be able to switch between an 
object and its alternative, but that is a long way from having a usable 
product that users understand and are comfortable with.  Anything that 
requires a major paradigm shift for users is unlikely to succeed.

-- 
Lachlan Hunt
http://lachy.id.au/
Received on Sunday, 29 July 2007 06:32:13 UTC

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