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Re: the market hasn't spoken - it hasn't bothered to listened [was Re: fear of "invisible metadata"]

From: Smylers <Smylers@stripey.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 17:25:57 +0100
To: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20070626162557.GB21171@stripey.com>

Robert Burns writes:

> Perhaps I should provide an alternative example just to illustrate
> what I'm trying to say.

Thanks -- that's really useful.

> <object
> 	data="foo.mpeg"
> 	alt="My kitten fluffy playing with yarn."
> 	title="fluffy playing with yarn"
>  > Fluffy, still only a few inches tall, is playing with a red ball  
> of yarn that has to 3 times her size. She has just fallen on her back  
> and it looks like the ball of yarn is crushing her. But she's really  
> just having fun. </object>
> 
> Do the two character strings look different to you in this example?

Yes, those are different.

But it isn't clear to me under what circumstances having both these
alternative representations available is advantageous.  I can think of
contexts in which either one of them may be preferable -- for example if
the text farther down the page makes a reference to the "crushing"/fun
incident, then the longer of the above explanations will be needed in
order for the text to make sense to those who haven't seen the
video[*0], whereas if the video is merely an example of your kitten
doing something and the particular action isn't relevant then the
shorter one would be more appropriate.

But either the detail is pertinent or it isn't.  I'm not sure how if two
versions available the browser should pick which one to display to the
reader.  Or, if the reader is presented with a choice how she'd know
which one to go for.

  [*0]  Actually I quibble with your "But she's really just having fun."
  If from the video it _looks_ like she's being crushed then anybody
  watching the video will be unaware that it was actually fun -- those
  who've read the "alternative" content will be better informed than the
  video-watchers!  So that fails as a strict alternative.  But this is
  largely beside the point: I'm sure we could come up with a similar
  example which had no such quibble; my main point above would still
  stand.

Smylers
Received on Tuesday, 26 June 2007 16:26:18 GMT

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