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RE: Timed Text (TT) Authoring Format 1.0 Use Cases and Requiremen ts - Comments!

From: <Johnb@screen.subtitling.com>
Date: Tue, 20 May 2003 14:13:47 +0100
Message-ID: <11E58A66B922D511AFB600A0244A722E093FD1@NTMAIL>
To: shayes@microsoft.com
Cc: public-tt@w3.org

Thanks for your email, I think we are actually very closely in agreement :-)
My comments revolved around **my** interpretation of 'preferred' and 'non
text'. If your example had been "graphic of an excited dog barking" I
suspect we would not have had this debate :-)

Sidenote: Within subtitling/captioning - 'dog bark' is often used as a
classic example of what is meant by audio description compared to subtitle
(Or caption cf subtitle).

As I currently work for a subtitling company my perspective is perhaps
coloured by accessibility issues, most of the 'text' I deal with exists
solely as an alternative representation of dialog, visual or audio events. I
also don't tend to favour the 'graphic designer knows best concept', it's
already IMHO killing the 'web, but then YMMV :-)

As you state, preference depends on perspective - but I wanted to ensure
that the 'debate' captured what I consider an essential aspect of any text
presentation - that of ensuring accessibility. Character based text is the
only real practical basis for generating accessible 'tri-modal'?
presentations for those unable to access the primary (in this case) visual

As regards "Hmmm....  SMIL customTestAttributes anyone....   ;-) - this was
intended as sarcasm.

regards John Birch.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sean Hayes [mailto:shayes@microsoft.com]
> Sent: 20 May 2003 10:51
> To: Johnb@screen.subtitling.com; public-tt@w3.org
> Subject: RE: Timed Text (TT) Authoring Format 1.0 Use Cases and
> Requirements - Comments!
> Actually, I'm mostly on your side - I'm just trying to 
> capture the essence of the debate.
> Consider the title sequence to a Movie, for example the Pink 
> Panther. It has a lot of crazy text fonts, images and 
> animated characters. Some or all of this might be considered 
> TT. From the graphic designers point of view he wants total 
> control over the look of the final result, thus authoring 
> preference, and 'normal' consumption preference in this case 
> may be for bitmap (or a very sophisticated text layout engine).
> However none of this is going to be much use to somebody that 
> can't see it, so the user preference maybe an alternate 
> rendering (speech/braille whatever). Thus both forms are 
> required, but which is the preferred form is a matter of perspective.
> Also consider the dialog of a movie, clearly here Hollywoods 
> preferred rendering is the actors voices. However alternate 
> renderings might be in foreign languages or as visual forms 
> for those that can't hear/understand the "natural" 
> soundtrack, again in the abstract the 'TT' has multiple 
> forms, which is preferred depends on your point of view.
> As language is very general purpose we can normally describe 
> everything we need to - but sometimes it becomes a bit long 
> winded, emoticons evolved for example as a notational 
> shorthand. So a graphic of an excited dog barking or 
> whatever, may convey the information better than the literal 
> text description in some circumstances - for example for 
> younger children. A dog's bark clearly is NOT text, whereas 
> reference to it in an email certainly is.
> However the long winded description will need to be in place 
> in case the output cannot be visible (for example in a 
> telephone prompt or braille writer)
> Since 'text' is algorithmically tractable for a variety of 
> purposes, I would agree that it is should generally be 
> present for any 'stream' in a TT file, except possibly in 
> very rare cases. However it may not always be the first 
> choice for providing the user experience. 
> Also we have to consider the overall system model(s) in which 
> TT is anticipated, it may be that we delegate all of the 
> alternate representations to SMIL for example - in which case 
> you might be right, then again there may be very good reasons 
> why we may not. That however is a technical discussion we 
> have yet to have.
> ________________________________
> From: Johnb@screen.subtitling.com [mailto:Johnb@screen.subtitling.com]
> Sent: Mon 19/05/2003 17:43
> To: public-tt@w3.org
> Cc: Sean Hayes
> Subject: RE: Timed Text (TT) Authoring Format 1.0 Use Cases 
> and Requirements - Comments!
> Sean, 
> Comments interspersed: 
> > -----Original Message----- 
> > From: Sean Hayes [mailto:shayes@microsoft.com] 
> > Sent: 16 May 2003 16:12 
> > To: Glenn A. Adams; Johnb@screen.subtitling.com; public-tt@w3.org 
> > Subject: RE: Timed Text (TT) Authoring Format 1.0 Use Cases and 
> > Requirements - Comments! 
> > Bitmaps are also useful to indicate non text (e.g. 'dog 
> > bark', 'music'), 
> How can 'dog bark' be non-text! It quite clearly **is** text. 
> As is the word 'music'. It may not be **spoken** text - 
> dialog in a film say - but it certainly is text.
> There are systems that use bitmaps to carry text content. In 
> some cases this is because of the non availability of a text 
> glyph suitable for the purpose (e.g. musical note) or because 
> the emphasis required for the content, e.g. colours or style 
> is unavailable to a text representation. In other cases it 
> may be because of a desire to 'fix' the presentation style so 
> that the viewer cannot alter it. However, I would strongly 
> suggest that where it is possible to do so - text is always 
> represented as text - not in a pre-rendered form. For what 
> reason? Simply because in some cases the display of the text 
> content to the user may be via non-visual means (i.e. by 
> computer speaking, Braille etc.) In those circumstances the 
> presence of what is basically text content (and in your 
> examples - content intended for deaf viewers) as bitmaps - 
> renders that content unavailable.
> Sorry to hammer this point - but I think it important.... 
> There are IMHO few sound reasons for preferring a bitmap 
> representation over a text one.
> Some examples where a bitmap **may** be prefered over text: 
> Company logos (but should be accompanied by text description). 
> Unique or special symbols e.g. musical notes on a stave 
> (again should be accompanied by text description). 
> I might question as to whether these elements should be 
> capable of being carried in a TTAF file at all. 
> > in these cases it would also be wise to 
> > include an "alt" text, but in such cases the graphic is 
> > probably the preferred rendering. 
> Why? 
> Some good reasons why it might not be. 
> a) User display is different resolution to anticipated. 
> b) User display is different aspect ratio to anticipated. 
> c) User display does not have the colour depth anticipated. 
> d) User display does not have the capability to overlay 
> bitmap data. (e.g. Braille display) 
> > We have had a few 
> > discussions on which should be considered the primary 
> > rendering, and which a secondary. It is probable that TT will 
> > have some author mechanism for expressing a preference order, 
> > which can be overridden if it doesn't fit the capabilities of 
> > the end user. 
> Hmmm....  SMIL customTestAttributes anyone....   ;-) 
> regards John Birch. 
Received on Tuesday, 20 May 2003 09:10:05 UTC

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