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RE: [tt-af-1-0-req] Some (late) comments on the requirements

From: Sean Hayes <shayes@microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2004 20:28:18 -0000
Message-ID: <4B23D310E1AB5B49BC52CEE8D36B9600012301A1@EUR-MSG-03.europe.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "Bert Bos" <bert@w3.org>, "Luke-Jr" <luke-jr@cox.net>
Cc: <Johnb@screen.subtitling.com>, <public-tt@w3.org>

I agree with Bert that there is definitely a balance to be struck
between a simple format which will be well received, and an all
encompassing monster solution which won't. However I at least see TT
being more than just a caption/subtitle format, and definitely expanding
into other areas of accessibility such as talking books. I don't see it
being competitive with SVG or SMIL; but being coexistent with them and
probably reusing some tools of those systems.

I want to reiterate the AF in TT-AF, this is a language for expressing
authorial intention. It is not intended for deployment (although we
haven't ruled out the latter usage, it is certainly not a primary
concern). If profiles fall out of the language it will be because
certain communities of users (such as caption houses) find a subset of
the tools available useful, and need not necessarily be a feature of the
schema itself.

As I see it the TTWG role is to sift and combine the various existing
systems both in and out of the W3C to create a workable system that is
well geared to a variety of scenarios where the timed presentation of
text is the common theme, some of the tools that that implies are
already well established in W3C, some are not, or are not well

Only time will tell if we bite off a manageable lump of complexity, to
hit a sweet spot.

-----Original Message-----
From: public-tt-request@w3.org [mailto:public-tt-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Bert Bos
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 12:02 PM
To: Luke-Jr
Cc: Johnb@screen.subtitling.com; public-tt@w3.org
Subject: Re: [tt-af-1-0-req] Some (late) comments on the requirements

Luke-Jr writes:
> On Monday 19 January 2004 02:56 pm, Johnb@screen.subtitling.com wrote:

> > > * R101 - R103
> > >
> > > One hopes that the TT AF is simple enough to not need modules or
> > > optional parts...
> Timed text is hardly simple. There are many effects that can be
applied to 
> text, such as fading, stretching, and dissolving. To handle any kind
> effect, there would need to be some part of the format allowing people
> define any new effects that might be used in the future.

If you consider all possible instances of "timed text," then I agree
that it is not simple, but should all those instances really be
handled with a single language? I think the question should not be how
to support everything that could be called "timed text," but to find
the sweet spot that makes most people happy with the least effort.

For complex effects, like fading, rotating, distorting text, you can
use SVG and SMIL, (or maybe it is such an essential part of your
video, that you can't even separate it out, e.g., if the people in the
video interact with the overlaid text). But if you are adding English
subtitles to a French movie, you don't need such heavy machinery.

When I first heard about the timed text activity, I looked at what
people were using for subtitles (or captions? which is which?). I saw
some formats such as Quicktime, Mplayer and RealText. They were very
simple and it didn't seem like a lot of work to make a language that
could do what those languages did, with maybe some "low hanging fruit"
thrown in, and then get that language adopted by the users of
Quicktime, Mplayer, RealText and others. That would give
interoperability and would probably make many people happy.

The danger of extending the scope to film credits, synthesized spoken
text and any other "timed text" is that it becomes harder and harder
to please everybody and I'm afraid that the result will be very much
delayed and not make anybody really enthusiastic.

  Bert Bos                                ( W 3 C ) http://www.w3.org/
  http://www.w3.org/people/bos/                              W3C/ERCIM
  bert@w3.org                             2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
  +33 (0)4 92 38 76 92            06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Tuesday, 20 January 2004 15:28:25 UTC

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