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Re: javascript and sound in netscape

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 08:56:46 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200105010756.f417ulg05291@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Could someone please tell me point me to a site that uses javascript to
> enable mouse actions to play sounds in Netscape6?

To me this reads like a mainstream browser presentational hacking
question, more appropriate to comp.infosystems.wwww.authoring.*

> I cannot seem to find liveaudio, and currently am using real audio and

"live" is generally a branding prefix indicating a Netscape proprietory
feature; NS 6's selling point is that it uses non-proprietory standards.

> beatnik, but I need code that will work in 'any' netscape browser.
> I don't mind making it work in ie5.5 as well...

A basic problem here is that, in spite of Netscape 4 and IE's attempts
to the contrary, HTML is not a multi-media authoring language.  If you
go beyond simple links to sound files, you are on proprietory ground.
You are probably going to have to wait for SMIL support or use a real
multi-media authoring language.

Netscape 6 is based on Mozilla and Mozilla is still not yet at beta
status, so I wouldn't expect any multi-media support to be particularly
stable.  However, the way of doing multimedia that would best fit
the HTML model of the world is to use object elements.  You will need
a format that is sufficiently fundamental that it is likely to be 
handled natively - running an application will cause portability problems,
and security problems (controls incorrectly marked safe for scripting
are one of the main causes of IE security problems).

A quick scan of the source code of Mozilla 0.8.1 for keywords like
sound and audio, suggest that it only acts as a browser (i.e. provides
navigation to sound resources), and has no native sound support.
In which case, its simultaneous multi-media support will be limited to
that implied by generic object element support.

You may find application plugins that will do what you want, but you
are in a proprietory world and probably a Microsoft Windows only one.

Without SMIL, I'm not convinced that there is any non-proprietory object
model that has well defined behaviour with respect to turning sound
on and off dynamically.

> for instance this one
> http://home.netscape.com/computing/webbuilding/studio/demo19980715-4/index.h
> tml#sound

I haven't looked, but this dates to when Netscape were ignoring standards.

I've now looked.  It is part of the proprietory browser object model; only
document object models are to any extent standardised.

> another example is the code here: http://developer.irt.org/script/1664.htm

Again uses proprietory object models.

> http://www.beatnik.com/software/beginners.html works it only does so for
> people with this plugin.

Proprietory plugin.

> liveaudio used to be a standard I believe, but I cannot seem to find it
> anymore.....

liveaudio is a Netscape brand name, not a public standard.

Incidentally, my experience of audio on public web sites is that it doesn't
work.  If the audio is not streaming, it doesn't start playing until long
after the page has loaded, and that's just annoying.  If it is streaming,
it gets blocked by the firewall on corporate networks.
Received on Tuesday, 1 May 2001 09:13:43 UTC

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