W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > July to September 2001

Re: object vs embed + bgsound

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 23:56:44 -0400 (EDT)
To: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0107282226090.2620-100000@tux.w3.org>
SMIL is supported in realplayer, which in turn is readily avilaable in most
browsers. Sound is also supported in the Adobe SVG plugin - they provide an
example of how it works. It uses some proprietary extension stuff, so it only
happens for the SVG plugin from Adobe, but it does work with well-formed XML
conforming to the specification and to namespaces in XML.

I think that how to make sound available in a page is an accessibility
technique, although I clearly acknowledge there is a tension where some users
will want the sound, and some users will want the bandwidth saving of not
getting it. (Sites that take forever to load can also pose problems, as
Jonathan has noted elsewhere).

It is true that there are problems in the way most browsers implement object
(although it  is now widespread in new browsers - Opera, iCab, Mozilla, IE,
Netscape all deal with it in their latest versions, some well and some not so

This actually raises an issue with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines,
so I have started a discussion thread there which can be followed in the
archives from http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/2001JulSep/0193

The issue is about interpreting the following checkpoint:

11.1 Use W3C technologies when they are available and appropriate for a task
and use the latest versions when supported. [Priority 2]

In particular, the question is whether W3C technologies (such as valid
HTML) are available - in other words have they been correctly implemented and
are they yet sufficiently widespread?

I am not sure what the answer is, but part of it might be to look at a wider
range of technoloogies than just HTML. We shall see what the group has to



On Sat, 28 Jul 2001, David Woolley wrote:

  > is the object tag supported by very recent browsers, at least nn6 or
  > mozilla0.9 and ie5.5

  It's supported by both.  However IE always treats it as a request for
  an external application when using sound, even when it would treat
  proprietory tags as internal and Mozilla doesn't have any intrinsic sound
  support, so also uses external players.  (IE treats object as probable
  ActiveX, rather than in the way the HTML spec describes it.)

  SMIL is the minimum standard for doing multimedia sound with W3C
  technologies, but probably isn't available in any commercial browser.
  HTML is *not* an multimedia language although many browsers have pretentions
  of being multimedia viewers.

  How to do it isn't really an accessibility question.  I'd suggest
  a general web authoring text book or comp.infosytems.www on usenet.
  I seem to remember that you make the file the data and supply the correct
  content type.

  I've never found a web site with background sound that works.  The sound
  always starts so late as to be simply annoying.

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Saturday, 28 July 2001 23:56:45 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 13 October 2015 16:21:13 UTC