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Re: Issue 271 (repositioning captions w.r.t. video)

From: Madeleine Rothberg <madeleine_rothberg@wgbh.org>
Date: 08 May 2000 10:56:23 -0500
Message-ID: <-1254339116madeleine_rothberg@wgbh.org>
To: <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Here's a summary of my thoughts on this issue, which I tried to
send before the telecon Thursday. Virus-related email trouble 
made it difficult for me to post until today.

I think I largely agree with Al's revisted comment [1] but
will give my full reasoning here since comment was specifically
requested. (Please note that I am behind on list traffic after
a vacation last week and may have missed other relevant comments.)

Geoff Freed and I discussed this at length and we think that
while configurable (list of choices) positioning of captions is
OK, in the end users are better off with arbitrary positioning,
especially given that the major layout languages allow it to
authors. (Case 1 in the analysis in the 25 April telecon [2].)

As mentioned in the telecon, when the author fuses the
information the UA can't reposition it. (Case 2)

We aren't aware of any multimedia authoring languages/tools that
do not allow authors to control positioning, so Case 3 seems
less crucial to us.

As discussed in the telecon, the issue is not always ensuring
that content is not obscured; sometimes the user wants to choose
to obscure some content in order to be able to view several things
within a limited visual field. So I am uncomfortable with Ian's
proposal that focuses on obfuscation [3]. It includes a note saying
overlapping on user choice is OK, so maybe that takes care of
my concern, but the main language of the checkpoint will probably
lead UA developers to focus solely on making sure there is no

As for the priority (and here is the tricky point, that Rich
specifically suggested I comment on) it comes down to the needs of
users with a specific combinations of disabilities. We can indeed
imagine a user (hearing impaired, some constraint on visual field,
needs magnification) who would likely find it impossible to use the
content of a video if they couldn't position the captions just where
they wanted. For them this is Priority 1. Use may also be impossible
if a presentation requires users to, for example, watch a video
while answering some questions about it. For some users, being able
to customize the position of the video, captions, and questions will
make it possible to carry out the task.

For that reason, I endorse a priority of 1 for this checkpoint.
Also, do we need to clarify the language of the checkpoint so that
rather than requiring "configuring" the positioning we require that
the user be able to arbitrarily position the elements.


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2000AprJun/0244.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2000AprJun/0196.html
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2000AprJun/0135.html
Received on Monday, 8 May 2000 10:57:16 UTC

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