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Re: access to "background sound" objects (issue 297)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 22:34:34 -0400 (EDT)
To: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0007242232340.13651-100000@tux.w3.org>
This ties to an issue of whether the UA should provide repair functionality,
and in  particular whether it should provide access to all content. For mine,
the answers are yes - unless we discover that authors and authoring tools
have suddenly got everything right and fixed all their content so that there
is genuine seperation of style and content, the tools should encourage it,
athe authors should practise it, and the User Agents should make use of, but
NOT rely on it.

This is Al's oft-stated be strict in what you send and tolerant in what you

Charles McCN

On Mon, 24 Jul 2000, Al Gilman wrote:

  1.  I did not mean to suggest any change in the separate and simpler rules
  for sonicons and similar "short sounds."  I am sorry if something I said
  gave that impression.
  2.  The proposed exception is predicated on the theory that the "background
  sound" feature is by nature decorative.  
  So far as I can tell, when used, this sound track is usually the only sound
  in town.  Sound is perceived alongside sight.  Thus the 'background' in
  "background sound" does not have the same meaning as in "background image."
   Background images are designed to defer to the foreground content laid
  over them.  Background sounds, in the large, are the whole audio component
  of the [multimedia] experience designed into a page.  There is usually no
  foreground audio for the background sound to defer to.  The media space
  created by "background sound" invites more complex and independent
  information complementing the visual content of a page.  I can reasonably
  imagine programming Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech as a
  background sound where I could not imagine using the manuscript draft of
  that speech as a background image.  The significance of a "background
  sound," in the unusual case where someone has taken the trouble to provide
  one, is more likely to be comparable to a large featured image than to a
  background image.
  If it were natural to use only decorative sound tracks in this HTML role,
  we could then move on to the question as to whether this exception to the
  rule simplifies or complicates the browser builder's job.  But the
  exception is predicated on the idea that background sounds are, or should
  be, limited to decorative and expendable content.  I would like the group
  and the WAI to consider if this is the best way to view this feature of the
  web page medium.

Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Postal: GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001,  Australia 
Received on Monday, 24 July 2000 22:34:36 UTC

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