W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ua@w3.org > July to September 2000

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

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 08:28:35 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>, Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Just so I have this straight.
1. Is the discussion trying to determine if proprietary elements like 
<BGSOUND> is considered decorative or style rather than content?

2. Is there any other markup the user agent can recognize that can produce 
a background sound (other than use of scripting techniques)?


At 10:34 PM 7/24/2000 -0400, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>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.
>   Al
>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

Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
College of Applied Life Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL  61820

Voice: (217) 244-5870
Fax: (217) 333-0248

E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu

WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua
Received on Tuesday, 25 July 2000 09:27:36 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 14:49:27 UTC