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

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

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 09:42:24 -0400
Message-ID: <397D9940.23E7727F@w3.org>
To: Jon Gunderson <jongund@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
CC: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>, Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Jon Gunderson wrote:
> 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?

Any element, attribute, or style property (not just proprietary).
I think that there is some agreement that while we can identify
some content as being marked up for decoration, that content may
not be used just for decoration (and that's something that today,
machines can't recognize).
> 2. Is there any other markup the user agent can recognize that can produce
> a background sound (other than use of scripting techniques)?

There are things you can do in CSS to get background audio

 - Ian

> Jon
> 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
> >accept.
> >
> >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

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Tuesday, 25 July 2000 09:42:29 UTC

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