W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > March 2000

Re: HTML forms

From: James P. Salsman <bovik@best.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2000 23:42:43 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <200003310742.XAA01363@shell9.ba.best.com>
To: Valdis.Kletnieks@vt.edu
Cc: ietf@ietf.org, www-html@w3.org
Valdis,

Thank you for your reply:

> When was the last time you bought a microphone/audio card for
> a system that didn't include at least basic software to do 
> [recording to files]?

Not too many months.  Try any Linux on any of IBM's PCs with one 
of their soundcard/modem combinations; you'll see.  Sure, someone 
has a driver somewhere, but even top-of-the-line consumer Linuxes 
can't (or won't) auto-detect it, for IBM's most popular consumer 
models.  But simply providing such applications is not the
primary difficulty.

How many clicks and keystrokes does the recorder app on your 
desktop take to save a file?  How many to select that file in 
an INPUT TYPE=FILE widget?  Doesn't that tell you why, with a 
growing market in speech recognition-based language learning 
software, nobody seems to be using web file upload for 
microphone data upload?

> Well, the MIME spec came "out of the box" with audio MIME types.

None of which were suitable for spoken language instruction 
until RFC 2586.  The majority of them are still proprietary, 
and even the almost-state-of-the-art-and-wildly-popular MP3 
format is owned by a (litigiously overwhelmed) German firm.

>> in late 1996 some language instructors on one of the distance 
>> education lists (DEOS?) or newsgroups were claiming that 
>> voice-email presents more trouble than it is worth, at least 
>> for some students.
> 
> There are those who find VCR's challenging.  It isn't NTSC's or PAL's
> fault...

We are talking about serving a population of students.  And a 
standards organization claiming to be dedicated to platform-
independence and interoperability, while simultaneously claiming 
that non-normative aspects of the proprietary OBJECT and EMBED 
elements absolve it from  complicity -- complicity not only 
in the promulgation of noninteroperable specifications that 
reinforce wintel dominance, but that expose ordinary browser 
users to the profoundly serious security risks of raw binary 
executable code.  For that latter reason alone I believe there 
is justifiable cause for the IETF to suspend the W3C's HTML 
type registration.

Plus, there are issues pertaining to the granularity of each 
recording.  With a web-based asynchronous audio conferencing 
system using microphone upload, the task of grading a plethora 
of spoken phrases turned in from students could be made to be 
much easier than trying to take care of the same number of 
email attachments.

Cheers,
James
Received on Friday, 31 March 2000 02:44:07 GMT

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