W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-a11y@w3.org > February 2010

Re: HTML 5, SMIL, Video

From: Geoff Freed <geoff_freed@wgbh.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 07:34:45 -0500
To: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>, "public-html-a11y@w3.org" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
CC: Dick Bulterman <Dick.Bulterman@cwi.nl>, "markku.hakkinen@gmail.com" <markku.hakkinen@gmail.com>, "symm@w3.org" <symm@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C7A3EF95.A276%geoff_freed@wgbh.org>
On 2/18/10 6:52 PM, "Silvia Pfeiffer" <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com> wrote:


> Ease of authoring can't really be used as a basis for its consideration.
>  John F made an excellent point the other night:  unless they're just
> inserting occasional blocks of text, most people who write captions will not
> be writing them by hand with NotePad or TextEdit, they'll use an application
> like MAGpie, Subtitle Workshop or a broadcast-level suite to create and
> format them.

There are more srt files available on the Web than DFXP files. In
fact, I have found it really difficult to find DFXP files in use in
the wild. A list of such would be really helpful for implementation
purposes. You'd be amazed how many people create srt files by hand or
with a simple application that is available for free from the
Internet. If you search for "subtitles" on Google, almost the whole
first page points to sites that provide subtitles in srt format or to
free software to create them, e.g.
I wasn't able to find a single site that offers DFXP or SmilText files.

GF:  Believe me- I'm well aware of all the caption formats that are available and in use, SRT or otherwise.   There are tools that create DFXP captions- MAGpie ( http://ncam.wgbh.org/invent_build/web_multimedia/tools-guidelines/magpie ) springs immediately to mind- and user agents that implement DFXP (CCforFlash ( http://ncam.wgbh.org/invent_build/web_multimedia/tools-guidelines/ccforflash ), ccPlayer ( http://ncam.wgbh.org/invent_build/web_multimedia/tools-guidelines/ccplayer ) and Adobe's support for DFXP in Flash ( http://w1000.mv.us.adobe.com/accessibility/products/flash/captions.html ).  If you want to judge the quality of SRT based on sheer numbers, SRT wins.  But counting the number of SRT implementations vs DFXP or other formats doesn't necessarily create a good argument for the *quality* of SRT, which is of concern.

> From my perspective, SmilText or profile of DFXP (or both) would be best as
> a recommended caption-text format.  That's not to say we shouldn't include
> SRT in the list, but I just don't think it should be the primary
> recommendation.

There is no primary recommendation. Right now DFXP and srt stand on
the same line and both should be implemented. But an srt
implementation will be trivial and for DFXP we may still need to come
up with a common profile. So, there is work to be done and it will
definitely take longer to have more than just basic DFXP support.

GF:  I realize that I may not win any converts in the argument of SRT vs DFXP, but I do wish that others would take into account a long-range view, as Dick describes in his recent post to the list.  SRT is fine right now, but we already have at hand other formats, wrung through the standards process, that do both simple and complex things that will satisfy authors that want to create both simple and complex captions, subtitles, or whatever, and will probably satisfy these needs for a long time.  Why waste time now on hauling SRT up through an RFC?
Received on Friday, 19 February 2010 12:35:21 UTC

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