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[Bug 10642] No alternative text description for video key frame (poster)

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2010 19:28:07 +0000
To: public-html-a11y@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1P1OnX-0005zi-JG@jessica.w3.org>

Ian 'Hixie' Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
             Status|NEW                         |RESOLVED
         Resolution|                            |WONTFIX
         AssignedTo|ian@hixie.ch                |contributor@whatwg.org

--- Comment #22 from Ian 'Hixie' Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> 2010-09-30 19:28:06 UTC ---
I'm at a complete loss as to why a poster frame would need alt text. This isn't
a civil rights issue, it's just a matter of pragmatism: the point of a poster
frame is just to represent the video, a job that is entirely served by the
video's title.

Comment 4, comment 6, and comment 8 all just assert that this is a needed
feature, without saying why.

Regarding comment 9, why would a user with a visual impairment not want to
know: well, why would they? Heck, why would a user with 20/20 vision want to
know what the poster frame is? The poster frame's only job is to look pretty
and manipulate the user into starting the video, what it shows is of minimal
importance to the user. What matters is what the video shows, not what the
poster frame shows. Comment 18 is right on as far as that goes.

As per comment 13, I entirely agree that the mood of the video should be
conveyed to users who cannot see the poster frame. But that's not an
alternative to the poster frame, it's content that should be available to _all_
users. Providing such mood-setting content to only a subset of the population
even though everyone could use it _is_ segregation, if we're going to start
talking in those terms.

Comment 17 suggests an alt="" for the whole video, but that misses the point
even further: the suggested text is a title, not an alternative for the video!
It should be provided in a title="" attribute or a caption for the <video>
(e.g. in a <figcaption>).

I would be entirely in agreement with a suggestion that the content of videos
should be made clear to all users, using more than just the poster frame. But
that's not alternative text.

Note that posters (as per comment 10) are a whole different issue. We're
talking specifically about the frame of video that is shown before the video
has loaded. I don't understand why it would be any more special than any of the
other frames of the video, as far as getting alternative text is concerned.

EDITOR'S RESPONSE: This is an Editor's Response to your comment. If you are
satisfied with this response, please change the state of this bug to CLOSED. If
you have additional information and would like the editor to reconsider, please
reopen this bug. If you would like to escalate the issue to the full HTML
Working Group, please add the TrackerRequest keyword to this bug, and suggest
title and text for the tracker issue; or you may create a tracker issue
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Status: Rejected
Change Description: no spec change
Rationale: The rationale provided is that text is needed to help users of ATs
determine the topic and mood of the video. However, that information is not
(necessarily) provided by the poster frame, and thus cannot be considered an
alternative to the poster frame. It is also not an alternative to the video. It
is the title or caption of the video, for which we already have a multitude of
mechanisms such as title="", <figcaption>, <h1>, and aria-labelledby="".

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Received on Thursday, 30 September 2010 19:28:09 UTC

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