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Re: [html4all] from hixies log - Fire, a two-hour weekend, accessibility,and other rants

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2007 01:24:59 +1000
Message-ID: <46E01BCB.9080001@lachy.id.au>
CC: John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>, 'advocate group' <list@html4all.org>, www-archive@w3.org

On Wed, 5 Sep 2007, John Foliot wrote:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
>> So you're saying that the following should not be compliant?:
>>    <p><video src="monkey.mpeg" controls autoplay></video></p>
> Audio tracks should *never* be allowed to autostart (conflicts [you] with
> [are] screen [at] readers [the] - but [video] I know [page] that we'll never
> completely win that battle...) but IMHO, <video src="monkey.mpeg" controls
> autoplay></video> should be non-compliant.

You have to consider the alternative situation.  Without an autoplay 
attribute, authors are going to resort to scripted techniques to achieve 
the same effect by invoking video.play() upon loading.  Now consider how 
much easier it is for user agents to provide preferences to override an 
autoplay attribute, compared with overriding the scripted alternatives.

So while automatically playing may not be in the best interest of all 
users, authors are going to do it anyway and, for those that do, 
endorsing the least harmful method is ultimately more beneficial to the 
end user.

Compare that with, for example, the following methods to open a popup 

   <a href="/foo" target="_blank">Link</a>

   <a href="/foo" onclick="window.open(this.href);">Link</a>

Although popup windows are widely considered bad practice and should 
ultimately be discouraged, it has been observed that the various 
scripted solutions are often used by those who wish to open popup 
windows, yet still consider validation against a Strict DOCTYPE 
important.  From a users perspective, it is so much easier to configure 
a browser to ignore target="_blank" than it is to override window.open().

So in both cases, it's better to endorse the lesser of 2 evils because 
any attempt to forbid it will arguably lead to a much worse situation.

Lachlan Hunt
Received on Thursday, 6 September 2007 15:25:19 UTC

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