Results of Questionnaire Call for Consensus: BUG 9673 Remove WebSRT

The results of this questionnaire are available to anybody.

This questionnaire was open from 2010-05-10 to 2010-05-12.

10 answers have been received.

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  1. Remove WebSRT from HTML spec draft?

1. Remove WebSRT from HTML spec draft?

The HTML-A11y Task Force strongly supports the bug reported at: http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=9673

We are deeply concerned that specification language is being introduced regarding media support in HTML 5 documents http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/video.html#websrt without consensed HTML-A11Y Task Force input while we're in the midst of a series of focused deliberations to address exactly this issue.

We also want to note the misunderstanding introduced into the record in the following posting to public-html (but not to public-html-a11y): http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Apr/1128.html where this approach was described as: "the Task Force's proposal;" though the referenced bug reports indicate that this was not yet a proposal of the Task Force.

We believe input from all concerned WG members and Task Forces is critical to expeditious and responsive specifications development, and until we have that, we don't have consensus. It may be that we would adopt WEBSRT as our recommendation, or as a component in our recommendation. However, we have needed to go back to check requirements after it became evident that these were both incomplete, and incompletely vetted. Meanwhile, while we appreciate and solicit proposals, a publicly accessible specification incorporated directly into the draft HTML 5 specification documents gives the inaccurate impression that a consensus direction has been reached when this is not the case.

Certainly, the WG is aware of our work in this area. We are endeavoring to cooperate with the desire to bring HTML 5 to Last Call this year. For unconsensed specifications to be published without our input only exacerbates our ability to contribute critical accessibility requirements and technology recommendations as team players in a timely and orderly manner.

We respectfully request the HTML-WG Chairs' assistance in unrolling premature specification language in HTML5 document drafts. In particular we strongly urge the WEBSRT section NOT be present in the next heartbeat release of HTML 5.


ChoiceAll responders
Yes 8
Abstain 1

(1 response didn't contain an answer to this question)


Responder Remove WebSRT from HTML spec draft?Comments
Janina Sajka Yes
Steve Faulkner Yes
Matthew May Yes
John Foliot Yes Further to the justifications put forth in this Draft Resolution, support for extracting a specific time stamp format from the Draft HTML5 Spec has also seen prior written support this past week from a number of browser

"That said, I definitely don't think putting this language into the
HTML5 spec is the right thing to do. I think everyone (with possible exception of editor) would be served by having it be in a separate spec."
- Jonas Sicking / Mozilla

"Given this, I am strongly in favour of having any external associated text format specified independently from the HTML5 specification. It will also help authoring of such files, since they will not just be used in the Web context."
- Silvia Pfeiffer / Mozilla (Contractor) http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010May/0114.html

"My understanding is that WebSRT is a codification and set of extensions to SRT, not a brand new format. That being said, I think it would be better to put it in its own spec."
- Maciej Stachowiak / WebKit - Apple

"Microsoft believes that the HTML5 spec should not define a captioning format.
It is out of scope for the document. Further, while SRT is a good choice for very simple captioning needs, there are many existing formats that content providers use for subtitles and captions. Consequently, the spec should allow user agents to support multiple formats without mandating a particular format as the one and only requirement."
- Adrian Bateman / Microsoft

Gregory Rosmaita Yes
Geoff Freed Yes
Judy Brewer Yes
Philip Jägenstedt Abstain It doesn't matter to me which document WebSRT is in, so I can only abstain. I think quickly finishing the requirements work and giving technical feedback on the current draft is a better use of this TF's time. If WebSRT isn't good enough, it will be edited until it is, or removed. (Also, a draft does not imply consensus.)
Laura Carlson
Martin Kliehm Yes I strongly support asking the concerned Working Groups and Task Forces before crafting a new spec on timed text since there has been a lot of progress on that particular issue that shouldn't be ignored.

Further while I understand that there are tens of competing formats, there are only a handful that are reasonable to be applied for this task. While none of them may be perfect, I'm not convinced that adding yet another format is the best solution. I would prefer that several common formats were supported, and if something like WebSRT is going to be introduced, it should be a) compatible to other formats, b) drafted in a separate spec.

More details on responses

  • Janina Sajka: last responded on 10, May 2010 at 16:57 (UTC)
  • Steve Faulkner: last responded on 10, May 2010 at 17:29 (UTC)
  • Matthew May: last responded on 10, May 2010 at 17:45 (UTC)
  • John Foliot: last responded on 10, May 2010 at 18:14 (UTC)
  • Gregory Rosmaita: last responded on 10, May 2010 at 19:18 (UTC)
  • Geoff Freed: last responded on 10, May 2010 at 19:26 (UTC)
  • Judy Brewer: last responded on 10, May 2010 at 20:40 (UTC)
  • Philip Jägenstedt: last responded on 11, May 2010 at 05:46 (UTC)
  • Laura Carlson: last responded on 11, May 2010 at 09:10 (UTC)
  • Martin Kliehm: last responded on 11, May 2010 at 10:23 (UTC)

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