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Bug 9673 - Remove any reference to a specific Time Stamp format for video captioning from the specification at this time
Summary: Remove any reference to a specific Time Stamp format for video captioning fro...
Status: RESOLVED WORKSFORME
Alias: None
Product: HTML WG
Classification: Unclassified
Component: pre-LC1 HTML5 spec (editor: Ian Hickson) (show other bugs)
Version: unspecified
Hardware: PC Windows NT
: P3 major
Target Milestone: under discussion
Assignee: Ian 'Hixie' Hickson
QA Contact: HTML WG Bugzilla archive list
URL: http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/video.ht...
Whiteboard:
Keywords: a11y, a11ytf, media, outOfScope
Depends on:
Blocks:
 
Reported: 2010-05-06 21:04 UTC by John Foliot
Modified: 2010-10-04 14:33 UTC (History)
12 users (show)

See Also:


Attachments

Description John Foliot 2010-05-06 21:04:21 UTC
The specification of a newly minted Time-Stamp format (WebSRT) within the HTML5 Specification is inappropriate and premature at this time. Even though the HTML5 Accessibility Task Force (HTML-A11Y TF) are still gathering requirements, it's already clear the direction in the editor's draft is inadequate. Specifically, this text should NOT be present in the next heartbeat spec release.

  * This is a newly proposed file format that is not yet fully specified, is untested, has zero implementation history, zero authoring tools and has not been proposed by any known or documented W3C Process.

  * It has not been proven that the newly minted WebSRT format addresses all known accessibility issues - the needs analysis and requirements document is unknown and/or undocumented. Affected communities (both end users, as well as content creators) have not been adequately canvassed to ensure that their needs are being met.

  * It is likely that creating and defining a new Time Stamp format is out of scope for the HTML WG: in this way it is very similar to the introduction of Microdata (which has spun out to the HTML Microdata Draft) and RDFa (which has spun off to the HTML + RDFa Draft)

  * The HTML-A11Y TF were not consulted on this topic; they are currently tasked with, and working on, specific recommendations related to one or more Time Stamp formats. The Task Force was recently surveyed on which time-stamp formats should be considered (http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/44061/media-text-format/results), at which time WebSRT neither existed nor was proposed or suggested.

  * Premature spec language exacerbates HTML-A11Y TF's ability to work expeditiously toward an HTML5 last call. It introduces tangents and levels of confusion that work against a timely completion of a last call document.

  * The continuing active work on this topic in the Media Subteam of the HTML-A11Y TF is well known to the HTML-WG. To move forward on spec language without TF input contravenes the consensus policy of the W3C.


Also relates to:
* Issue-9 (http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/issues/9)
Comment 1 Edward O'Connor 2010-05-06 21:23:09 UTC
Responding to some of John's points:

> * This is a newly proposed file format that is not yet fully
>   specified[...]

I'm sure this has been the case for every feature ever added to the HTML
spec. (Was any HTML4 feature "fully specified?") Ian's draft is where he
does the work of specifying things; at any given time, it contains many
different things, at different stages of development. This isn't a bad
thing. It allows all of us to follow along as things progress.

> * It has not been proven that the newly minted WebSRT format addresses
>   all known accessibility issues[...]

It has not been proven that *any format* addresses all known
accessibility issues, much less any format suitable for the Web. This
isn't an argument against WebSRT, this is just Stop Energy dressed up as
an a11y Precautionary Principle.

> * It is likely that creating and defining a new Time Stamp format is
>   out of scope for the HTML WG: in this way it is very similar to the
>   introduction of Microdata (which has spun out to the HTML Microdata
>   Draft) and RDFa (which has spun off to the HTML + RDFa Draft)

I don't have an opinion on the scope argument, but I don't think you're
making the best case for it here. Your two examples (Microdata and
HTML5+RDFa) have nothing to do with your scope claim--if Microdata or
HTML5+RDFa were out of scope for the WG, then we wouldn't have spun them
out *into documents within the WG*.
Comment 2 John Foliot 2010-05-06 21:34:50 UTC
Responding to Edward:

 * There is a difference between introducing features and creating a whole new file format, previously unknown. 

 * This is NOT a *Stop Energy* issue, this is a *Focus Energy in the right place* issue. If those within the HTML WG concerned about this issue wish to contribute, do so within the existing framework which is currently mandated to do so: the a11y TF, of which any member of the larger HTML WG is welcome to participate in. I for one would welcome your involvement if you choose to jump in.

 * re: reference to HTML Microdata and HTML+RDFa - the basic principle remains, specifics aside. If some members wish to work on a specifying a new Time-Stamp format (WebSRT) it should be done outside of the main HTML5 Specification, just as work on Microformats and RDFa have been handled.
Comment 3 Maciej Stachowiak 2010-05-06 21:37:08 UTC
(In reply to comment #2)
> Responding to Edward:
> 
>  * There is a difference between introducing features and creating a whole new
> file format, previously unknown. 

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.

I think WebSRT, if split out, would probably be a better document to reference than the de facto SRT format, which is not properly specified anywhere.
Comment 4 John Foliot 2010-05-07 00:53:35 UTC
Maciej wrote:
>
> 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.
>
> I think WebSRT, if split out, would probably be a better
> document to reference than the de facto SRT format, 
> which is not properly specified anywhere.

I agree with this, although it strikes me that for a format such as WebSRT to evolve that you would likely end up with a derivative of either SMIL or TTML, as much of the required needs analysis for this functionality has already been done there.

I think that focusing effort on defining a better profile of either format that meets everyone's needs would be work effort that would show greater payoff, rather than re-walking old territory.

In either case, I am in agreement that referencing an external document (rather than embedding it into HTML5) is the better option here.
Comment 5 Philip J├Ągenstedt 2010-05-07 04:59:52 UTC
Have no opinion on how to shuffle documents, but as usual it's probably fastest to accept any request to split and then move on with the actual work of speccing and implementing.
Comment 6 Adrian Bateman [MSFT] 2010-05-07 05:53:11 UTC
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.
Comment 7 Ian 'Hixie' Hickson 2010-08-16 21:39:20 UTC
marking WORKSFORME since the W3C spec doesn't have any mention of timed tracks
Comment 8 Maciej Stachowiak 2010-08-16 22:03:51 UTC
Changing resolution to WORKSFORME per Ian's comment (I assume INVALID was an error).