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Re: Preferred Format for Text Transcript


From: Hoffman, Allen
Date: May 26, 2010 1:39PM

As a blind reader .txt used to be the format of choice--as it had less obstacles to access than some other formats which were tied to specific products. .html is the better alternative for the reasons cited here, and works well for most folks. .txt preference is a holdover from the days when formats were all tide closely to products.

I believe the advent of the Web with multiple user-agents has changed this perspective greatly for most blind readers.

-----Original Message-----
From: John Foliot [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 2:14 PM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Preferred Format for Text Transcript

Daniel Tang (dtang) wrote:
> Hello:
> Yes. Text is better.
> Daniel

Hi Daniel,

With all due respect, better for whom? And why?

Text (txt) has no semantic structure, cannot be easily repurposed or
visually styled in a web browser (or other user agent) and is a very
baseline minimum. To suggest in 3 words that it is "better" warrants a
fuller explanation (please).

Janet, obviously I believe that HTML is the better format as it can be
'rendered-down' to text output much more easily than .txt can be 'rendered
up' by end users. I would recommend marked-up texts whenever possible.

There is a very real possibility that using a profile of TTML (DFXP)
[http://www.w3.org/TR/ttaf1-dfxp/] - formats already supported by many
Flash-based players and likely a candidate for HTML5 - along with a little
bit of XSLT magic you could auto-generate your .html docs from the
time-stamped files, reducing production time and effort. (Note, I have not
yet attempted this myself, but am thinking about it...)



===========================John  Foliot
Program Manager
Stanford Online Accessibility Program
Stanford University
Tel: 650-862-4603

Co-chair - W3C HTML5 Accessibility Task Force (Media)


> -----Original Message-----
> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Janet Sylvia
> Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 8:33 AM
> Subject: [WebAIM] Preferred Format for Text Transcript
> For our web-based captioned video, we also provide links to screen
> reader accessible HTML files for both Text Transcripts and Descriptive
> Video.
> Someone has suggested .txt may be preferred over .html
> Any thoughts?
> Thanks,
> Janet Sylvia
> University of Georgia