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Re: [Accessibility] A thought about a possible project

From: Jason White
Subject: Re: [Accessibility] A thought about a possible project
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2010 13:26:04 +1000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

Daniel James <address@hidden> wrote:
> In future, I hope so, but right now we have public service and other
> broadcasters (who have a policy to enable accessibility) using Flash and
> h.264, not HTML5 and WebM (or Theora). Those broadcasters probably think
> that having accessibility on Windows PCs satisfies that policy.

H.264 rules out free software in jurisdictions that allow software patents.
Some devices, though, apparently can decode it in hardware, so this needn't
always be an issue.
> A possible leverage point is the smart phone market. If a substantial
> market share of phones run GNU/Linux in future, then Flash accessibility
> on those phones will become an issue. Even if HTML5 succeeds in
> replacing Flash, there is likely to be plenty of Flash around on legacy
> websites for years to come.

this is true, but as I mentioned, HTML 5 is where the future is likely to be,
so to the extent that a choice has to be made, I would recommend working on
HTML 5 rather than Flash. Of course, if someone wants to work on accessibility
in either of the free Flash players, they should go ahead and do it. Part of
the problem at the moment is that there are two distinct free implementations,
one for Flash 9 and later and the other for earlier versions, and it isn't
clear how the interaction is going to be worked out (see the LWN article for 

I also worry that the mobile device manufacturers will simply buy a
proprietary Flash implementation instead of supporting the free versions, to
the extent that they decide to support Flash under circumstances in which HTML
5 is becoming increasingly competitive.

I wish the free flash projects much success and I hope someone works on their
accessibility at some point.

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