Android Accessibility Testing and Fixing in 30 seconds

The Google Accessibility team recently invited Android developers from around the Bay Area to spend an afternoon learning how to make their applications accessible. The event showed these developers how easy it is to make their applications as accessible as possible. One of the tools featured was Android Lint. I was so impressed by the functionality that I made the following video: Android Accessibility Solution in 30 Seconds
Continue Reading Android Accessibility Testing and Fixing in 30 seconds

Cross-browser HTML5 video tag with fallback for Flash users

Apple’s lack of support for Flash on the iPhone and iPad has forced people to reconsider the value of HTML5 and its video tag. It’s no longer something to put off until the future. However, adding HTML5 video support to your site AND continue to provide a Flash option for older browsers (I.E.) is not as simple as you might expect.

While the video tag has been standardized, there is a lack of consensus for supporting the codecs used to package the videos for distribution and playback. Some browsers are supporting the OGV format, some support the more popular but licensed mp4 format. Others, such as Chrome, will support both. To make it even more exciting, there is a new version under development to make a truly open-sourced format: WebM.

This means your video tag needs to define multiple movie sources to make it playable on all browsers. It sounds complicated because it is. Luckily, Kroc Camen has written a great article and code pattern for adding a cross-browser video tag with fallback to Flash for the older browsers: Video for Everybody!.

The article is full of great advice from a programmer that has learned the stuff the hard way. Here’s an explanation of how you’ll need to adjust your htaccess file.

Ensure your server is using the correct mime-types. Firefox will not
play the OGG video if the mime-type is wrong. Place these lines in your .htaccess
file to send the correct mime-types to browsers

AddType video/ogg  .ogv
AddType video/mp4  .mp4
AddType video/webm .webm

Video for Everybody! – Kroc Camen

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Flickr Video is live

The often discussed, semi-fabled video on Flickr feature is finally released. It’s actually pretty cool. They’ve decided not to fight Yahoo! Video or You Tube for video supremacy. Instead, they’ve limited the time length to 90 seconds and hope to build a community of shorter, more personal videos that you can mix with your photographs.

It also includes more storage for your photographs. Here’s a sample of a video that I just posted. It’s a non-captioned capture of a train pulling into the Chemin Vert Metro stop.

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Captioning Sucks and Needs a Jump Start

Captioning Sucks - No shit Sherlock, lets fix it
The internet is awash in video. YouTube, Yahoo Video, and other video sites host millions of videos with little attention to close captioning. For many sites, the text translations exist, they simply are not used. This sucks.

Television shows have featured captioning for many years. It’s sometimes the only way to figure out what they are saying on South Park. However, captioning standards are all over the place, the quality of text is questionable, and the industry is not supporting new innovations. This sucks.

Joe Clark is working on a new standard to fix these issues. He probably knows more about captioning than any other breathing creature in the world CaptioningSucks.com is the new home to the future of captioning. Perhaps it is time to buy the domain: CaptioningRules.com, for hopefully it won’t suck much longer.

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