[uf-new] hAudio implemented on Bitmunk (with one snag)

Manu Sporny msporny at digitalbazaar.com
Sun Jul 8 13:39:33 PDT 2007

We've gone through and implemented hAudio on Bitmunk.com (one of our
service websites). David Lehn, one of our semantic web guys, has also
created an hAudio plug-in for Operator. Mike Kaply, author of Operator,
said that he will make it available via the Operator download section
within the next week or two. To view some hAudio compliant markup, you
can go to the following link:


There are over 850,000 songs that have been marked up on the website. We
are in the process of talking our partners, colleagues and competitors
into using hAudio to mark up their audio content as well. So, good
progress is being made in implementing hAudio.

However, we've hit a snag when it comes to usability with hAudio and
Operator/Firefox 3.

Problem Description:

It is quite often that a site uses an image instead of a text link to
present actions. For example: Instead of using the text "Download", they
will use a graphic image with a downward-facing arrow.

In other words, if we have this:

<a href="http://my.site.com/download/3847293">
 <img src="/images/cool_download_button.png"/>

How do we present this option to a human being in a non-web-page UI?

How it relates to the Examples:

We (Bitmunk.com) has this problem with 'rel-sample', 'rel-enclosure',
and 'rel-payment'. Most of the examples also contain images instead of
text for samples, downloads and purchase links. This is a demonstrable,
widespread problem.

The problem with Operator and screen readers:

If there is no text to display, then how does one place the item into a
menu/display for Operator/Firefox? Grabbing the image and placing it in
a UI is a difficult argument to make - there are a variety of image
sizes that might not do well in the Operator UI (or Firefox 3 UI).

Proposed solution:

We have a fix for Operator that uses the link title text if there is no
internal text. This fixes the problem for both Operator menu display,
Firefox 3 UI display and for screen readers. Here's how the site author
would change the text above:

<a rel="rel-enclosure" title="Download My Song"
 <img src="/images/cool_download_button.png"/>

This approach is beneficial for the following reasons:

1. It POSH-ifies the website.
2. It works well with Operator, Firefox 3 and other uF parsers/UIs.
3. It fixes the accessibility/screen reader problem.

We need feedback/consensus from the uF community before submitting the
patch for inclusion into Operator/Firefox 3. Is there anybody that
disagrees with this approach or has a better approach?

-- manu

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