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Subtitles publishing workflow

Hi folks,

I started working on a client-side dynamic HTML video player:


It is very much a proof-of-concept right now, not yet remotely feature
complete, but it already allows you to select a video by conference, and
to play it. Once I've got the bugs that currently exist ironed out, I
plan to also add support for subtitles in that player.

However, in order to be able to do that easily, it would be useful if
the SRT video subtitles that exist now would be converted to the WebVTT
format, which is a W3C standard originally based on SRT, and meant for
use with HTML video. There exist some SRT-to-WebVTT convertors out
there, so this can be automated; however, the WebVTT format has a few
extra features that you might want to look into, such as tagging a
particular text with a particular voice, which can then be styled
differently in the video playback (e.g., different colors), using CSS.
We might want to give that some thought (but I'll have to figure out if
it's easily possible to switch such a thing on and/or off without a page
refresh; otherwise people might get annoyed if they can't switch off the
subtitle angry fruit salad).

Also, I believe that all video players which support the SRT subtitle
format will also support the WebVTT one. We should double-check that; if
that is indeed the case, then it is probably more efficient to drop all
SRT subtitles and stick to WebVTT only.

While at it, it occurs to me that the current workflow of publishing
subtitles is somewhat suboptimal:

- Someone needs to complete a subtitle file, which I gather is done on a
  service called "amara".
- Once the subtitle is complete, it needs to be downloaded from amara
  and added to the salsa debconfsubs project (a manual action)
- Once that is done, someone needs to notify a member of the DebConf
  video team that a new subtitle is ready so that it can be published,
  which is then done by the team member (a manual action)
- Once the subtitle is published, it also needs to be added to the
  archive-meta project by a member of the team (another manual action)

That seems like a lot of manual work for just publishing a single file,
and I think we should automate as much as possible of this; that is,
marking that a subtitle file is complete (however this is done, be it by
marking them as such in "amara", or by adding them to the debconfsubs
project repository) should trigger all actions that are necessary to
publish them on the meetings-archie and get them listed in the
archive-meta project.


<Lo-lan-do> Home is where you have to wash the dishes.
  -- #debian-devel, Freenode, 2004-09-22

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