W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-evangelist@w3.org > December 2002

RE: Right Tools RE: Promotion of XHTML

From: fstorr <fffrancis@fstorr.demon.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 19:51:09 -0000
To: "'W3C Evangelist'" <public-evangelist@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000501c2b105$f75ceb90$4363989e@DHGQCD0J>

For example, When I add a citation, I will have a pop-up window in my 
browser and will have the possibility to give the text and URIs and 
depending on the context it will add a q or a blockquote, with the 
cite at the right place. The problems with the HTML 4.01 
Specification is the precise use of the markup is not enough explain 
to make the implementer's life easy.


Dreamweaver MX sort of does this if you have all the Accessibility
options turned on - it'll prompt for alt + longdesc attributes for an
<img> element, caption, summary and headings for <table> elements etc.

What would make it easier would be some kind of basic WYSIWYG CSS
editor.  For example you select "page heading" (meaning <h1>) then
select from a list of fonts, font weights + styles, background colors
etc.  This would then update the css attached to a page.  The actual
X/HTML editor could run with a series of prebuilt templates (a la
Microsoft's "Wizards") that could generate 2, 3 column layouts, etc etc
along with user prompts for things such as <q> <blockquote>, <address>,
caption etc etc.  If it came with a good set of documentation so that
new users could be "puppy walked" through exactly why, for example, a 3
column floated layout might or might be a good idea, and how it works
(and what exactly "float" is!) in plain, easy to userstand language,
this might get people more interested in the code side of it.  Add into
this something like TopStyle's excellent "this won't work in Netscape 4,
Opera and IE5" thing that it has for CSS and a validator, it would be
quite a nice tool. And, if the editors generated good code, it might not
scare the pants off anyone looking at X/HTML for the first time.


We have to improve the specifications for sure, we have to improve 
the software, we will not be able to change the human nature (except 
if HTML is teached in the right way in schools).


If the specs were easier to understand for the "non-geek" and were
promoted as "the right way to go" we might see more people using
standards. There are more and more articles and books coming out about
accessibility and standards, and maybe if the W3C really promoted the
"accessible to more users", "easier to update mass content with CSS"
angles, amongst other things, (yes I know that they do, but how much of
that is preaching to the converted - people who actually use and read
W3C.org all the time) people might start to be more interested in the
workings of a page rather than just presentation.

Have a good new year.

Received on Tuesday, 31 December 2002 14:53:55 UTC

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