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Re: Marking up links to alternative versions of content (was: Re: conflation of issues or convergence of interests?)

From: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 05:07:34 +0200
Message-Id: <p06240628c2d44e8682d4@[]>
To: public-html@w3.org

At 12:27 +0300 UTC, on 2007-07-30, Henri Sivonen wrote:

> On Jul 30, 2007, at 03:32, Sander Tekelenburg wrote:

[re: <http://lachy.id.au/dev/presentation/future-of-html/>]

>> I can consume both the
>> text and the audio, but only deduce that they're equivalents by
>> consuming
>> both. There is zero indication that they are equivalents.
> The simplest possible way of addressing this issue without needing
> any changes to HTML and without any new browser UI would be adding a
> sentence immediately after the links to slides and the audio and
> briefly state what information they provide that isn't on the
> transcript page.

{frown} The point of the example was that the audio and text are equivalents.
If there'd be a need to explain what one contains that another does not, then
they are not equivalents.

Maybe this is a misunderstanding. I'll assume that in essence you're arguing
for non-explicit linking of equivalents, as the Subject suggests.

[1] No program could make use of that.
- Not an indexing bot.
- Not a tool that helps authors judge the universality/accessibility of their
- Not an authoring tool that needs to help the author to not mess up what a
previous author carefully added to try to help certain accessibility
- Nor any other tool.

[2] Considering humans: what you suggest provides far less usability than
explicit markup, because without explicit markup a UA cannot provide
consistency across sites. Even for people who can consume all data it would
still mean that the 'mechanism' to determine equivalence is different for
each site. So a non-explicit solution doesn't address universality.

[3] Considering how non-explicitness doesn't address certain specific
accessibility situations. I believe Gregory already laid those out earlier.


> Would an expression in markup capture (in a way the UA can
> reasonably expose--even in the usual visual CSS situation) the reason
> *why* the author thought it was worthwhile to provide non-text

I'd have to think about that. I thought that so far we were only discussing
how to allow authors reliably communicate *that* speficic things are
equivalents. Is there really a need to know why 1 or more equivalents were

> (to a
> degree sufficient for the user to make a decision on which version to
> get or to figure out what (s)he is missing)?

I can't follow. If they are equivalents, and explicitly marked up as such,
the user knows he isn't missing any content by picking any equivalent over
another. He *does* know that in doing so he's missing out on certain possible
(dis)advantages of the *format* of the other equivalents. When you pick text,
you know you get a different 'experience' then when picking the audio
equivalent. When you pick captioned video, you know you'll get a different
experience then when picking a video+sound only equivalent.

We're talking about making it possible for users to pick their preferred
equivalent, because they themselves are in the best position to make the best
choice for them. I don't understand what need there might be for them to know
why a specific equivalent was provided. If anything, they can safely assume
that it was provided for their convenience.

Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>
Received on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 03:09:39 UTC

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