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RE: Liaison with CSS WG to provide a mechanism for expressing the style of document semantics

From: Pierre Saslawsky <ps@outspring.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 06:23:26 -0700
Message-Id: <62B3BEEB-D505-4478-8254-C533F223684C@outspring.com>
To: public-html@w3.org

> The idea behind this is to allow CSS authors to assign a "legend"  
> to a particular CSS class. The presentation allows for the "legend"  
> definition to include text, and the styling of said text in a  
> variety of formats (on-screen, spoken, etc.). The presentation  
> itself of the legend is undefined by the draft;

I am impressed with this idea of "Semantic-Presentation Legend" but I  
see a major shortcoming: as you noted, the presentation itself of the  
legend is undefined...  I believe the original author should submit a  
proposal of "SPL-Styling Language" because we certainly don't want to  
have all the legends styled in a similar fashion. For instance, one  
should be able to display "This is a joke" in little italic  
characters, while (to reuse the example of the original document) one  
may need to show "THE WORDS OF JESUS" all in bold uppercase  
characters. We may also want to add some generated content, for  
instance parentheses before and after "(This is a joke)" or a prefix  
and a suffix to turn "THE WORDS OF JESUS" into "THESE ARE THE WORDS  
OF JESUS YOUR LORD". The notion of media will take a new importance  
too because, considering an aural media type, users would be utterly  
confused or disappointed if these 2 legends were pronounced with the  
same pitch, volume and elevation.

Thinking about it, as legends become more and more adopted everywhere  
under each and every element and in so many different styles, we'll  
probably need to provide the users with some informative texts about  
the legend presentational attributes. For instance, below the legend  
"THE WORDS OF JESUS", we could have a little text explaining "This  
legend appears in bold uppercase letters because the words of Jesus  
are important" and below the legend "This is a joke", we would have  
"This legend appears in small italic characters because we don't want  
you to spend too much time on it". Of course, all this Level-2 legend  
system would have to be detailed in an even deeper proposal, the "SPL- 
Styling Language Semantic Legend Module". Although, I'm afraid that  
once the SPL-SL-SLM takes off, market pressure will push developers  
to ask for a way to style the Semantic-Presentation Legends  
presentational attributes informative texts themselves. For instance,  
below "(This is a joke)", they may want to show "This legend appears  
between parentheses because SOME PEOPLE JUST DON'T GET IT".

But how would we style these uppercase characters? And how would we  
explain why they're in uppercase? Hmm... Could someone please make a  
proposition for a Level-3 Semantic-Presentation Legend system and its  
associated Styling Language, I'm running out of steam here.

Or could it be that the whole "Semantic-Presentation Legend" proposal  
itself doesn't make any sense?

Pierre
Received on Thursday, 31 July 2008 13:28:57 GMT

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