W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > February 2009

Re: head@profile: another dropped attribute

From: Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Date: Thu, 05 Feb 2009 13:19:16 +0000
Message-ID: <498AE754.70702@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
CC: Rob Sayre <rsayre@mozilla.com>, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>



Sam Ruby wrote:

> An an author of content that intends to be syndicated, I have found that 
> elements such as <font> tend to survive the syndication process better 
> than elements such as <style> do.  There roughly are three types of feed 
> readers out there: ones that simply do a strcpy of the bytes and don't 
> worry about such matters as character encoding or security; ones that do 
> everything humanly possible to render the content correctly; and the 
> rest that simply implement simplistic white lists that might have a 
> tendency to be over zealous in the quest for safety.
> 
> Simply put, <style> is a swiss-army knife and often is striped because 
> of a fear of platypuses:
> 
> http://diveintomark.org/archives/2003/06/12/how_to_consume_rss_safely
> 
> Sometimes there is a time and place for humble tags that do only one thing.

I think there is always a place for "humble tags that do only one thing",
and I would suspect that the vast majority of markup consists primarily
of such tags.  But when speaking of tags such as <font>, it is important
(IMHO) to appreciate that not only do they do only one thing, they do
that thing only for one target audience : those who have normal visual
abilities, and who therefore view web content visually.  But what of
those who do not have such abilities : the blind, and partially sighted ?
Of what use to them is a stretch of text surrounded by <font> tags ?
One thing on which I though we were all agreed is that the web must,
first and foremost, be accessible (to all), and that the use of
purely visual styling treats those lacking normal visual abilities
as second-class citizens.

Philip TAYLOR
Received on Thursday, 5 February 2009 13:20:07 UTC

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