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Re: content/presentation

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 10:09:59 -0400
Message-ID: <3729B9B7.7162F4AC@w3.org>
To: love26@gorge.net
CC: au <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
William Loughborough wrote:
> At the end of the telecon I mentioned some misgivings about the dual use
> of the word "content": the content of the file (with markup); the
> content in the sense of "separate content from presentation" imperative.
> One of the main purposes of the WAI "movement" is to join the CSSers and
> other rational folk in an attempt (hopefuly not foolishly vain) to get
> authors to keep "content" (meaning, import?) distinct from presentation.
> Many authors find this incomprehensible since to them form is an
> inseparable part of function - there is no non-semantic content, even
> the color of the <HR>s carries a message.
> I don't have a clue as to what to do about any of this but in the
> interest of a bow to political correctness, I think we might find a word
> for "markup content" that is different from "idea content".

Here's what the Web Content Guidelines says:

The content of a document refers to what it says to the user through
natural language, images, sounds, movies, animations, etc. The structure
of a document is how it is
organized logically (e.g., by chapter, with an introduction and table of
contents, etc.). An element (e.g., P, STRONG, BLOCKQUOTE in HTML) that
specifies document
structure is called a structural element. The presentation of a document
is how the document is rendered (e.g., as print, as a two-dimensional
graphical presentation, as an
text-only presentation, as synthesized speech, as braille, etc.) An
element that specifies document presentation (e.g., B, FONT, CENTER) is
called a presentation element. 

Consider a document header, for example. The content of the header is
what the header says (e.g., "Sailboats"). In HTML, the header is a
structural element marked up with,
for example, an H2 element. Finally, the presentation of the header
might be a bold block text in the margin, a centered line of text, a
title spoken with a certain voice style
(like an aural font), etc. 


Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org) 
Tel/Fax: (212) 684-1814 
Received on Friday, 30 April 1999 10:08:51 UTC

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