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Re: css abuse

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 11:43:06 -0400
Message-Id: <199909291555.LAA14803@smtp1.mail.iamworld.net>
To: w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
Cc: asgilman@access.digex.net
At 09:39 AM 9/29/99 -0400, Leonard R. Kasday wrote:
>>The meaning CSS assigns directly is the presentation behavior.  The way to
>>have a verbal common reference point for the visual and aural styling is to
>>use good mnemonics as the class names in the HTML that the styles select on.
>But does the User agent have access to those names?  And even if it did,
>wouldn't it be better to have access to descriptions that are independent
>of the names?  Otherwise, it would be like having mnemonics as file names
>for images instead of ALT text.

This is an example of what we call "the better fighting against the good."

Having _more_ that the natural language associations of the class name or
file name to go on is better, but using clear mnemonics as file names and
class tokens is still good.  The file is not only accessed through
references in IMG elements.  In the IMG element, it can have a ALT
attribute for explanation.  In a file directory listing, the ALT is nowhere
to be found.  At this point, there is value in a mnemonic file name.  It is
also easy for an URL to get moved around separately from any referring
HTML.  For this reason, the file name (or URL embedding the file name)
should be as mnemonic as it can be on its own terms.  Where this file is
cited in an IMG tag the mnemonic quality of the URL does not relieve the
author of responsibility for documenting the use of this image in this
place with ALT text.

In this case the schema linking class names to more elaborate definitions
is a dream of the future.  The ability to inspect the attribute values has
been with us in some form or another in essentially all browsers for as
long as there has been a Web.

And yes, a UAGL-conforming user agent not only has access to these
attribute values, but makes them available to the user and to add-on
assistive technologies.


>Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
>Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
>Department of Electrical Engineering
>Temple University
>Ritter Hall Annex, Room 423, Philadelphia, PA 19122
>(215) 204-2247 (voice)
>(800) 750-7428 (TTY)
Received on Wednesday, 29 September 1999 11:42:53 UTC

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