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Re: Comments/Quibble on "Making Classes Accessible"

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 09:35:01 -0500
Message-Id: <4.3.2.7.2.20001211090445.00e12db0@pop3.concentric.net>
To: "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@mysterylights.com>, <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>
Thanks Sean, for reviving my old proposal on "making classes 
accessible".  I'd kinda given up on it for a while.  Is there any part of 
w3c space you haven't perused <grin/>?

To answer your question, here's an example of what I meant by

"Users shall be able to choose any class and then step through all elements
of a particular title..."


Say someone has a web page with a list of allen head setscrews, only some 
of which are available in stainless steel.  The author wraps each of the 
entries for the stainless steel items in DIV with class="ssavail".

Now, this allows the author or anyone else to use a stylesheet to highlight 
those setscrew entries, e.g. with a silver colored box, so the sighted 
person looking for stainless steel setscrews can quickly scan down the list 
and spot the stainless steel setscrews.

We want to give this rapid scan capability to users who are blind.  Hence, 
it would be useful for the browser to enable the user to choose any class 
and then step through elements of that class.  In this case, the user could 
select the "stainless steel" class and step through the setscews that are 
available in stainless steel.

To put this in philisophical perspective...

This is a way to add some semantics to what starts off as a presentational 
page.  A deeper approach would be to present the whole setscrew catalog as 
an XML database in the first place.  People who want to pursue that point 
might take a look at the question "what is presentation" on the GL list
  http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/2000OctDec/0746.html
and the opinion that all XHTML is presentation, and that true content would 
be XML
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/2000OctDec/0757.html

Personally, I think of HTML and XHTML as a mixture of content and 
presentation, even when used "correctly", i.e. even when the author tries 
as best he or she can to separate "content" from "presentation".  This 
becomes most apparent when looking at thinly disguised databases, 
especially tables.  So what I'm suggesting here is that when authors use 
classes (e.g. stainless-steel) to add semantics to web pages, let's create 
a  way so that people with disabilities get the equivalent benefits.  The 
simplest way is to squeeze it into CSS, but that runs counter to the 
philosophy that CSS has only "presentation".  RDF is another way, and Sean 
has corrected my initial amateur attempts to do that.  We could also do an 
XML schema.

Having said all that,  if we want to continue this, the question is what 
list to put it on?

Len

At 09:44 PM 11/29/00 +0000, Sean B. Palmer wrote:
>  Lastly, it says in the document
>"Users shall be able to choose any class and then step through all elements
>of a particular title..."; could someone explain that for me (preferably
>with examples)?

--
Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Temple 
University
(215) 204-2247 (voice)                 (800) 750-7428 (TTY)
http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday         mailto:kasday@acm.org

Chair, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Evaluation and Repair Tools Group
http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/IG/

The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant: 
http://www.temple.edu/inst_disabilities/piat/wave/
Received on Monday, 11 December 2000 09:35:26 GMT

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