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Re: Comments/Quibble on "Making Classes Accessible"

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 17:58:10 -0000
Message-ID: <004a01c0639c$105185c0$ebdd93c3@z5n9x1>
To: <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>, "Leonard R. Kasday" <kasday@acm.org>
> Is there any part of w3c space you haven't
> perused <grin/>?

"If there is, I don't wanna know about it" :-)

> 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.

That's a very good idea. I always thought we needed more forms and
definitions of "class". We can use it for style, transformations, and
sectioning, and that's a lot for one attribute to handle. It's potentially
the most semantic attribute in XHTML, and yet it can also be used to infer
presentation...highly irregular!
I like the idea of binding classes to ID's, as per Dan Connolly's HyperRDF:
http://www.w3.org/2000/07/hs78 which extends the class mechanism, but a lot
of browsers don't allow for escaped characters in CSS:-

     .rel\:class { color: #000000; }

Which is very frustrating.

> 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

True content would be RDF/XML. I created an example for a fake meeting where
all of the meeting details are stored in RDF [1] and transformed [2] on the
fly to produce an XHTML [3] output. The short decription is at
http://infomesh.net/swdemo/#demo I urge you to take a look!
     [1] http://infomesh.net/swdemo/demo/rdfmeeting.xml
     [2] http://infomesh.net/swdemo/demo/meetingtoxhtml.xsl
     [3] http://infomesh.net/swdemo/demo/meeting.asp
The XSLT files are a bit scrappy for now, but they work!

> 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.

Any form of semantic equals a benefit to disabled users, because they don't
miss out on anything :-) That's the whole point of Semantics, everything is
raw information, and then from that you can convert it into the medium of
your preference. I could write a stylesheet to transform that meeting
example of mine into content for Aural Browsers, flashy IE5 types, WAP, or
whatever!

> 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.

Why would we be writing an XML Schema? Unless you mean we could write an XML
Schema for XHTML ("don't even go there!"), Schemas are the third layer: 1)
Data, 2) Metadata, 3) Schemes for metadata (i.e. metadata about metadata).
Like A.S. says, we are struggling with how best to attack data, and only a
handful are working on metadata. Schemas are way ahead of us! I challenge
you to find some RDF that has a non 1 dimensional structure as dictated by a
Schema. It isn't even possible yet...
Schemas are great, but only in the right places!

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

Your choice. As the original document was an ERT production, I thought it
best to direct my comments here. It might move to PF...

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
http://www.mysterylights.com/sbp/
"Perhaps, but let's not get bogged down in semantics."
   - Homer J. Simpson, BABF07.
Received on Monday, 11 December 2000 12:59:28 GMT

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