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How do we point into a web page [was minutes from 30 October 2000]

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 09:24:41 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>, w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
At 02:14 PM 10/30/00 -0500, Al Gilman wrote:
> >I think you can actually write Xpointer / Xpath expressions to select 
> bits of
> >text (I think I saw that it could be used in XSLT). But you should ask an
> >expert.

I think ability to point into text is critical for additional reasons, 
besides things like language, misspellings, and missing tags in the text.

- an accessibility assertion could apply to a part of CSS or Javascript 
inside a web page.  These are typically (and prefereably) inside comments...

so we need to point to text inside comments!  Can we do this with Xpointer?

- If in the future we deal with server-side scripting that follows e.g. asp 
or php files, and we want to test the asp or php file before it gets 
processed into HTML by the server, we are again are pointing inside a 
programming language whose parse tree would not be exposed to XPATH constructs.

- what if the original page is illegal HTML?  How can we point to the 
illegal bits in a tidyfied version?  Seems to me we'd have to cast the 
whole page, or at least a portion of the page, into CDATA to talk about it.

These are leaning me in the direction of just considering the page one big 
text string against which we make XML or RDF statements.   If we do that, 
that whether we point by interspersing the comments in the string or 
pointing into the string is largely an implementation detail, it seems to 
me, since it would be straightforward to convert from one to another.

Please take the above (possibly inflammatory) statements as just MHO for now.

Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Temple 
(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

The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant: 
Received on Tuesday, 31 October 2000 09:25:21 UTC

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