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Re: A "one size fits all" personalized web page?

From: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 18:38:13 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <200001200238.SAA02964@netcom.com>
To: charles@w3.org, phoenixl@netcom.com
Cc: love26@gorge.net, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Hi, Charles

Given a choice between defining presentation of dynamically generated
web pages via options on a form or creating personalized style sheets,
very few users will choose personalized web pages.  In the real world
where allocation of resources is important, why would a company or
university allocate programmer time to both of these approaches?  Since
few users will want to create their own personalized style sheets, a
company or university would probably want to allocate the programming
resources to features which will be useful to a greater number of users
than those who want personalized style sheets.

Using XML/XSL to dynamically generate web pages to send to the server makes
more sense than applying style sheets to HTML.

Information which is stored in a very abstract form such as XML can give
more flexibility.  For example, various web sites will let you mail the
text of articles to users.  Since the text is being mailed, it need not
be in HTML.  CSS is not very helpful in these situations.


I don't understand your statement:

    "Programmers may prefer to change the information for different users.
    have argued that in attempting to provide different people with the
    same information that is a bad appraoch to information management."


In a previous message you said:

    "I believe that a server-side provision of a stylesheet is likely to
    be less burden than rewirting the entire pages model"

My comment on server-side style sheets was in reference to this comment.


I'm sorry you are not understanding my comments on semantic content /
semantic information.  Unfortunately, until you understand how I am
using these terms, you will continue to be confused by my statements.


Your statement:

    "Changing the types of content requires reprogramming ofd a customised
    presentation whether it is done in HTML, XML, CSS, RTF, or anything
    else, and then generated."

is actually in error.  Depending on the structure of the software generating
the web pages, reprogramming can be easily avoided.  Attribute-driven
generation of web pages is a very flexible approach.


I'm not sure what work Dan Brickley has done, but perhaps you could
give me a URL to review.  I've actually done a fair amount of work
on customization ranging from computer typesetting to graphic meta-files
to multiple window environments to adaptive web pages.  There
is actually alot of similarities in the different customizations.
Your comment that customization of content being different from
customization of presentation again is a somewhat narrow view of the
problems.  You cannot always isolate one from the other.  Each can
influence the other.

Scott

> Sccott, it is clear what you are talking about.
> 
> Programmers may prefer to change the information for different users. I have
> argued that in attempting to provide different people with the same
> information that is a bad appraoch to information management.
> 
> Servers have nothing to do with CSS, and the andling does not change.
> 
> Web designers need to know how web standards are imlemented. CSS and HTML are
> in the same bag hereBut using CSS provides for sound underlying semantics
> (that you keep asking for and then claim aren't there) while using remodelled
> HTML obscures those semantics.
> 
> Changing the types of content requires reprogramming ofd a customised
> presentation whether it is done in HTML, XML, CSS, RTF, or anything else, and
> then generated. THe point is that it is not relevant (incidentally it isn't
> relevant whether the content is dynamic or not - the principles apply
> anyway).
> 
> The case where users are customising for themselves is a different kettle of
> fish, The work trhat Dan Brickley has done is a good place to investigate the
> state of the art here. But even that begins from a common basis with the same
> starting point being there for all to return to. There is an important
> difference between customised information (I read the sprots section and you
> read the business section of the newspaper) and customised presentation (I
> get the broadsheet and spread it out on the table, you browse it
> electronically with a palm pilot). This discussion is only relevant to the
> latter case, obviously.
> 
> Charles McCN
Received on Wednesday, 19 January 2000 21:39:18 GMT

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