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Re: Does the user know for sure whether the page is dynamic or static?

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 05:34:42 -0800
Message-ID: <388C54F2.8BDB07F3@gorge.net>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
CC: Jonathan Chetwynd <jay@peepo.com>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org, Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>, Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
CMcCN:: "Jonathan's point, that presentation can carry semantics is

WL: This is quite probably the root of the ongoing "Universal Design vs.
Individual Adaptation" controversy. Content/Structure/Presentation are
of course somewhat arbitrary/artificial since each of those elements
might well overlap the others. Meaning is conveyed in lots of ways but
if we are able to communicate then the signs/symbols for that endeavor
can profitably be spoken of in ways that enable us to "be on the same
page" or even "understand" what we would convey. Whether
<em>SHOUTING</em> would be better served by <strong>sudden
quieting</strong> or by the synthesizer switching from Casper
Milquetoast's to Orson Welles' voice or whatever - if we are trying to
get something across, the WCAG is our best attempt to make that possible
in some universal way when we create the instrument of conveyance for
this first-order *thing* that we are hoping to have the user join the
author in agreeing to. Most of us believe that this goal is achievable
across some really seemingly wide gulfs, including the "language
barrier" and even the "digital divide".

I for one am fairly adamant about not being confused about the
difference between the concepts of "one size fits all", "separate but
equal", and "universal design". Of course one size doesn't fit all and
separate cannot be equal but if authors are sufficiently aware of WHAT
they are trying to convey, the HOW can be handled provided: our
guidelines are adequate to the task; they follow the guidelines. Of
course the GLs aren't perfect but rather than dealing with
ethnograpnic/usability as a means of affecting the *content* we are able
to tease out substance from style at the author's level, we may be able
to connect *almost* everyone to *almost* everything.

The convenience of use, etc. can clearly be handled by various ATs, etc.
The problems of putting ideophonics into ideographics is a huge hurdle
but it's one we must address if the (probably) largest group of PWDs
(those with cognitive difficulties) are to be included in "everyone".
The WCAG are not just about the Web but about communication in toto and
of course semantics as *meaning* is our central issue. All the
acronymical markups of language will help but we must keep our eye on
the doughnut rather than the hole and get authors to focus clearly on
what they are trying to get the user to "get" and provide whatever means
necessary at the user level to winnow out that meaning, however obscured
it is by the presentational obfuscations provided by multi-media or
whatever. The song is still supposed to make you laugh or cry.

Received on Monday, 24 January 2000 08:32:40 UTC

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