W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 2000

Re: Back to Principle 1

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 12:15:29 -0700
Message-ID: <397209D1.76D1AC49@gorge.net>
To: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
AG:: "...the root principle is to provide the user with options."

WL: Perhaps if we put the "separate content/structure/presentation" as
the first principle we might find that the "root principle" changes us
into thinking about the semantics of Webstuff rather than its ultimate
implementation. 

What we mean to get across is at the very root of it all. We are taking
the position that there's an underlying something to be communicated
that can be done in many ways if the author takes care that her uses of
various elements is both cross-modality and cross-cultural.

Our much-remarked linguistic chauvinism often makes us forget that the
strains of "Dixie" have a different meaning to different folks. While it
is true that this imposes burdens on content creators, it is also what
the exercise is all about.

Awareness of the need for "informational curb-cuts" will require the
fundamental change in how we approach communication that has become
necessary. It's the "everything" with which "everyone" is connected.

We will always have to make exclusionary decisions - a newborn infant
will probably not be able to (within a "reasonable" length of time)
fully comprehend essays on the semantics of "program music".  We (so
far) have taken the position that a *minimum* conformance with our
principles means that were she still with us, Helen Keller could be
privy to our "content".

The words we search for to engrave on the headstones of "principles" are
probably "in there somewhere". Finding if we can get away from
"modality" and others will consume us for a bit.

Weaving a "semantic Web" without using the word "semantic" might prove
divisive in the general sense. It is going to be hard for many who truly
believe that their paintings communicate *in the same sense* as do words
that there is such a thing as "content" somehow separable from
"presentation" - or that "structure" is a concept with meaning in a
universe whose apparent main characteristic is chaos - since we are
operating on a small island of negative entropy.

Many of us are so concerned with preventing women from voting and Native
Americans playing on a basketball team with Lithuanians that we go to
war "on principle". This is why it is not off-topic to keep harping on
the idea of there being agree-uponable "principles" at an even higher
level than those we dissect (endlessly?) here. Such as "we're all in
this together and members of one another" which has led us to:

            ACCESSIBILITY IS RIGHT - NOT PRIVILEGE

Love.
Received on Sunday, 16 July 2000 15:16:12 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 7 December 2009 10:47:05 GMT