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Re: Trial A

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2000 22:27:18 -0400
Message-ID: <39A72B06.F86FD86D@w3.org>
To: love26@gorge.net
CC: gl <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
William Loughborough wrote:
> http://rdf.pair.com/expo.htm is my first trial at my action item to
> clarify what we mean about separating content/structure from
> presentation.
> Would appreciate comments - I need all the help I can get!

We've spent a lot of time discussing the term "content"
in the UAWG. Please refer to the definition in the 18 August
draft [1]:

In this specification, the term "content" is used in two ways: 
 1.Content refers to the document object as a whole or in parts. 
   Phrases such as "content type", "text content",
   and "language of content" refer to this usage. When used in this 
   sense, the term content encompasses equivalent alternatives. 
   Refer also to the definition of rendered content. and other 
   accessibility information. 

  2.Content refers to the content of an HTML or XML element, in 
    the sense employed by the XML 1.0 specification ([XML], section
    "The text between the start-tag and end-tag is called the element's
    content." Context should indicate that the term content is being 
    used in this sense. 

We do not use the term content in the sense of "information". I
recommend that you therefore distinguish:

1) Content (everything that comes over the wire, basically)

2) Structural markup. We list "important structural elements"
   from HTML in checkpoint 7.6. This list is based in part 
   on the list in the WCAG 1.0 Techniques.

3) Meaning. We haven't dealt with meaning much (or
   'information' conveyed by content). It might be
   useful here to distinguish what machines can understand
   (because they have been programmed to do so, they implement
   specs and reflect the meaning in those specs, etc.) and
   what humans can understand (red means danger in some cultures,
   this is a photo of Aunt Gladys not just a series of pixels,
   this left alignment means some kind of organization, etc.).

4) Style: The part of content that describes its rendering. 
In the UAWG we are still working on some of these issues. However,
we've spent a ton of time on what "content" means and I would urge
you not to assign meaning to the term other than the document
object is constituted of content. 

 - Ian

[1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/WD-UAAG10-20000818

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Friday, 25 August 2000 22:27:21 UTC

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