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Re: distraction: bane or content?

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 15:56:56 +0100
Message-Id: <a05010406b6d29319f394@[10.0.1.9]>
To: Marja-Riitta Koivunen <marja@w3.org>, Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>, Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Cc: WAI <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 10:41 PM -0500 3/11/01, Marja-Riitta Koivunen wrote:
>Authors could provide enough semantic information so that users 
>don't have to rely on visual presentation. And when they do provide 
>the semantics it also becomes easier to change the presentation with 
>stylesheets.

I get worried about statements regarding "enough" semantic information
since I think it's a chimera that's impossible to catch or even
define.  Even "enough semantic information so that users don't have
to rely on visual presentation" is very, very hard to do, when you
start examining it.

I worry about a proliferation of "semanticism" causing a huge increase
in the amount markup that must be produced, the number of tags or
attributes that must be managed, the complexity required of the author
when creating the content, and the requirements for user agents to be
able to process this information.  It's a black hole that's very easy
to get sucked into and like most black holes there are few easy ways
out of such a pit.

(I'm not against the idea of embedding semantics, when possible, into
markup -- but I just get very scared by statements that we must have
"complete" or "enough" semantics for user agents to fully manage the
presentation on a semantic level.  I don't see it "working" nor do I
see it as necessarily being desirable to the majority of web users
and content providers.)

-- 
Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
http://www.kynn.com/
Received on Monday, 12 March 2001 10:16:24 GMT

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