W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 2001

Re: Including content modes in 4.1

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@contenu.nu>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 23:33:30 -0400
Message-Id: <a05100332b78d2828069d@[]>
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
>>By the way, it is unwise to continue to refer to human languages as 
>>"natural" languages, no matter how well-understood that term is 
>>among the cognoscenti. Why not call them human languages?
>Well, if you want to get picky, HTML and XML and SMIL and C++ and 
>Perl and Visual Basic and Applesoft BASIC are all human languages 

No, they're not. No human infant grows up speaking them. Next you'll 
be telling us that pacemakers are human organs.

>As long as "natural language" is defined somewhere in a glossary, I 
>think that our use of the term makes sense,

if you intend to confuse laypeople. The Section 508 regs already had 
to explicitly tell people that "natural language" means "human 
language" (and to use lang="" codes to denote it).

>as that is the technical term used by people in the field (e.g. NPL 

If our audience were "NPL professionals," whoever they are, then we 
could live with this kind of jargon, which is to be discouraged 
unless there is no other way to express the concept.

>and the other folks who aren't familiar with this term really should learn it.
>Otherwise our document won't be taken seriously by the people working
>with natural/human languages.

Why should we care?

Our goal is getting real people to make accessible Web sites, not to 
show some other cadre of geeks how well-hung we are. We have to make 
our guidelines easy to understand.

>Does this argument seem eerily familiar to anyone else?

Kynn and his victim mentality. He's good at rubbing salt into wounds. 
I wonder why you all love him so much.
         Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
         Author, _Building Accessible Websites_
         (New Riders Publishing, October 2001)
         Bookpage: <http://joeclark.org/book/>
         Bookblog: <http://joeclark.org/bookblog/>
Received on Tuesday, 31 July 2001 23:34:41 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:38 UTC