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From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 06:43:52 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: WAI GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
When/Why "How" Becomes "What"

A lot of our discussions re content/presentation "separation" is based on a 
notion held by us left-brained zealots that there's some "reality" out 
there in what Korzybski called "event space" which may be talked about. An 
equally held view is that creators put stuff into event space for which the 
"why" has no clear map to other events: in other words one has decided to 
play/dance/act/paint a particular something without having any 
description/excuse/reason therefor.

Frequently used exemplars are Beethoven's Fifth and The Mona Lisa. Most 
critics think "Moby Dick" is an allegory dealing with Captain Ahab, I think 
it's about whales' relationship to man/nature. I don't know what Melville 

The point is that the sound bite I use of Tim Berners-Lee ("If you write 
what you mean, rather than what you want done with it, it can be repurposed 
so much better") doesn't take notice of entities created without "meaning" 
in the sense I think Tim intends and for which WCAG is created.

Many authors think they are "creating" in the pure sense that Van Gogh 
might have (often artists don't even title stuff, let alone try to 
"explain" it). Frequently this is vanity/sloth. Usually they can clarify 
but are often beset with time constraints and laziness so that something 
obvious to them is left as a painful "exercise for the reader".

Perhaps this a "DUH!" exercise on my part, but I wonder if some mention of 
it should be made as a sort of "exception" to the "separate 
content/structure/presentation" imperative?

Received on Thursday, 20 September 2001 09:41:10 UTC

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