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Re: A little back to basics (Re: Users should have (Re: Fresh start? Re: Minimal Browser Capabilities))

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2002 21:06:55 +1100
Message-ID: <15409.35392.783.271722@jpc.local>
To: Web Content Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Scott Luebking writes:
 > 
 > I've been kind of exploring some ideas not to dissimilar to what
 > you are suggesting about abstracts as a way to quickly size ulp
 > a web page when browsing by voice or on a small screen.  A format
 > that I keep coming back to that could appear at the beginning of appropriate
 > web pages would be something like:
 > 
 >     TITLE
 > 
 >     INTRODUCTION / SUMMARY
 > 
 >     INDEX OF SECTIONS ON PAGE

I suggest we would do better by separating the desired result from the
mechanics of how it is implemented, whether by a server, a proxy
server, the user agent or whatever it may be. We can then provide
techniques for implementing it in those parts of the process over
which the content developer has control. The question of whether this
is necessary will depend on (changing) assumptions regarding the
technology available downstream, in gateways, proxy servers and user
agents. The issue of how those assumptions are to be determined over
time belongs to a separate thread of discussion (cf. minimal user
agent capabilities).

Incidentally, I am currently running a version of T.V. Raman's
Emacspeak software that will apply a user-selected XSLT transform to
each incoming HTML document. It can linearize tables, unravel nested
ftables, create an outline of the document and so forth. Given
appropriate structure in the original it is perfectly possible to
satisfy the presentational requirements quoted above (that is, title
followed by summary, outline, then main text).

Perhaps the best solution would be to argue, as always, that authors
need to include the relevant structure/semantics in the content, and
fthen they can decide whether to implement some of the transforms
themselves or leave it to proxy servers and user agents. Likewise,
accessibility advocates will need to think strategically about whether
it would be more effective from a practical point of view to create
more client-side transformation tools and deliver them into the hands
of users, than to encourage authors to implement server-side
transformations on grounds of accessibility.

In either case, the server-side techniques should be included in our
techniques documents and those who are interested in working on the
details should collaborate with Wendy, Cynthia and other members of
the group with specific interests in this area.
Received on Tuesday, 1 January 2002 05:07:09 GMT

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