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Top-Posting And Guideline 3.1

From: Chris Ridpath <chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca>
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2004 11:17:41 -0400
Message-ID: <35e701c45ac7$8eb75db0$b040968e@WILDDOG>
To: "WAI WCAG List" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

There has been recent discussion on the list regarding the practice of
top-posting[1]. It's also been discussed at length in the Internet community
at large[2][3].

I propose that top-posting is an accessibility problem that falls under
guideline 3.1 "Ensure that the meaning of content can be determined" [4].
Messages can be more easily understood if they were properly formatted and
top-posting is avoided. This issue seems to be at least as important as the
issues of abbreviations and marking foreign words that currently fall under

Top-posting can be defined and tested for. It occurs in Internet messages
and HTML pages such as the WAI's email archive.

Much of our discussion regarding 3.1 has been in the abstract but the issue
of top-posting is a concrete example of where 3.1 imposes on us today. I
bring up the issue of top-posting to test the validity of 3.1 and to see if
can be practically applied.

Do the messages you post to this list run afoul of the WAI guidelines?


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/2004AprJun/0767.html
[2] http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/usenet/brox.html
[3] http://www.caliburn.nl/topposting.html
[4] http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/#meaning
Received on Friday, 25 June 2004 11:18:29 UTC

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