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RE: Action item: Rewriting 1.3, "Ensure that information, functionality, and structure are separable from presentation"

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 16:32:46 -0500
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B01179B6B@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: <Becky_Gibson@notesdev.ibm.com>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Joe proposes rewriting Guideline 1.3 "something like" the following:
 
<blockquote>
Whenever markup or languages permit, ensure that
structure, presentation, and behaviour are
separated to the extent possible for the content.

</blockquote>
 
I too like the substitution of "behavior" for functionality (this change
is also consistent with the proposed change to Guideline 3.2 that came
out of the impact analysis for the guidelines and SC). But I'd like to
keep  the rest of the wording as is, so I propose the following new
wording for Guideline 1.3:
 
<proposed>
Ensure that information, structure, and behavior are separable from
presentation.
</proposed>
 
Rationale
 
Becky's concern about the potential difficulty (impossibility?) of
separating behavior from content in the case of certain uses of
Javascript is important, and I would like to hear more about that.
 
I have a couple of other concerns as well.
 
In his original post, Joe argued that we can get rid of the word
"information" in the current wording because no sane person would
publish a Web page that had no content between the tags.  While this is
probably true, I don't think it's really the point.  
 
The intent of Guideline 1.3 as I understand it is to ensure that
information, structure, and behavior are preserved when the presentation
format changes/is adapted to the needs of users with disabilities.  I
use "information" here in the sense of a message to be conveyed (sense 1
in WordNet's definition of information); data to be presented,
collections of facts from which users may draw conclusions (sense 2 in
WordNet's definition); knowledge gained from instruction, study, or
experience (sense 3 in WordNet).
 
So the question is whether the word "structure" as defined in the WCAG
glossary [1] can carry the weight of "information" in the senses listed
above.  I think "structure" is defined in such a way that it probably
*can* carry that weight. But I also think that interpreting it that way
would be a stretch for the vast majority of our readers (including most
of us...). And if I'm right about that we should probably retain the
word "information."
 
I'm also concerned about the introductory phrase "Whenever markup or
languages permit...": I worry that this would give developers carte
blanche to use whatever technologies they want without regard for
whether or not those technologies support accessibility (or at least
this aspect of it)-- they could simply say that the language/technology
they chose didn't "permit" any significant separation of structure,
presentation, and behavior, but that's what the client wanted so...
 
The final phrase-- "to the extent possible for the content"-- raises
similar concerns for me.
So I propose accepting Joe's suggestion that we replace "functionality"
with "behavior," and leaving the rest as it is in the current wording.
 
[1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/#structuredef
 
John
 
 
 
 

"Good design is accessible design."

Dr. John M. Slatin, Director 
Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin 
FAC 248C 
1 University Station G9600 
Austin, TX 78712 
ph 512-495-4288, fax 512-495-4524 
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu 
Web  <http://www.ital.utexas.edu/>
http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility 

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Becky_Gibson@notesdev.ibm.com
Sent: Sunday, April 24, 2005 12:51 PM
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: Re: Action item: Rewriting 1.3, "Ensure that information,
functionality, and structure are separable from presentation"



<joe clark wrote> 

PROPOSAL
1.3 should be rewritten to read something like the following:

Whenever markup or languages permit, ensure that 
structure, presentation, and behaviour are 
separated to the extent possible for the content. 
</end joe clark> 

I think I  like Joe's proposal for rewriting Guideline 1.3 to focus on
separating structure, presentation and behavior from content.  Although
I have concerns for the implications to the use of JavaScript.  In the
case of web applications it may be impossible to separate the JavaScript
(behavior) from the content if JavaScript influences or generates
content based on a user choice. Maybe the "to the extent possible"
clause in the above proposal gives me an out - for a web application the
complete separation of behavior might not be possible?    I was also
concerned that several of the experts who responded to Joe  wanted to
see success criteria that require a site to function with JavaScript
turned off. So, perhaps I really don't understand the implications of
this proposal???? 
  


Becky Gibson
Web Accessibility Architect
                                                      
IBM Emerging Internet Technologies
5 Technology Park Drive
Westford, MA 01886
Voice: 978 399-6101; t/l 333-6101
Email:  <mailto:gibsonb@us.ibm.com> gibsonb@us.ibm.com
Received on Sunday, 24 April 2005 21:32:58 UTC

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