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Re: A note about the definition of "structure"

From: Michele Diodati <michele.diodati@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 19:18:29 +0100
Message-ID: <2e1e87c05011710186eb8058a@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

Hi John.

> The key part of the definition was as follows:
> "Structure: Structure includes all the parts of a Web resource and the
> way they are organized."

This definition avoids the circularity of using the word "structure",
but has in my opinion some other defects.

First of all, it keeps up using the word "includes", inadequate for a
comprehensive definition. For example, a car includes at least four
wheels, but surely many other features. So, we can't define a car
saying "a car includes four wheels". In like manner, as I said in a
previous post, we need to define what "structure" is, not what it
includes (it could include many things).

Secondly, saying that structure "includes all the parts of a Web
resource", you seem to arbitrarily extend the scope of the notion of
"structure" to encompass the notion of "content". In fact after your
definition of "structure" there is the following clarification: "The
parts of a Web resource may include text, graphics, mathematical
equations, multimedia, etc. Some parts may contain other parts or create
relationships between two or more parts."

I think it is a mistake. "Structure" is only the way contents are
organized, and it does not include the contents. For example, I can
organize the letters "d", "g", "o", combining them in a meaningful
word: "dog". According to me, "structure" is in this case only the
organization I put into the three letters, but not the three letters.
They are data, contents. On the contrary, reading your definition of
"structure", I understand that also the contents are parts of the

Let us consider this short sentence: "I believe in you." If I put
emphasis on the word "you", what is structure? The word "you" or the
relationship of emphasis between this word and the rest of the
sentence? I think the latter one. So, in the corresponding code of a
web page  (<p>I believe in <em>you</em>.</p>), "you" is content and
"<em>...</em>" is the marker of its structural value.

Received on Monday, 17 January 2005 18:19:01 UTC

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