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From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 12:54:04 -0600
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B034DE3AC@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Gregg Vanderheiden" <gv@trace.wisc.edu>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
More thinking aloud.
Content is everything in a Web page or other primary resource, including
all resources specified in the code for that Web page  or other primary
I think this avoids the trap of saying that content that  is purely
decorative isn't content (which would then mean we couldn't write
success criteria about it). That purely decorative stuff is "Web
content" whether the user finds it "informative" or not.
And purely decorative content is "information," too. A while back
someone (Giorgio Brajnic I think) proposed that our definition of
"information" should include Gregory Bateson's definition of information
as "news of difference-- the difference that makes a difference." I'm
not sure he was serious, but the point is. 
If we think about "information" from the way the term is used in phrases
like "Information Technology" (US) or "Information and Communications
Technology) (Europe and elsewhere), *everything* that comes over the
network is information-- some string of zeroes and ones that allows each
character or pixel or whatever to be distinguished from all the other
characters or pixels or whatever that come with it. At this level of
abstraction, purely decorative graphics are information. The empty alt
attribute furnishes *additional* information, meaningful only to AT,
that enables screen readers to distinguish these purely decorative
images from other images, so that the AT can act accordingly. In
Bateson's terms, that empty alt attribute is "news of difference" with
respect to that particular <img> element. The src attribute of the <img>
element specifies a file containing a whole bunch of information--
zeroes and ones again.

"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/>

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Gregg Vanderheiden
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2006 10:33 AM
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: CONTENT

Here is a definition of content from an ISO standard draft




information to be communicated to the user by means of a Web application
that is presented by text, images, video or other types of media



We had said earlier that content was more than just the information -
that it was the presentation too.  But I wonder.....   


The questions seem to be

-          If there is no information is it content?

-          Are pure sensory experiences content?

-          Are sensory experience and other non-informative parts of web
pages content.

-          If they are not content - could we still talk about them in
our guidelines on content

o        I think we could - because we are differentiating them from

o        We also don't require text alternatives for things that contain
no information or meaning so.....

-          Are web applications the only way to convey this information?
Is this the wrong use of that term?

o        Should this be user agents?

-          Should it be limited to media? 



Maybe content is





information to be communicated to the user by means of a user agent that
is presented by structure, layout, text, images, video, scripts or other


Just thinking aloud and looking for harmonization. 






Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
Professor - Depts of Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 
< <http://trace.wisc.edu/> http://trace.wisc.edu/> FAX 608/262-8848  
For a list of our list discussions http://trace.wisc.edu/lists/

The Player for my DSS sound file is at http://tinyurl.com/dho6b 



Received on Wednesday, 8 March 2006 18:54:14 UTC

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