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Re: Who decides "content"

From: Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com>
Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 10:44:17 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 07:06 AM 23/05/98 -0700, William Loughborough wrote:
>The point of all this in our context is that some people think
>*everything" presented is *Content* and for someone to (arbitrarily?)
>decide that the background that shows tiled spinning wheels on the yarn
>shop website isn't content is behaving discriminatorily.

LQ::  Background images are specified in a style sheet, along with margins,
leading, fonts, colours, voices, and auditory icons.  Do you really think
that authors should describe each and every one of their style rules for a
small group of misguided users?  If some blind users think the Web is a
visual medium, then the EO group should fix that rather than forcing
authors to dilute their content and screw people who view the Web as device
independent and expect it to be that way.

>Others (my
>sighted self included) prefer not to have such backgrounds because it's
>not *really* content - but if you're not aware of it and it comes up in
>some context you might feel unprepared to participate in a discussion.

LQ::  I'm not aware of the voice-family specified on pages because I don't
use Emacspeak.  If I were conversing with an Emacspeak user, I suppose that
the voice-family used on a particular page may come up.  Should the author
tell me and everyone else about what voice-family she chose so that I can
be better prepared for such a discussion?

>And no matter what definition I use to decide whether some "content" is
>*really* *CONTENT* that choice is preferred *BY SOME PEOPLE* to be in
>the control of the user

LQ::  SOME PEOPLE view the Web as a visual medium, even though they may use
the Web in a non-visual environment.  We need to educate these users
instead of giving in to their misguided views and harming those with more
sensible views.

>But please don't continue with the idea that "content" is an absolute
>and that there's no semantics in choices concerning <HR>.

LQ::  Where does it stop?  If <HR> is content, then the link colours and
fonts must be content as well.

The author is the only person in a position to efficiently decide what
aspects of a page are content and what aspects are presentation
suggestions.  You want to pile it all on the user and make the user sift
through everything to find what he or she thinks might be content.

Liam Quinn
Web Design Group            Enhanced Designs, Web Site Development
http://www.htmlhelp.com/    http://enhanced-designs.com/
Received on Saturday, 23 May 1998 10:44:15 UTC

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