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Re: What does 'look for semantics' mean....

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2001 22:30:49 -0400 (EDT)
To: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0104282229570.26702-100000@tux.w3.org>
The use of semantics in HTML is also important for iCab, among others.


On Sat, 28 Apr 2001, David Woolley wrote:

  > document is sound. It also lets the user agent know
  > where to look for semantics if it needs to.'

  Recognize headings, paragraphs, list items as such, rather
  than just as formatting effects.  It basically means use the
  language as intended, not just for visual effect.

  > and also if this ability to 'look for semantics' is
  > used in any current 'User Agents'.

  IE4+ and NS6 use them whenever the user supplies a style sheet.

  Amaya (browser editor) and html2ps (print convertor) rely on correct
  semantic use of Hn to generate tables of contents (for the use of this in
  html2ps, look at the PDF version of the HTML 4.01 or CSS2 specfications).

  D J Delorie claims that some search engines rely on semantically correct
  use of Hn to construct an outline of the document, rather than using initial
  lines, or meta elements.

  When one extends to XML, correct semantics allows documents to be machine

  Any non-pixel oriented browser, e.g. Lynx, or, in principle, screen readers,
  requires correct semantics to render a document recognisably (sometimes they
  can approximate, but not always).

  Although I don't know if it is done in practice, correct use of TH,
  etc., allows non-visual browsers that follow the guidelines in the HTML
  specification to render tables understandably.

  What could be done with Hn and lists is to provide a folded view of the
  document (c.f. Word outline mode).  For Hn this requires proper nesting,
  as required by ISO HTML.

  PS your mail program is using MIME header encoding on your name when there
  are no characters in that require it.

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Saturday, 28 April 2001 22:30:56 UTC

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