W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 2001

Re: need a new tag

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 11:14:49 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200105131014.f4DAEn804686@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> people will have difficulty with English and so we need to be sure 

The ideal solution here is language negotiation, but I accept that
that may be too expensive.

> understand" is a desire to allow people to keep reading on the one 
> page, not to open new windows, to use plain language.

Accessibility guidelines say that you do not open new windows; you
replace the current contents.

> If we consider the draft paragraphs below I think there are two 
> "glossary" things going on. In the last para I link to a separate 
> page explaining concepts such as "click and drag" etc. These 
> explanations are several sentences long. In the first para though I 
> deliberately use the word "format" which is then effectively 
> explained in the following sentence.

This is really a writing style thing.  If you are writing for beginners
you should not forward reference definitions, or if you do so, you should
explicitly mark the reference with something like "(see following)" in plain 
text.  In HTML, you can then indicate where "following" is by using a fragment
hyperlink (#xxx relative URL).  To the extent that users are aware that
such links are likely to be local, you might be able to miss out the
"(see following") and use style sheets to distinguish them from non-local
links.

Don't forget to mark the actual definition with DFN.

> I want to be able to use a Tooltip for the word "format". We need to 

Tooltip is a Microsoft Windows term.  If you are developing HTML standards,
you must think more generally than Windows.  You must not assume that
title generates a popup, or that "popup" makes any sense.

> It seems to me that we have tags for acronyms and abbreviations which 
> allow this - presumably primarily on accessibility grounds. A 

They can be used as a hint to non-visual browsers as to how to process
the element.

If anything new were to be needed, it would be a new style sheet feature
to hint at behaviour like Microsoft Help's popup hyperlinks.

> Once you've written your document you might think it looks rather, 
> well, ordinary. You can now format individual words or letters, 
> sentences, paragraphs or even the whole document. You can change 
> colours, sizes, fonts, margins and more.

I'd say:

  well, ordinary. You can now change the appearance of individual words
  or letters, sentences, paragraphs or even the whole document; this
  is called <dfn>formatting</dfn> the document. You can change colours,
  sizes, fonts, margins and more.

Note that "fonts" is at least as technical as "formatting" (especially as
the word processing definition of font is not the same as the typesetting
one)++ and it is not obvious to what "sizes" refers.

I hope this is teaching something other than HTML authoring.  In which
case, I wonder why you don't use Microsoft Help as your authoring
format.

You should also think twice before teaching Microsoft Word in this way,
as it will be very difficult to un-teach (like unstructured programming,
and tag soup HTML) at a later date.  Word has a proper style sheet feature.

> 
> [snip] Note that you can use the normal selection techniques such as 
> click and drag, double click or shift-click. [snip]
> 
> Glossary: Not sure what these selection methods mean, how to use 
> them? The Glossary <link to another page> will help.

This is not the normal meaning of glossary.

I think the correct markup for this is something like:

  [snip] Note that you can use the normal selection techniques such as 
  <a href="click_and_drag.html" title="meaning and use">click and drag</a>...

++ Also, if you introduce fonts, you need to introduce the concept of
display and body text fonts.  Most beginners are likely to put body text
in display fonts.
Received on Sunday, 13 May 2001 06:21:07 GMT

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