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Re: XML question

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 23:50:24 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200105242250.f4OMoO402848@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> or anything else. Now, I know that you can convert XML into HTML, at which

Not without severe loss of semantics.  What you are supposed to do is
provide style sheets for different media, e.g. aural, brailled, GUI.

> text inside of those elements? I can use an XSL style sheet to give the XML
> content a certain layout or mode of presentation, but that's of no use to a
> screen reader either.

Provide an @aural CSS style sheet.

> It seems to me that XML is stripped of any useful structure, as far as a
> screen reader is concerned. This leaves us with text that may or may not
> make sense outside of its structural relationships. Think of tables for

I think you may have been confused by the XML hype.  XML isn't intended
to allow everyone to define their own DTDs; it becomes useless if people
do that.  It is designed to allow specific DTDs to be used by large
communities, in the same way that SGML allows HTML, a specific DTD, to 
be used by a very large community.

The intention is that general documents should be written in XHTML (although
I suspect that SVG may become the standard instead - depends on commercial
adoption, though).

> example. HTML tables can be confusing enough--but what if you don't even
> know that it's a table? Listening to a bunch of data outside of a table

Then you shouldn't have received the document.  If you receive a document
in the XML format for invoices, you are expected to know about invoices and
have tools for handling invoices, which can probably format the information
much better than a general browser, as well as entering them into your
payments system.

> structure can be almost completely useless.

I think that some of the younger designers will experiment with XML for
XML's sake, and will cause a problem, but I don't see that do it yourself
DTDs are any worse than the current HTML composed entirely of DIV, SPAN,
TABLE, TR and TD, and the need to think about structure may acutally
win converts.
Received on Thursday, 24 May 2001 20:13:43 UTC

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