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Re: XML question

From: Valmi Dufour <vdpw@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 03:43:40 -0400
Message-ID: <3B0E0D2C.345F231B@yahoo.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Scripsit Paul Bohman :

> It is relatively easy to make HTML accessible, because there are defined
> tags with specific purposes. In XML, there are no predefined tags. A screen
> reader would have no idea that it is reading a paragraph, a link, a title,
> or anything else. [...] 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.

I may miss an important point, but why would you not simply use CSS?
Of course you may not specify an element to mean "title" and let the
rendering agent--say, the screen reader--decide by itself what it
shall do with it--or then, if this is what you want, use XHTML.
Still, you may tell your screen reader what to do with it using
aural styles.

> 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
> 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
> structure can be almost completely useless.

CSS offers ways to define consistant tables in XML, as well as to
disinguish paragraphs--and, IMHO, anything you might ever really
need to distinguish--using the "display" property. My only fear is
in rendering agents not supporting this yet.

> How are we going to get around this as the Web migrates to an XML-based
> structure?

I know little about XSL, but as far as CSS remains an acceptable
solution for describing content of XML documents--and authors use it
consistantly--I see no accessibility problem.

Valmi Dufour.
Received on Friday, 25 May 2001 03:43:51 UTC

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