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RE: Personalisation - your thoughts please

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 13:14:52 -0400 (EDT)
To: "SHARPE, Ian" <Ian.SHARPE@cambridge.sema.slb.com>
cc: "WAI (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0204191306410.29485-100000@tux.w3.org>
The important ideas here seem to have been pretty well covered - it's nice to
know that lots of folks are thinking hard and well about accessibility.

The two comments I would like to propose as summary points are:

1. There needs to be "general" accessibility so people can customise things
they sort of know are there already. A one-off user is rarely going to have
the time or need to customise a site, and a user who can't already make good
use of the site isn't going to know that they can and should cutomise it. (As
Jakob Nielsen pointed out a long time ago, if it doesn't work straight off
they are likely to look for a competitor's site which does....)

2. It is possible to encode all the data in XML (even XHTML) and then build
tools that can transform it in many useful ways. But in fact this is not
always easy - what can be produced depends on what has been encoded into the
XML - and as someone who has done this in practise it is easy to forget to
ecode something, or not realise until afterwards that it would be needed.
Working out the data model is an art - there is never "too much information",
just too little apparent use to justify formalising the encoding of it. The
real skill of using XML is knowing what to model. (This is where using RDF
encoding is helpful - although it can be more complicated to process it makes
it really easy to patch stuff on afterwards, so provides better support for
unpredicted extension. The fact that RDF can be expressed as XML opens the
possibility to use both approaches together...)



On Fri, 19 Apr 2002, SHARPE, Ian wrote:

  Ah yes, I understand where you're comming from now. But this is potential
  already quite doable. If content were stored more generally as XML (XHTML)
  then a stylesheet can be used to perform the transformation to pretty much
  any format you like. All we need to do is convert everything currently held
  as HTML into well formed XHTML and we're away!! Simple!!
Received on Friday, 19 April 2002 13:14:54 UTC

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