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Re: accessify.com's review of RNIB relaunch

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 22:35:31 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200306252135.h5PLZV302914@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

>   Yes - it denotes a sense of hiearchy, or yes, it denotes a sense of
>   importance ? The specs seem to speak of importance.

I think you are reading too much precision into the wording of a part
that dates from the beginning and was probably considered uncontroversial.

HTML will have got the Hn concepts from other tools of its time, troff
macros, obviously, but also Microsoft Word, which had an outline
processor even then, which had builtin assumptions about heading1...
forming a hiearchy, as does its table of contents generation.

Also if you look at the HTML specification itself, it uses the headings
in such validly hierarchical way that html2ps, which makes this hiearchy
assumption, generates a very good collapsible outline tree for the 
PDF version with no additional hinting at all.

W3C's Amaya, and I think Mozilla will generate collapsible outline trees
from the headings, as well.  (Word now can now also interpret its own
heading levels as a collapsible navigation tree, independent of the 
outline processor mode.)

Like the early RFCs, HTML was originally specified in a cooperative 
environment, where people weren't looking for legal loopholes.  RFCs
long ago had to resort to SHOULD/MUST/MAY language and long pre-ambles,
but the HTML specs just haven't been made quite that legalistic yet.
Received on Wednesday, 25 June 2003 17:36:09 UTC

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