W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 2003

Re: More references on XML/XHTML and accessibility

From: Tim Roberts <tim@wiseguysonly.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2003 10:54:43 +0100
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-Id: <20030627095443.M5732@wiseguysonly.com>

Agreed.

I think the only thing that matters here is that I carry on building
accessible sites in XHTML and Kynn carries on building accessible sites in his
own choice ow language. I know Kynn uses both XHTML and HTML. My choice is to
use just XHTML because for me it seems to make being accessible a simpler
process. For me, I repeat!

I got on the defensive, because the argument did take a very sharp turn into
an anti-XHTML rant somewhere in the middle. I made valid points, and Kynn did.
 I made my points about why I thought XHTML was more accessible (even from a
purely promotional standpoint), they got beat down. I still believe what I
believe.

I don't believe I ever dismissed HTML. I just said I thought XHTML was
inherently more accessible, and between all of the standards tennis, there is
a few (even if somewhat abstract arguments in there).

I recap my biggest arguments in full knowledge that there are
counter-arguments that I have heard, and considered, but still do not change
my view.


XHTML is not just trendy, it is aimed at seperating content and structure and
making code well-formed. It makes a bigger fuss of this than HTML, admittedly
through spin to a great extent. Seprating content and structure is a good
foundation in producing accessible content, isn't it?

The well formed part is beneficial to smaller devices that can't handle bulky
browser software. Technological accessibility is important; technology is our
*API* to the human being regardless of their physical condition. XHTML sites
don't break in *popular* browsers if interim methods are used. Supporting the
greatest number of browsig devices is good for accessibility, isn' it?

The trendy part is good, because XHTML draws attention to standards. Drawing
attention to standards draws attention to the WAI. For this reason I would be
glad if my only argument was that it is *cool* to use XHTML. I am even glad if
it is cool to use valid HTML. If XHTML is only a branding tool for using any
standards then so be it. Bringing attention to the existence of accessibility
is a good thing isn't it?

XHTML is valid XML which means the transformation tools for XML used on the
server side can be used. This means the ability to serve alternative versions
rapidly from one source. Cutting of bandwidth and the ability to port your
content between devices is an accessibility related issue, isn't it?

I also feel that when so many browser companmies and development tool
manufacturers are moving towards standards support and the W3 brands XHTML as
the successor to HTML that it may be a good move to start at least using
transitional XHTML. Failure to acknowledge this, may result in sites that are
not too accessible in the future. Of course I have no crystal ball when it
comes to this matter. It may happen outside my lifetime, or never. I am just
hedging my bets. Whilst the two standards will probably live together for a
long time, who believes that XHTML will die in favour of HTML?

Those were my main arguments in the thread. I feel that they all hold true.

Tim



On Fri, 27 Jun 2003 10:28:03 +0100, Isofarro wrote
> Tim,
> 
> > This always seems to be the pattern with your posts to this list. Ever the
> > protagonist and getting abrasive and rude by the end.
> 
> I will disagree with you right here. Kynn has asked some very pertinent
> questions - and good questions too. For me, it has highlighted that 
> there is a perception that XHTML is somehow more accessible by 
> default than HTML, but there seems to be no firm factual basis for 
> that opinion/belief/perception.
> 
> The main question is still: You believe XHTML is more accessible 
> than HTML - why? Its fine for you to believe that - but to use it as 
> one of the points raised against the RNIB, without being able to 
> substantiate that belief/perception/opinion only serves to degrade 
> the quality of the criticism to the RNIB for their choices.
> 
> > I don't want to discredit you.
> 
> And I have no intention of doing similar either. I follow both your blogs
> and websites - because you both share knowledge freely and willingly,
>  and that knowledge about accessibility, web standards and other web-
> related technologies is something I am keenly interested in.
> 
> > I just want to make accessible web-sites
> 
> So do we all on this list. However when your definition of an accessible
> website clashes with (IMO) a more generally accepted definition to 
> the extent that it is difficult to reconcile both view points, then 
> it makes it harder for us to sell accessibility to website owners.
> 
> May I make the suggestion that both you and Kynn take a breather 
> from this thread for a couple of days. Then have a read through of 
> the thread again after that -- you'll see you both have strong 
> beliefs (which is good), but have you considered the factual basis 
> for that belief? May I then also suggest you author an article about 
> why you consider XHTML to be more accessible than HTML.
> 
> Mike.



--
Open WebMail Project (http://openwebmail.org)
Received on Friday, 27 June 2003 06:00:46 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 19 July 2011 18:14:10 GMT