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Re: Checkpoint 13.2 - metadata

From: Matthew Smith <matt@kbc.net.au>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 07:46:57 +1030
Message-ID: <3FC27549.3080900@kbc.net.au>
To: michael.virant@dse.vic.gov.au
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

michael.virant@dse.vic.gov.au wrote:

> To meet this checkpoint - must post-login pages to a web application
> contain metadata?

A few thoughts:

The big question is: does the application have to comply with 13.2 or 
does the application just need generate accessible content?  (I know 
that there are people working for the South Australian Government who 
think that every page must contain embedded Dublin Core metadata - even 
if they don't know why.)

I have pondered this issue long and hard and have decided NOT to include 
metadata in post-login pages for the following reasons:

* I am not aware of any situation where a lack of metadata would stop a 
user, whether or not using assistive technology, from being able to 
access the page content.
* Software that is used to catalogue/index pages by reading metadata 
would not have access to the controlled area.

I suppose that it could be argued that someone may be using some form of 
Semantic Web agent to access the application for them, but I can't see 
that day being upon us for some time.

To summarise my thoughts: the WCAG is GUIDELINES for making Web content 
accessible; if my application is fully accessible by my client group, it 
is this, not marking points of a checklist that is important to me.

IF, however, we are talking about more than just one application - for 
instance an entire intranet with diverse content - I feel that we should 
be complying with 13.2.  An intranet can be nearly as anarchic as the 
Internet if users are all posting their own material.  (I say this from 
bitter experience having worked for a large multinational with the most 
inaccessible, unnavigable intranet.)  A large enough intranet really can 
benefit from metadata and, working internally, the agents that read and 
make sense of it.

Hope this helps...

Cheers

M

-- 
Matthew Smith
Kadina Business Consultancy
South Australia
http://www.kbc.net.au
Received on Monday, 24 November 2003 16:17:01 GMT

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