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RE: W3C Roadmap

From: Geoff Deering <gdeering@acslink.net.au>
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 10:47:03 +1000
To: "david poehlman" <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>, "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@sidar.org>
Cc: "WAI-IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NBBBJPNFCLNLAADCLFJBOENJHFAA.gdeering@acslink.net.au>

> From: david poehlman
> The plan seems to address your issues from what I have read.  I think the
> biggest problem with the technology is the technology.  When the day comes
> that what is complex today becomes as simple as turning on a
> light or tuning
> an old style tv or radio, we'll have the proper interface.  I was dreaming
> of this a short while ago just thinking about how it could be done.  How
> about a three button web?  one to dial the web site, one to move
> forward in
> it, one to move back.  Let's see, adding a couple of other buttons, let's
> modify forward and back so that tapping forward and back together
> will go to
> the link you are sitting on, shift forward goes to the next screen full of
> info, well, this gets a bit complex, but we need to find a way to
> make it as
> simply complex as possible.  We need to build sofistocated smart equipment
> that cares not what it is connected to, what kind of information is puring
> into it etc and I am certain that the services would play a role as well.
> Technology is deffinitely disabled.
> Johnnie Apple Seed

I think the user interface is another issue.  What is happening here is
deploying technology to support user interfaces according to different
devices, which either require or do not require different underlying
technology.  This comes back to added complexity, overheads, costs, etc on
the developers part.

It may be possible to deploy good user interfaces, regardless of the
underlying technology, but is that underlying technology unified or

Aren't the SDK and APIs of operating systems meant to address a unified
software engineering principle to build device independent applications that
have a common user interface.

Markup is the APIs of the web.  Accessibility specialists should and do
understand that "Markup is the user interface".  This is something that many
web designers just do not get (but are fortunately understanding more and
more), and it is why they also fail to understand the crucial points of
accessibility.  This is also why accessible technology works so well in
operating systems.

Admittedly HTML/XHTML has too limited a vocabulary to foresee a lasting
represention of a semantically rich web, unless it evolves with XML
vocabularies that are far more extensive and can represent more deep and
rich expressions of language, writing and grammar (something I wish I was
better at).

I'm just looking for the representation of a cohesive vision, and I'm not
seeing it.  It could be there, but there are also lots of things that are
evolving that are just the signs of the standard software hack, where you
see a problem and hack a quick solution.  And that type of approach nearly
always multiplies the problems in the long run, mainly because of lack of

The history of software development is riddled with such stories, usually
because there is a need to get something quick to market for commercial
interest.  There are also counter stories where there have been excellent
vision and QA procedures to forge a great and stable path for software
evolution, but in these cases, the people at the heart of the movement could
see and articulate clearly the environment they were in and what they needed
to address.

I neither feel confident or unconfident that such clarity governs the paths
and decisions of the W3C, especially if I cannot find a clear roadmap.  That
becomes a worry and concern.

Geoff Deering
Received on Monday, 13 September 2004 00:47:04 UTC

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