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Re: the market hasn't spoken - it hasn't bothered to listened [was Re: fear of "invisible metadata"]

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 12:42:59 +0300
Message-Id: <F2631312-F4E8-435C-B25B-031CCF6455F3@iki.fi>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, HTML Working Group <public-html@w3.org>
To: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>

On Jun 28, 2007, at 10:07, David Woolley wrote:

> [ cross posting removed, as it will fail - cross posting on mailing
>   lists frustrates followups ]

public-html added back, because that's where drafted HTML5 features  
need to be discussed.

> Henri Sivonen wrote:
>
> I haven't time to go over all of these, but this one particular  
> struck me:
>
>> <footer>
>> Provides for skipping over administrative information in e.g.  
>> aural UAs when the user wants to scan a page as quickly as  
>> possible omitting such notices.
>
> The name is presentational.

An element need to have a reasonable succinct name. You shouldn't  
read too much into the general English meaning of the word--just use  
it as something that is easier to remember and type than a string  
with no relation to natural language.

I've suggested before explicitly allowing semantic <footer>s at  
places other than the foot:
http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/whatwg-whatwg.org/2007-April/ 
010686.html

The name makes sense as most often <footer> marks something that is  
actually at the foot.

> Logically, it means:  those things that the company lawyers told us  
> we must have, but the designers would rather do without.  Amongst  
> other things, like copyright notices, company registration  
> information, etc., this often includes things that have been  
> included because the lawyers have said they they are needed for  
> accessibility, in particular, the site map link.
>
> A user agent that suppresses this information is likely to be  
> defeating the intent of the legislators, and, in particular, likely  
> to be hiding accessibility features.

Eh? Let's consider what the intent of the legislators actually was in  
requiring stuff to be included for accessibility reasons. The intent  
is to make that things *available* to users who need them. Not  
allowing the said users to *opt* to not be exposed to this  
information when they are trying to scan a document for other things  
would be a tragic distortion of the original intent of legislation.  
It's not like AT should suppress <footer> by default.

As for lawyerly stuff included with the DVD FBI Warning mindset,  
sure, those are unlikely to be marked up in an accessibility-friendly  
fashion. Instead, people with that mindset are ready to go to great  
lengths to make things specifically unfriendly to all users (as in  
the DVD FBI Warning case by badgering player manufacturers into  
disabling fast-forward or chapter skipping).

-- 
Henri Sivonen
hsivonen@iki.fi
http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
Received on Thursday, 28 June 2007 09:43:38 GMT

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