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information [graph] integrity manifesto

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 12:49:41 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199705131649.MAA04655@access4.digex.net>
To: raman@Adobe.COM (Raman T. V.)
Cc: jim@arkenstone.org, w3c-wai-wg@w3.org (WAI Working Group)
Yes, T.V., the blind using speech will be beneficiaries of people
investing in technology to inform the auto driver.

And thanks for the reminder on how we can sample some good stuff.

I still want to deal more with another issue Jim raised:  "What
are our expectations vis-a-vis the allocation of work between
client-side and server-side processes?"  

I am woefully ignorant of the CSS architecture, and I want to
admit that my expectation that it is oriented to
incremental-refinement tree transforms is just based on general
experience and the way people use LaTeX and HTML today.

I come at this as a born-again relation-ist.  I am worried that
people are not going to readily recognize that what will make the
Web work best in a speech-output browse is a graph transform on
the web of resources that the sighted browse employs, and not
simply an alternate presentation of an HTML file viewed as an
information tree.

My current hotbutton is ensuring the graph integrity of source
material so that ability- and preference-smart clients can manage
both communication and rendering to construct the
virtual-document view that best supports a speech-output dialog.

For a concrete example of what I mean by mixing and matching
comm and data solutions, check out the "percolation" proposal


Am I saying absolutely that adaptation per ability should be in
the client?  Not exactly.  But while I agree with the WAI
proposal that we want to increase the understanding of
accessibility issues among the information sourcing population,
to make this initiative a success I believe we need to _minimize_
the level of understanding required of people involved in the
authoring process.  It has to be mostly effortless.

The "information theory hypothesis" is that we want to ensure
the integrity of the information sourced, and not ask for
multimode sourcing (although it will be supported in the overall
framework).  I hear enough screams already from the information
sourcing community about how they wish they didn't have to scrub
two versions of their web pages.

Having the capability to render according to alternative styles
is necessary, but not sufficient for a win.  Some kernel of
information integrity requirements must be satisfied for the
diverse renderings to inform.  Finding "a few good rules" is one
of the critical success factors of this enterprise.

Al Gilman
Received on Tuesday, 13 May 1997 12:50:15 UTC

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