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WCAG20 Definition of Content from May 8 2005 Telecon

From: Katie Haritos-Shea <ryladog@earthlink.net>
Date: Fri, 9 May 2003 08:22:22 -0400
To: "_W3C WAI WCAG \(GL\)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Cc: "3WC WAI X-TECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Message-ID: <01b601c31625$a8700320$87d2f943@KSHEALAPTOP>

WCAG 2.0 meeting notes 5/8/2005

(Gregg ends with asking Jason talk with W3C upper-echelon and to define
"User Content")


Definition of Web Content:

Subject matter or information that is processed, stored, or transmitted
via the Web. It includes such things as html pages, style sheets [CSS],
forms, xml, audio, video, scripts, proprietary document formats, web
applications, etc. [see footnote #1] 

In a simple sense, web content is any information or functionality that
can be accessed through a uri.  

Content may have the following properties:

(1) Encoding -  
The format by which the computer stores, processes, or transmits
content. The encoding may affect the mechanics of making the content
accessible but does not, itself, carry accessibility implications. 
Content on the Web is always encoded and thus requires a User Agent for
(2) Media type -  
The human-perceivable format by which the content is understood, e.g.,
text, images, audio, video,  or animation. Transformation into other
media types may be possible but the content is understood to have a
single native media type.
(3) Interactivity -  
Ability of the content to accept user input and change in response.

(4) Complexity -  
The difficulty for a human to perceive and understand the content.
Complex content may require, for instance, high education on the
content's topic, or the ability to read detailed charts.
(5) Scope -  
The collection of elements that is considered to be a "unit" of content.
Content does not contain an absolute inherent scope but humans often
assign scope for convenience in a given context. 
A typical scope is a "Web page", such as an html file, which involves a
single user action to obtain.  
An emerging scope is the "Web application" which may consist of numerous
Web pages and user  interactions but, because of information or task
similarities, are collectively considered to be a single unit.  
Scope may be smaller than a single Web page in some contexts, e.g., if a
book chapter is presented in a single Web page, it may be preferable to
refer to sections of the chapter is discrete units.

"Content" in this document [WCAG20] usually refers to web Content.

The W3C Recommendation, User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
(Normative), document defines "Content" as:

In this specification [UAAG10], the noun "content" is used in three
It is used to mean the document object as a whole or in parts. 
It is used to mean the content of an HTML or XML element, in the sense
employed by the XML 1.0 specification ([XML], section 3.1): "The text
between the start-tag and end-tag is called the element's content."
Context should indicate that the term content is being used in this
It is used in the terms non-text content and text content.
Empty content (which may be conditional content) is either a null value
or an empty string (i.e., one that is zero characters long). For
instance, in HTML, alt="" sets the value of the "alt" attribute to the
empty string. In some markup languages, an element may have empty
content (e.g., the HR element in 


footnote #1:
[Gregg V. wants to stress the point that "web content" is NOT defined as
only those "things that are controlled"]

NOTE: New Contact Phone Numbers for Katie (Below)

Katie Haritos-Shea

Section 508 Technical Policy Analyst
CESSI Accessible Solutions

6858 Old Dominion Drive
Suite #250
McLean, Virginia, USA


Voice: 703-448-6155
Fax: 703-442-9015
Mobile: 703-371-5545

"The best and most beautiful things in the world
     cannot be seen or even touched.
    They must be felt with the heart."
                - Helen Keller
Received on Friday, 9 May 2003 08:22:41 UTC

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