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Re: conflation of issues or convergence of interests?

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.its.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2007 10:51:03 +1000
To: wai-xtech@w3.org
Message-ID: <20070729005103.GC4141@jdc.local>

On Sat, Jul 28, 2007 at 01:52:31PM +0100, Patrick H. Lauke wrote:

> Maybe I'm drawing a conclusion that's too thin, but compare how things like 
> ARIA are striving to more clearly define relationships and semantics for 
> user agents, so that the end users of those UAs can better understand the 
> content that's being presented to them, while here it's being argued that 
> users don't really need explicit associations and they can just work it out 
> themselves based on context. This, to me, makes me seriously question the 
> "it's not the UA, it's the user" assertion. It's not so clear cut, in most 
> cases...UAs need to be able to interpret the content *for* the user in 
> order to present it (visually, aurally, etc) *to* the user in a meaningful 
> way.

This is exactly the point, as Gregory so capably amplified later in this
thread.

At the moment, one of the most significant limitations on the quality of the
user interfaces that UA/AT systems can provide lies in the lack of semantics
in the markup of the content, due both to misuse of features defined in
existing specifications (HTML in particular) and the absence of standard
representations of important components and relationships within the content,
exposure of which would lead to substantial improvements at the user interface
level.

The syntactic mess that HTML has often degraded into, referred to in W3C
documents surrounding HTML 5 as "markup soup", also raises the barrier to
entry too high for the creation, with modest effort, of tools that would
transform and adapt content so as better to meet the needs of particular
classes of users. HTML 5, at least, will address this shortcoming.
Received on Sunday, 29 July 2007 00:51:20 GMT

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