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Re: Fwd: HTML5 and XHTML2 combined (a new approach)

From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2009 22:16:06 +0000
Message-ID: <497CE4A6.2000408@googlemail.com>
To: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
CC: W3C HTML Mailing List <www-html@w3.org>

On 25/1/09 18:14, David Woolley wrote:
> My perception is that HTML5 is also aimed at presentational,
> particularly marketing, documents. One could treat them as user
> interface - especially given the stress on consistent presentation - but
> they are relatively output only (although with custom controls for
> navigation, panning, etc.).


While HTML5 has tried to define vocabulary clearly and has been 
concerned to provide features for which user interface is plausible,
one of the guiding principles of HTML5 has actually been avoiding 
mandating user interface/presentation.

Do you have any examples that mark the HTML5 draft as having more of a 
"stress on consistent presentation" than HTML4 or XHTML2? Do you have 
any examples of a user interface you might want to provide to 
content/functionality marked up with HTML5 that the draft bars you from 

Incidentally, I can't agree guaranteeing that conforming UAs will have a 
certain feature set is a concern peculiar to "marketing" documents - 
it's a concern peculiar to effective communication or functionality of 
any sort.

Just for example, HTML 4 mandated that:

"User agents must render alternate text when they cannot support images, 
they cannot support a certain image type or when they are configured not 
to display images."


If you create an educational document that includes photos or charts, 
it's crucial that kids who can't process the image visually still have 
access to alternative text.

If you create a service for submitting a tax form online and you include 
image buttons, it's crucial that citizens who can't process the image 
visually still have access to alternative text.

Of course, XHTML2 includes lots of mandates of this sort:

"For reasons of accessibility, user agents must always make the content 
of the title element available to users."


"Visual user agents must not by default add delimiting quotation marks 
(as was the case for the q element in earlier versions of XHTML and HTML)"


"User Agents MUST provide a means for the user to actuate the link [for 
a 'cite' URL]."

"Regardless of the way in which an element receives focus, for visual 
user agents, if the element is not currently visible on the user agent's 
display, the display must be updated so that the element is visible."


"User agents MUST provide access to the content of the summary element"


"If the user agent is not able to process the object for whatever reason 
(configured not to, lack of resources, wrong architecture, etc.), it 
MUST try to process its contents."


Equally, what would a iteration of HTML with a greater emphasis on input 
as opposed to output look like? Do you think XHTML 2 has a greater 
emphasis on input, and if so, how? What sort of inputs, what sort of 
user interfaces, would XHTML 2 allow you to create that HTML5 prevents 
you from creating?

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Received on Sunday, 25 January 2009 22:16:43 UTC

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