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Re: Serving generic XML (was: storing info in XSL-FO: new issue?)

From: Elliotte Rusty Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 15:41:43 -0400
Message-Id: <p04330107b986f83a8fc7@[192.168.254.4]>
To: www-tag@w3.org
Cc: www-style@w3.org

At 9:45 AM -0700 8/19/02, kynn@idyllmtn.com wrote:

>But the point is that arbitrary XML is meaningless without something
>telling you what it means.

That's a straw man. XML isn't arbitrary in practice. When I write 
<SINGER>Madonna</SINGER>, there's a reason I choose the tags I do. 
The names have meaning.

>And that is the primary accessibility problem of arbitrary XML.  Even
>if you send a style sheet, it will likely still be unintelligible for
>those people with special needs.
>

If so, that's an unnecessary limitation of the current browser base. 
It's certainly not a fundamental problem. Stylesheets can transform 
to HTML or a variety of other formats. CSS stylesheets can be used to 
identify the headings and paragraphs by reversing the usual rendering 
semantics.

I think the WAI perspective may be far too narrow. If what's been 
said here is representative, their goal seems to be to severely limit 
the range of expression used on the web to a small, predefined 
vocabulary. This is doomed to fail. Most people do not think like the 
WAI wants them to think. They do not write like the WAI wants them to 
write. They never have and they never will.

The WAI approach is to change billions of web pages and millions of 
authors. Wouldn't it be easier to change a few pieces of software to 
actually understand the data that is out there? A technological 
solution (building better special-needs browsers) would be more 
effective than a social one.
-- 

+-----------------------+------------------------+-------------------+
| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
+-----------------------+------------------------+-------------------+
|          XML in a  Nutshell, 2nd Edition (O'Reilly, 2002)          |
|              http://www.cafeconleche.org/books/xian2/              |
|  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D0596002920/cafeaulaitA/  |
+----------------------------------+---------------------------------+
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://www.cafeaulait.org/      |
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Received on Monday, 19 August 2002 15:51:07 GMT

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