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Re: Proposal: Additional 'media' type

From: Blaine Cook <lattice@romeda.org>
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2003 15:27:25 -0700
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-Id: <2D929EFA-B581-11D7-AC54-003065664282@romeda.org>

On Sunday, Jul 13, 2003, at 14:46 America/Vancouver, Bill Mason wrote:

> Unless I'm really misinformed, most robots do not support any sort of 
> CSS to start with.  Consider Google's own advice:
> "Use a text browser such as Lynx to examine your site, because most 
> search engine spiders see your site much as Lynx would."

There seems to be some indication that robots do support some CSS, 
since they need to in order to penalise for hidden text, etc. I'm sure 
most/all search engines do at least rudimentary parsing of HTML, and 
adding support for CSS shouldn't be too difficult, if it's only for a 
small subset of CSS, with no worries for actual layout, etc.

> If you are doing CSS-based layout, use it.  Put the main content 
> first.  Put the secondary content next.  Put the navigation at the end 
> of the code.  Read it in Lynx; does it make sense?

Of course, but that still doesn't add the functionality that I'm 
proposing. In essence, adding a media type would allow designers and 
developers to "tag" bits of regular HTML as "content" versus "other 
stuff". It doesn't necessarily prevent robots from following those 
navigational links, it just tells them not to include it in the 
full-text index. CSS effectively separates content from presentation 
for human readers. Why not robots, too?

We'll never have a standard way for naming different sections of the 
document; the classification of topics in blogs is evidence enough of 
that. Even if we did, it's a lot harder to ask someone to use <div 
id="navigation"> for their navigation, <div id="content"> for their 
content, etc. than it is to get them to use an alternate style sheet.

Received on Sunday, 13 July 2003 18:27:27 UTC

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