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Nothing is really hidden

From: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 10:15:03 -0500
Message-ID: <643cc0270907010815g7f5fa0c3v9e81ae6f6f752e49@mail.gmail.com>
To: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
One thing I think we need to be careful about when discussing
accessibility markup, as well as semantic metadata, is that nothing is
really hidden.

I've noticed others use the adjective, and I also recently used this
term when referring to @summary. However, in all of the contexts in
which we are using the term, we are using it incorrectly.

Everything in a web page is visible to someone at some time, unless
deliberately obfuscated and/or encrypted. For instance, @summary may
not be visible to those who are not using AT, but it is visible to
those who are. And it's visible to anyone looking into page source, or
to the author, who adds it to the page, or via any number of other
tools and technologies.

Semantic metadata, such as the following, from the RDFa specification:

<meta property="dc:creator" content="Mark Birbeck" />
    <link rel="foaf:topic" href="http://www.formsPlayer.com/#us" />

May not be directly visible in a browser, but is visible to automated
agents, which then render the information visible via other
applications, such as Google's recent rendering of review information
using RDFa, or various browser add-ons.

I may be picking nits, but to continue to use the adjective 'hidden'
when discussing any of these values, to me, discounts the fact that
at, some time, all of these items will be 'visible', though they may
not be visible as we tend to think of visible. In addition, though the
audience for this information may be smaller than a typical audience
for a web page, it is still an audience. Therefore, there is no
absence of consumers, for any of these elements and attributes.

Received on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 15:16:11 UTC

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