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Re: Nothing is really hidden

From: John C. Vernaleo <john@netpurgatory.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 11:28:42 -0400 (EDT)
To: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <alpine.DEB.2.00.0907011122520.27834@spaceghost>
It seems to me that if we are being very strict in our language here that 
something that is present but not displayed by a given UA is pretty 
much by definition hidden by that UA.

Regardless of the exact terminology used, while the ability to view source 
of web pages was (and probably continues to be) a very important part of 
the web, it hardly seems that something should ever rely on a user doing 

On Wed, 1 Jul 2009, Shelley Powers wrote:

> 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.
> Shelley
Received on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 15:29:20 UTC

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