W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > July 2009

Re: Nothing is really hidden

From: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 12:03:10 -0500
Message-ID: <643cc0270907011003l6d5935b0v59cbab634a88b7d1@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 11:08 AM, David Singer<singer@apple.com> wrote:
> At 10:15  -0500 1/07/09, 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.
>
> well sure.  but the point is that if something is invisible to the average
> web author, they are much less likely to notice when it is wrong.  If
> something were perfectly hidden, nothing and nobody would see it, and
> therefore no-one would know if it existed or not.  so it's not truly hidden,
> indeed.
>
> the point made by myself and others was about data that is only visible to a
> subset community which does not include the author, or support their direct
> interests (e.g. like header tags help search engines).
> --
> David Singer
> Multimedia Standards, Apple Inc.
>
>

I understand your point, David. However, when it comes to doing
something only because of direct interests, I have to escape
ampersands in URLs because I use XHTML, and it's not in my specific
interest to do so. In fact, it's a little irritating having to
remember to do so. And I can't use the HTML named entity for a space,
either, which is a problem when it comes to some plug-ins and modules
which make a lot of use of the named entity.

But I make the effort even thought it's a little bit of a pain,
because to do otherwise will render the page unaccessible to folks,
such as Webkit/Safari users. And it's important to me that
Webkit/Safari users can view my page.

And if you think on it, the escaped ampersand is _technically_ not
visible to anyone, other than the browser, which renders the URL into
a clickable link. At least, not unless the link is clicked, and then
we can see it in the address bar. But I don't think we think of the
ampersand in the link as 'hidden'.

(Though I'm not sure if we can't think of escaping as hiding. An
interesting twist on the concept, but probably not important to the
discussion. )

Shelley
Received on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 17:03:46 UTC

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