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Re: Design Principles: Moving Forward (was Re: minutes: HTML WG Weekly 21 May 2009 [draft])

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 27 May 2009 12:21:34 -0500
Message-ID: <1c8dbcaa0905271021r4a81da0j249ef0c6c992670@mail.gmail.com>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Hi Henri,

You wrote in www-archive [1]:

> My understanding of the Cowpath principle is that if authors do something
> over and over, we should add explicit support for doing what they are doing.

Actually the current draft says "consider" not "should add explicit support".

Something to take into consideration is the size of the farm. This
isn't acknowledged in the current draft text. For accessibility
conscious authors (small farmers) a table summary is indeed a cowpath.

Like I said to  Anne, one suggestion proposed in the Wiki [2] is to
change the name and definition to something like:

Consider Existing Practices. When a practice is already widespread
among authors, consider it. Widespread use (cowpaths) are one factor
to inform design decisions but not necessarily "pave" the way to them.
No set number of use cases proves a feature should be included or
excluded from the spec.

Another suggestion would be to eliminate the principle all together
because in fact no set number proves a feature should be included or
excluded from the spec.

The W3C requires that technologies must be accessible. By definition,
people with disabilities are a minority. Accessibility features
address failure modes that are infrequent, but usually critical when
they occur.

> However, if the WG came to the conclusion that it's good to have table
> summaries that don't participate in visual CSS layout, the Don't Reinvent
> the Wheel principle would apply when choosing a syntax that is already
> supported by user agents.

Thanks Henri I added that design principle to the table summary Wiki page.

Best Regards,

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2009May/0077.html
[2] http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/ProposedDesignPrinciples?action=recall&rev=84#head-db0511ace65b8f4c1731f806457c9ad771d5c4af
Laura L. Carlson
Received on Wednesday, 27 May 2009 17:22:08 UTC

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