W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > January 2010

Re: hidden versus discoverable meta-data

From: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 12:42:10 -0600
Message-ID: <643cc0271001141042o4d1d6dc1g8521dd114743d055@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Cc: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, public-html-a11y@w3.org, public-html@w3.org
On Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 11:47 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 11:11 AM, Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net> wrote:
>> aloha!
>> the term "hidden meta-data" is pejorative, and not an accurate descripton
>> of attributes such as @summary -- rather than use the term "hidden
>> meta-data" i propose a terminology switch to "discoverable meta-data",
>> which means it doesn't matter if it is displayed visually or not, but
>> in a manner in which the user can readily access it in accordance with
>> that user's individual preferences
> I think it's an accurate term, and any pejorativeness originating from
> the term is due to the fact that it really is hidden for the majority
> of users, *specifically* the author themself, which is precisely why
> hidden metadata has the problems that it does.

I'm not going to get into the semantics of what this type of data is
called, but @summary joins a host of other data, including
microformats, RDFa, data-*, and so on in the fact that they don't have
a default visual display attached. Factually, though, they aren't
"hidden", in that other tools can see the data, as we can ourselves,
just using view source.

Regardless, I'm not sure that it matters, except for the fact that
there's been an unwarranted assumption expressed too frequently in
these emails that problems will occur if an element or attribute
doesn't have a default  browser display.

There's never been any proof to support such an assumption--only a
hypothesis presented, without any real and tangible way to prove, or
disprove, the hypothesis.

I don't think there's any wrong with stating an opinion. But I think
it's important that we state opinions as such, rather than as some
form of nebulous unproven "fact".

If we acknowledge our opinions as such, perhaps our communications
with each other can progress in a positive manner. And we won't
necessarily care what adjectives we attach to  @summary, microformats,
RDFa, et al.

I don't want to hinder this discussion, but I think we need to be
careful about expressing opinion as proven fact.

> ~TJ

Received on Thursday, 14 January 2010 18:42:46 UTC

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