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RE: Action item: Rewriting 1.3, "Ensure that information, functionality, and structure are separable from presentation"

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 13:14:14 +0000 (UTC)
To: WAI-GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.60.0504251309130.22435@aristotle.multipattern.com>

> The intent of Guideline 1.3 as I understand it is to ensure that 
> information, structure, and behavior are preserved when the presentation 
> format changes/is adapted to the needs of users with disabilities.

That happens through structure, not information, except of course in the 
case of text equivalents.

> glossary [1] can carry the weight of "information" in the senses listed
> above.  I think "structure" is defined in such a way that it probably
> *can* carry that weight. But I also think that interpreting it that way
> would be a stretch for the vast majority of our readers (including most
> of us...).

So let's include a redundancy so people will feel better?

I thought we were going to have rich, lush, well-wrought explanatory 
documents to teach people how to use our guidelines. This is a pretty 
small concept to get one's head around.

> I'm also concerned about the introductory phrase "Whenever markup or
> languages permit...": I worry that this would give developers carte

If you use HTML, you must use its structures. It's not hard.

The only contrary case would be presentation of plain-text documents. That 
would be selecting a technology that does not "permit" structure, right? I 
even have an idea for that, but who's gonna do that in any meaningful 
quantity in 2005 and later?

People are gonna use whatever technologies they want. Yes, this means SVG 
will continue to wither on the vine compared to Flash, as market forces 
dictate that it should. But when the language you're using has a structure 
and/or presentation and/or behaviour, you must use it.

> The final phrase-- "to the extent possible for the content"-- raises
> similar concerns for me.

I really don't want to have to go over this again. The Web authors in this 
esteemed Working Group just don't have enough experience to know firsthand 
that not every piece of content can be fully expressed in an existing HTML 
element. Sometimes you have to approximate, as with <b>, <big>, or <span>. 
I'm not going to support any guideline that pretends these cases never 
come up.

> So I propose accepting Joe's suggestion that we replace "functionality"
> with "behavior," and leaving the rest as it is in the current wording.

That isn't much of an improvement.


     Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
     Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
       --What's wrong with top-posting?
Received on Monday, 25 April 2005 13:14:35 UTC

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