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RE: Semantics [was: Re: Well-formed (was: Re: F2F Proposed Resolutions Draft Updates)]

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 21:46:39 +0000 (UTC)
To: WAI-GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.60.0506202137490.14800@aristotle.multipattern.com>

> I believe we all understand the desire you are expressing to have a
> clear language here, but there are several of us who believe that the
> term semantics is overloaded.

And your feelings are valuable and constitutionally protected in many 
areas of the world. They are, however, irrelevant in crafting a Web 
*standard* that people experienced in Web *standards* will understand. 
They *all* know what is meant by "semantics" in the context of markup, and 
it is not what you claim I say:

> I submit that your assertion that it is generally understood to mean 
> 'meaning', or more precisely apprehension, prediction, and meaning, by 
> web standards folk is both true and incomplete.

That's not what I'm saying in the slightest and it's simply amazing and 
revelatory that you can't even restate my argument correctly.

> So while the term may seem to have a concrete meaning for industry it 
> may be misleading to policy makers in that it is not actually the 
> precise term.

It's been explained at length in a different context that we are not 
writing guidelines for policymakers. And anyway, you're saying we have to 
accommodate them if they are new to the field or simply haven't done their 
homework. They probably don't know what screen readers are, either. Do we 
come up with another term in that case, too?

> how to convey clearly to a broad audience that we are requiring 'valid' 
> or 'validated' content with these SC. Or that we are requiring that 
> 'signified' information be conveyed in a syntactic manner.

You do that by using the term absolutely everybody else in the industry 
save for the Working Group uses: Semantics.

Eventually it's going to become even more widely known that the Working 
Group is fighting reality on a basic concept like this (a term used in Web 
standards when the Working Group is *writing* a Web standard), and those 
in that camp are going to become an embarrassment.

> p.s. top posting screed may be omitted I know the arguments and still
> like it better thank you.

Another way in which you are commendably conscientious but sadly wrong.


     Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
     Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
       --What's wrong with top-posting?
Received on Monday, 20 June 2005 22:03:33 UTC

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