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Re: Reading order issue

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 08:45:43 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199710151245.IAA07727@access5.digex.net>
To: w3c-wai-hc@w3.org (HC team)
to follow up on what Pawson, David said:

>  >Jason asking for consensus the reading order issue would best
> be addressed by style sheets? In particular, tree
> transformation properties, and possibly other mechanisms if
> necessary, should be added to CSS so as to enable the reading
> order of a document to be modified according to the nature of
> the output medium.

> 
> Wholeheartedly.
> 'The way it is read' is a presentation issue. Hence rightly belongs in
> CSS.
> 

If it's a text, "reading" is a generic term for "accessing its
content."  I doesn't distinguish between reading aloud and silent
reading by eye.

If text pieces that appear to be separate things don't make sense
except as sequential parts of a longer, connected text, then I
believe this is a content issue, not a presentation issue.

An HTML document should not depend on a stylesheet for content-
critical information.  Relating text fragments that are cuts from
a continuous flow of prose is that kind of content-critical
information.

At least that's how I perceive it.

The scenario by which I would expect that CSS does deal with the
reading-order issue is one where the total text content is in the
HTML in logical sequence with sub-ranges marked with SPAN or DIV.
The stylsheet then places the individual sub-ranges of text in
layout in a graphical presentation.  In this case the stylsheet
is all presentation and the HTML communicates the logical units
of text.

A second scenario would be one where the HTML contains a table,
and fragments of one logical text are arranged in various cells
in the table.  An audio stylesheet contains a directive which
calls for the reading of several table cells in a particular
order.  In this case, the sense of the text is not salvageable
for dumping to line-mode interaction via TTD without the "audio"
stylesheet which contains critical content information.  I think
that this scenario puts information in the stylesheet that should
have been captured in the base HTML document.

Those are the two scenarios that have been in the back of my mind
as I talk about reading order and styles.  What other scenarios
are people thinking about?

-- Al
Received on Wednesday, 15 October 1997 08:46:02 UTC

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