W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > January to March 2001

What HTML Means

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2001 08:53:44 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: "David Poehlman" <poehlman1@home.com>
Cc: "David Woolley" <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

>From: "David Woolley" <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
>To most people, HTML doesn't mean what it means to W3C.  Most
>including many asking off topic questions on the www-html list,
>HTML is the document object model, CSS, or even Flash.  Basically,
>popular notion of HTML is anything except plain text, full screen
>images, and possibly PDF, that produces an effect on Internet

At 04:30 AM 1/20/2001 , David Poehlman wrote:
 >so they don't read dictionaries?

HTML is in the dictionary?  Most people don't sit down and think
of web design as absolute distinct entities, no.  They don't dwell
on the tools (by which I mean the languages, the tags, the editors,
the browsers) as being more important than the final -effect-.  What
they are after is the end result.

I know of no one who gets paid simply to "use" HTML, for example, and
not produce results.  Nor do I know of anyone who has ever gotten
a raise because, while their project didn't work, at least they 
used syntactically correct code.

I can easily see how "HTML" can be considered "those things you do
in order to make a web page or site", especially as we ourselves are
demanding that people expand their knowledge of web design -- e.g.
by mandating the use of CSS.  If something's in my .html document,
how do I know it's not HTML?  How is <font size="+1"> different from
<div style="font-size: larger">, really?  They both "look like HTML
to me."


PS:  I know it's easy to decide that they're all ignorant dummies
      and feel superior to them, but how much does that really
      accomplish if we refuse to see the needs of people doing "bad
      web design" and assume it's just because they suck?  This is
      the same thing as the WYSIWYG arguments; we need to consider
      other people's perspectives as valid for them, and understand
      them, if we wish for -them- to understand -our- perspectives.

Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                http://kynn.com/
Technical Developer Relations, Reef           http://www.reef.com/
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet   http://idyllmtn.com/
Contributor, Special Ed. Using XHTML     http://kynn.com/+seuxhtml
Unofficial Section 508 Checklist       http://kynn.com/+section508
Received on Saturday, 20 January 2001 12:18:24 UTC

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