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author-defined content vs. "primary" content

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 00:13:31 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: User Agent Guidelines Emailing List <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Cc: Web Content Accessiblity Guidelines Mailing List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
in a recent post to the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines emailing list, 
with the subject line quote "Primary Content", etc. - Response to Ian 
Jacobs unquote, Eric Hansen wrote:

Correct. Though, in the corrected memo, I use the term "secondary content" 
instead of "alternative content".

there is nothing "secondary" about the content -- it is alternative 
content...  primary content is:

(a) that which is received in the modality of choice of the user (we are, 
after all speaking of USER agents here);and

(b) primary content is nothing more than the message being conveyed 
regardless of the markup being used to communicate that message, be it an 
image, a table, a string of text, or a script...

i strenuously object to any such classification of content along the lines 
of "primary" and "secondary" -- like it or not, it implies an objective 
(albeit fallacious) hierarchy of importance, based upon a purely 
phenomenological interpretation of content...

the only reasonable terms that i can think of is "author-provided content" 
and "alternative equivalent content" -- which has the advantage of being 
phenomenologically neutral, as the author-provided content might be 
straight text with a graphical equivalent (a graphical tooltip, as it 
were), or an aural equivalent for either/and/or a string of text or a 

The optimist thinks that this is the best of all
possible worlds; the pessimist knows it is.
Gregory J. Rosmaita     <unagi69@concentric.net>
       Webmaster & Minister of Propaganda
The Visually Impaired Computer Users' Group of
the New York City Metropolitan Area (VICUG NYC)
Received on Wednesday, 20 September 2000 13:39:21 UTC

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