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Re: Raw minutes from 22 Jan 2001 UAWG teleconference

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 11:22:32 -0500
Message-Id: <Version.32.20010123092647.04226ab0@pop.iamdigex.net>
To: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
At 03:41 PM 2001-01-22 -0500, Ian Jacobs wrote:
>4.Issue 448: Checkpoint 5.7: Is CSS read-only or read/write? [This is 
>  checkpoint 5.9 in the 13 January 2001 draft.]
>  Source:
>  Refer to proposal from IJ:
>  AG: I'm uncomfortable with the Note (may follow up).
>  IJ: I think that user modification of author style sheets doesn't
>  respect the intended cascade mechanisms.
>  EH: I think I agree with Ian's argument.
>  JG: Often, real browsers let you modify the computed value.
>  Resolved: No change to the DOM 2 style requirement.


For the user to create a derived-work stylesheet and view the author's content
through this stylesheet, is, I would think, a "just use" within the general
architectural division of labor that says "content" is essential to the
communication of the correct information, and "style" is adjustable without
changing the information.

For the user to re-distribute the derived composite (author's content and
user's edit of author's stylesheet) on any terms other than a duly permitted
and credited derived work would be an infringement of the author's
property rights.

But for the User Agent to allow the user to take the author's stylesheet at
time and use it as the initial value for creating a user's stylesheet on the
fly (while viewing the content) has such strong access advantages that the
should not discourage it.  Many User Agents that are not authoring tools will
not provide this capability.  But it is a) inappropriate and b) counter to our
values for the User Agent Guidelines to say anything against it.  The
limits on
such activity are intellectual property policy over which the CSS
Recommendation does not have jurisdiction, and where we would be making a
mistake to act as though it does.

Direct manipulation of the style properties of objects in an open Web
is markedly superior in usability to offline creation of a stylesheet in a
formal style language.  The idea that the user can write and install their own
style sheet is enough to gain a WCAG A rating, but should not be considered to
get us past that point.  It basically leaves a P2 level barrier in place.  The
users who can actually do this would amount to a small fraction of those who
could cope with the direct manipulation version.  For the User Agent to offer
direct manipulation to fix access problems by giving the user edit control of
the style layer of the in-DOM document image, starting from the baseline laid
down by the author, is just a much better interface to what we have all agreed
the user should be able to do.  Nothing that is trying to advance access
discourage the implementation of this better interface.

Clearly the user should not be able to upload their derived stylesheet in a
that replaces thte author's stylesheet at the server and in distribution of
author's work.  Normally, the derived stylesheet created when the user edits
the author's stylesheet would be saved as a new stylesheet.  But this need not
be addressed by any provisions of the UAAG.

Making, for your own use, a derived copy of the author's web page with an
edited stylesheet is the intellectual property rough equivalent of having a
copy of a published and printed book with handwritten marginal notes and
highlights in it.  Were the User Agent to offer style editing while
browsing as
a means to do this, it would be better, not inappropriate, User Agent
functionality.  Let us not put the W3C in the indefensible and access-hostile
position of discouraging such better practice.

Received on Tuesday, 23 January 2001 11:12:49 UTC

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