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Re: "Pave The Cowpaths" Design Principle

From: Frank Hellenkamp <jonas@depagecms.net>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 15:18:09 +0200
To: "Laura Carlson" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: www-html@w3.org, public-html@w3.org, "Roger Johansson" <roger@456bereastreet.com>
Message-ID: <46499E6D.8070800@depagecms.net>
> The proposed HTML 5 design principle "Pave The Cowpaths" [4] does
> indeed seem to condone many practices that past specs  may have
> frowned upon. "Pave the Cowpaths" is an underlying principle being
> debated in many* of the recent semantics and accessibility threads on
> public-html@w3.org.
> Thus I don't think it's appropriate to include this in the official
> design principles.

Somewhere in the discussion, the seatbelt-example came up:

In germany for example [1] there is a law for institutions of the state
(and some federal states too), that needs their websites to be
completely accessible. That includes most universities, many museums etc.

For these scenarios it is not enough to "pave the cowpaths" of the usual
blog/private website/corporate website. And you do that, if you try to
get most things from the web, how it is today.

The inaccessable web might be enough for most websites, but there are
many more cases, in which web-developers are forced to generate semantic

Obviously there is a lot to learn, but both HTML5 and XHTML2 could
improve that,

- if they are well defined,
- got implemented somewhere in the future and
- well documented, so that book-authors and then web-developers could
base their work on it.

If HTML5 is the way to go: Fine with me.

But please don't try to "pave the cowpaths" too much*.

best regards,

Frank Hellenkamp

* the role-attribute e.g. is *much* cleaner and less error-prone than
redefining the class-attribute.

[1] http://www.einfach-fuer-alle.de/artikel/bitv-reloaded/

frank hellenkamp | interface designer
jonas@depagecms.net | mail

+49.30.49 78 20 70 | tel
+49.173.70 55 781 | mbl
+49.1805.4002.243 912 | fax


Received on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 15:19:35 UTC

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