Re: Structure and Accessibility versus SVG

The SVG working group has attempted to design SVG along the lines you are
recommending: as an adjunct for structured text-based languages, rather
than a replacement. 

If you look at the 5th paragraph in section 1.1
(, you will see words that discourage
people from throwing away semantic content.

One way folks might be able to retain semantic content while still getting
all of the benefits of final-form styling is to use XSLT to translate
dynamically from a fully structured, semantically rich XML grammar into the
appropriate final-form presentation for the target media and environment
(e.g., visual media vs. aural media), and have the XSLT generate grouping,
'desc' and 'title' elements so that the final form can be as useful as

Jon Ferraiolo
SVG Editor
Adobe Systems Incorporated

At 11:49 AM 5/24/00 +0100, Dave  J Woolley wrote:
>It has always been the case that the standardisation of HTML,
>although not its commercial implementation, have been driven by
>considerations of structure and accessibility, however, my 
>impression of the discussions on this list indicate that most
>people are only interested in using SVG for form, and using it
>to replace, rather than augment, HTML.
>Structure means that the language represents the deep structure
>of what is being communicated, rather than the form in which it 
>is displayed, spoken, etc.  Accessibility means the ability to
>get information out of that content with different mediums and
>different levels of technology, to the extent that the nature of
>that information doesn't absolutely require a particular medium or
>HTML does need some sort of vector graphics to complement it, as
>the use of bit-mapped graphics is more form oriented than structure
>oriented in the case of diagrams.  However accessibility considerations
>would imply something more like Unix PIC, which gives a more structural
>view of the graphics.
>On the other hand, the sort of questions being asked here, and my
>experience of how commercial HTML users work, suggests that what
>people are actually trying to use SVG for is as an animated 
>page description language, to replace HTML.  As such it would seem
>to belong in the PDF family tree++ more than the HTML one, although
>I suspect it will end up with worse accessibility characteristics
>than PDF.
>As a developer, I am likely to be required to create SVG to take
>this PDL role (assuming it becomes well supported by stock 
>browsers), but as a consumer of web pages, I would rather it
>was limited to enhancing well structured HTML with essentially
>diagrammatic material.
>++ Note it is my impression that most commercial web pages really
>crave after a PDL like PDF, and its failure in this role is more
>to do with the fickleness of fashion (and to a small extent the
>fact that, in the past, students could hand code HTML, whilst
>PDF required paid for authoring tools).  Weirdly, PDF tends to be
>used in the parts of web sites which would best meet the ideals of
>Written in a personal capacity.

Received on Wednesday, 24 May 2000 16:17:10 UTC