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Re: HTML is a formatting/UI language was: RE: Formatting Obj

Subject: Re: HTML is a formatting/UI language was: RE: Formatting Obj
From: Guy_Murphy@xxxxxxxxxx
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 11:35:03 +0100

Hi Paul.

I take well your points, but they are document-centric, I I don't beleive
they represent current practices of Web design.

One only has to take a look at the source of Web sites out there to see
that current use of HTML is a horrible mess, and are solely concerned with
the appearence of the site, with little regard for the semantic correctness
of the HTML.

Dreamweaver and NetObjects Fusion barely encourage the useage of Hn tags,
and don't encourage the use of ADDRESS, CITE tags etc at all. What they do
encourage is an appearence focused design, with emphasis on layer
positioning and manipulation... semantics break down completely here. By
you're light they are broken, but the average Web designer simply doesn't
care. He has prototyped his designs in PhotoShop is is seeking to achieve
the best possible interpretation of this in the browser.

He may resort to Flash, in which case you've lost him completely.

Why do I think aural presentation objects would be supported?.... Becasue
quite simply it allows the Web Designer to do cool things... it is the sole
reason why I started playing with MS Agents, and it is the sole reason why
I tried to get our product manager to allow me to incorporate
text-to-speach and voice recognition into our intranet application.

What you are also suggesting is the intermixing of two radicaly different

I migh produce a corporate from page for a site, that is highly graphical,
the aural inference from whch by be near zero, but there might be lots to
say about it. If I can seperate visual presentation from aural presentation
I *can* say lots about it to the listener.

Putting my Web Designer hat on rather than my knowledge management hat on
mixing visual and aural presentation is a monumentaly *bad thig* and is
doomed to failure for anything but a very simple document of data, and
wholy inappropriate for the desing of Web sites.


xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on 04/23/99 06:59:19 AM

To:   xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
cc:    (bcc: Guy Murphy/UK/MAID)
Subject:  Re: HTML is a formatting/UI language was: RE: Formatting Obj

Guy_Murphy@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> We've had HTML for how many years now? And we have also had text to speak
> for a good number of years also. Anybody seen during this time a rush by
> the Web community to support aural presentation of Web pages?
As far as I know, aural presentation of Web pages works *today*.
> At a simple level, HTML is so loose, unclear and unspecific (I was
> to simply say crap) that there are 100000000 and 1 mish-mashed pages
> pulling all sorts of dirty tricks to render they're page. Think that H2
> tags should be delivered in a certian way? It would require the dangerous
> assumption that authors use H2 tags correctly.
HTML *allows* you to do things properly and also makes that relatively
easy to do. For instance MSWord 2000 outputs H1s, H2s, etc. for headings.
So does DreamWeaver. I don't know a lot about other tools.
Formatting objects *have no concept* of an H1 and an H2 so they don't even
give users the option of doing things in an accessible manner -- unless
they make a whole 'nother aural stylesheet (which we know they are not
likely to do).
> Hakon then talks about being able to carry over data semantics into
> presentation using DIV classes.... just HOW are you going to interpret
> auraly.
You don't. But then no major tools I know of generate just SPANs and DIVs.
You could point to a tool that did and say: "that tool is broken." But a
tool that used the same FO tag for paragraphs and headings would be *doing
the right thing*. That's a problem.
> The best way to specify aural presentation is.... ummm to specify it
> infer it.
In a world of unlimited resources, maybe. In this world, not a chance. How
much do you know about the proper aural specification for sight impaired
people? How much research have you done? I know what I know: "use good,
semantic HTML and let the software handle it."
That's pretty much the jist of what the experts say also:
Of their 14 guidelines not a single one says: "Go out of your way to use
special technologies designed for impaired viewers." Most of them say,
rather: "use the technologies that you would ordinarily use, but use them
carefully and properly." "alt" text is the only counterexample and we know
how wildly popular THAT has been.
> [I truly find it hard to credit that we're going over HTML again at this
> stage of the game]
We don't need to go back to HTML if the formatting objects are made
 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself
"The Excursion [Sport Utility Vehicle] is so large that it will come
equipped with adjustable pedals to fit smaller drivers and sensor
devices that warn the driver when he or she is about to back into a
Toyota or some other object." -- Dallas Morning News

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