Accessibility (was RDFA - ugly, unnecessary and offtopic (was Re: [uf-discuss] RDFa))

Tantek Ç elik tantek at
Sat May 20 09:24:47 PDT 2006

On 5/20/06 6:31 AM, "Chris Messina" <chris.messina at> wrote:

> I had an interesting discussion/debate with a woman named Stephanie
> who works with the w3c and had some --what I would consider -- useful
> criticism of microformats -- namely in terms of general accessibility.

If there are specific *concrete* problems/issues, please add them to the
wiki.  Those we definitely want to document.

No theoretical problems here please.

> I believe she mentioned that RDFa would be ameliorate this problem by
> providing specific tags for specific types of content.

Oh yes, the imaginary ideal solution which no one has built will solve all
the problems.  This is classic in these kinds of design circles.

> Of course, as Tantek points out, this argument fails muster as there
> are no existing UAs that support this markup


Of course the future solution has no flaws, it hasn't been made concrete
enough to have any.

That kind of reasoning can also be easily dismissed.

> In any case, I do think that there needs to be expansion on the wiki
> by folks more knowledgeable than me about implications for
> accessibility that microformats offer.


Feel free to start a page on "accessibility" on the wiki, and document any
concerns or desires that you want.

> Additionally, I would love to
> start riffing on what interfaces make sense for interacting with
> microformats, both in traditional UAs and accessibility agents.

This is an *excellent* idea.  Go for it and start riffing:

> Finally, this work could lead to proposals or suggestions that
> mozilla, the ie team, opera, the JAWS folks and others, could consider
> implementing.


> Presuming that we do end up with a large number of mF implementations
> across the web, what the UAs do with them is a very wide open
> question.

Which is a good thing IMHO.

> I happen to have some ideas about this and would love to
> focus some SHDH or Mash Pit time on advancing our thoughts on these
> matters.

That would be an excellent focus for MashPit III on June 20th in SF.

Thanks for the suggestions Chris, now get busy with the braindumping onto
those wiki pages!


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