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Help Keep Accessibility and Semantics in HTML


From: Laura Carlson
Date: May 10, 2007 12:40PM

The following may be of interest to web standards and accessibility
folks who haven't been keeping up with the HTML Working Group and where
HTML 5 is headed:

Help Keep Accessibility and Semantics in HTML
By Roger Johansson.
"This is a call to action directed at all standardistas and
accessibilitistas. If you think accessibility and semantics are
important and should be improved in the next version of HTML, you need
to act. What is currently going on in the W3C HTML Working Group is
very disappointing and something I never expected to see when I joined
it. I was naive enough to think that everybody joining the HTML WG
would be doing so out of a desire to improve the Web. Unfortunately,
that does not seem to be the case...All in all, my impression so far is
that unless things change, the next version of HTML will do nothing to
improve the Web. All it will do is make things easier for browser
vendors and ignorant web developers. The rest of us may be better off
sticking to HTML 4.01 Strict...If you have an interest in improving the
accessibility of HTML, want more semantic and less presentational
markup, and are good at arguing your case, please consider applying for
HTML Working Group membership by following the Instructions for joining
the HTML Working Group. Do it now. The longer you wait, the harder it
will be to change the unfortunate direction things are going in."

Will HTML 5 Be a Purely Presentational Language?
By Ian Hickson.
"...There are people strongly arguing that HTML should be a purely
presentational language, much, much more presentational than the
proposed WHATWG draft. In fact, unless someone argues against it, it's
likely that the W3C spec will be even less semantic and more
presentational than the WHATWG draft. So if you think the WHATWG draft
is already too presentational, I really encourage you to make your
opinion known in the HTML working group..."

Official Instructions For Joining the HTML Working Group
By W3C.

How You Can Join the W3C HTML5 Working Group in Six Easy Steps
By Ian Hickson.
Ian has posted clearer instructions for joining the HTML working group.
He says, "Taking part in the group is not a big commitment. You can
spend as much or as little time contributing; you don't need to read
every e-mail on subjects you don't care about, you don't need to call
in or attend face-to-face meetings. In fact, the W3C has stated in the
group's charter that no binding decisions will be made at meetings; you
are guaranteed equal say whether you are present or not..."