[whatwg] Authoring Re: several messages about HTML5

Sander Tekelenburg tekelenb at euronet.nl
Thu Feb 22 03:11:44 PST 2007

At 17:15 -0500 UTC, on 2007-02-21, Adrian Sutton wrote:


> When people get into writing they want to focus purely on what they are
>writing and they don't want to have to think for a second about how the
>authoring tool they are using wants them to work. If you want the tool to
>succeed you will need to solve the keyboard shortcut problems - they are


> you will also need to make sure that whatever interface you come up with to
>try and get users to create semantic mark up doesn't require them to think
>about it.

Well, not *think* as in "make it hard", no :) It needs to be as 'natural' as
possible[*]. Still, part of what people consider "natural" is what they're
used to. I don't think we should be too afraid to offer an authoring tool
that works a little different from what people are used to (yet no more than
necessary). People used to not be used to cars and telephones, but they did
get used to them and find them very natural now.

[*] ATAG 1.0 makes some good points about this: don't bother the user
unnecessarily. But it doesn't conclude to just let the user mess about. The
challenge is to subtly guide the user, without getting in his way.

> If you haven't already, you will come to learn that users think visually
>and they are and probably will always be more interested in their content
>looking good right there in front of them than on it being all nice and

Depends on the user. The spectrum ranges from those who only care about
structure and semantics (perfectly happy with "black text on a grey
background") to those who only care about looks. The majority is somewhere

Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>

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