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Bug 8523 - WYSYWYG tools should gather semantic information
Summary: WYSYWYG tools should gather semantic information
Alias: None
Product: HTML WG
Classification: Unclassified
Component: pre-LC1 HTML5 spec (editor: Ian Hickson) (show other bugs)
Version: unspecified
Hardware: PC Windows XP
: P3 normal
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Ian 'Hixie' Hickson
QA Contact: HTML WG Bugzilla archive list
Keywords: a11y
Depends on:
Reported: 2009-12-18 16:48 UTC by Jeanne Spellman
Modified: 2010-10-04 14:49 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

See Also:


Description Jeanne Spellman 2009-12-18 16:48:57 UTC
HTML5 says (in the section "Authoring tools and markup generators"):
"However, WYSIWYG tools are legitimate. WYSIWYG tools should use
elements they know are appropriate, and should not use elements that
they do not know to be appropriate. This might in certain extreme cases
mean limiting the use of flow elements to just a few elements, like div,
b, i, and span and making liberal use of the style attribute."

AUWG Comment:
Suggest stating that WYSIWYG tools may need to make a special effort to
gather semantic information, rather than describing exceptions for
"extreme cases".
Comment 1 Ian 'Hixie' Hickson 2010-01-10 11:54:26 UTC
EDITOR'S RESPONSE: This is an Editor's Response to your comment. If you are satisfied with this response, please change the state of this bug to CLOSED. If you have additional information and would like the editor to reconsider, please reopen this bug. If you would like to escalate the issue to the full HTML Working Group, please add the TrackerRequest keyword to this bug, and suggest title and text for the tracker issue; or you may create a tracker issue yourself, if you are able to do so. For more details, see this document:

Status: Partially Accepted
Change Description: see diff given below
Rationale: Is the sentence in the following paragraph sufficient? ("All authoring tools, whether WYSIWYG or not, should make a best effort attempt at enabling users to create well-structured, semantically rich, media-independent content.")

I'm not sure what else we can really say  the state of the art in WYSIWYG editors doesn't really have a solution for asking for more information from authors that is popular and used correctly by authors.

If you have a more specific request (e.g. suggested text), please don't hesitate to reopen this bug; I would love to be able to help WYSIWYG editor developers improve their tools to output more semantic (and thus accessible) content.
Comment 2 Michael Cooper 2010-02-11 17:26:30 UTC
Per the proposal at, the HTML A11Y TF does not plan to formally work on this issue at this time. This does not mean the TF has no interest in it, but does not have immediate plans to work on it. The TF may review the issue in the future.