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RE: Design Principles

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Wed, 20 May 2009 11:42:52 -0700 (PDT)
To: "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: "'Laura Carlson'" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, "'Michael\(tm\) Smith'" <mike@w3.org>, "'Chris Wilson'" <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "'public-html'" <public-html@w3.org>, "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>, "'Maciej Stachowiak'" <mjs@apple.com>
Message-ID: <01a101c9d97a$e607acf0$b21706d0$@edu>
Sam Ruby wrote:

> >
> > 1) Mark the examples more clearly as such, and make clear that the
> > individual features captured in the examples are subject to change
with
> > a disclaimer. (Right now examples are only indicated by a green left
> > border, without any explicit label as examples.)
> >
> > 2) Remove all examples.
> >
> > My preference would be for #1. Would that be a suitable way to address
> > the objection? I would rather not remove the examples entirely, and I
> > don't think it is possible to have examples without reference to
specifics.
>
> Is there anybody here who feels that neither of these two approaches is
> sufficient?  I'll ask the same question on this week's Thursday call;
> and if we don't hear anybody objectioning by next Thursday's call, I
> propose whomever is chairing that call (currently scheduled to be Chris)
> declares consensus on that approach at that time.
>
> > Regards,
> > Maciej
>
> - Sam Ruby
>
> P.S.  I like examples.

Some thoughts on examples:  I agree with Sam, that examples are extremely
useful in 'teaching' appropriate usage and guiding developers on the
proper implementation of <foo> elements, attributes, etc.  Had we good,
clear examples of the proper use of @longdesc a decade ago, we'd like
would have seen better examples in the wild.

I would suggest however that examples in both the Design Principles &
Draft Specification must be vetted by all parties at the table, as like it
or not, they become part of an official document/process.

For example: While it's been quite a while since I've trudged through the
entire Draft Spec, I do monitor certain areas closer to my interest, in
particular the section of 'what' @alt text values should look like: some
of the examples are, to many, overly verbose and intrusive.  I recognize
that it is/was an attempt by the author/editor/benevolent dictator to
provide guidance, but as has been noted previously, it is guidance from
the wrong center of expertise.  @alt should indicate the alternative of
the image, and avoid being overly descriptive: there are other tools that
are more appropriate for that task (@title? @longdesc? Aria-describedby?),
and as specific example, this is not correct:

<img src="images/parsing-model-overview.png" alt="The network
passes data to the Tokenizer stage, which passes data to the Tree
Construction stage. From there, data goes to both the DOM and to
Script Execution. Script Execution is linked to the DOM, and, using
document.write(), passes data to the Tokenizer.">


I am not current as to whether or not this has been noted, but would
suggest that to reach consensus a review and evaluation of these types of
concerns within the examples of both the Design Principles and Draft
Specification should be undertaken - and yes, I can assist (but sadly do
not have the cycles to undertake single-handedly)

The other issue I noted from this exchange is
"...Right now examples are only indicated by a green left border, without
any explicit label as examples..."

...which is a direct contradiction to:
WCAG 2 - 1.4.1 Use of Color: Color is not used as the only visual means of
conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or
distinguishing a visual element. (Level A);

WCAG 1 - 2.1 Ensure that all information conveyed with color is also
available without color, for example from context or markup. [Priority 1];


and Section 508  1194.22 c) Web pages shall be designed so that all
information conveyed with color is also available without color, for
example from context or markup.

That we have gotten this far and still have such glaring accessibility
issues is troubling at the very least - we should be eating our own dog
food yes?

JF
Received on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 18:43:35 GMT

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