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AW: Success, Failure techniques - side issue for discussion

From: Kerstin Probiesch <k.probiesch@googlemail.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2012 21:37:44 +0200
To: "'Alistair Garrison'" <alistair.j.garrison@gmail.com>, "'Eval TF'" <public-wai-evaltf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <4fd8ebdb.4905cc0a.497e.ffffd88f@mx.google.com>
Hi Alistair,

> So, I simply cannot understand why a number of the people in this
> W3C/WAI group talk about the WCAG 2.0 Techniques so negatively.

I think it is a misunderstanding. Of course: the techniques are important.
They give web developers guidance how to meet the SCs. They are also
important in consulting processes and for finding solutions for problems and
of course for workshops (web developers, editors). But they are less
important for evaluations, because they are just ways of doing it.

Let's have another look on the 'sufficient techniques'. Ok, they call
'sufficient techniques' but when we look twice sufficient techniques are:
Techniques which are sufficient for meeting the SCs _and_ are known to the
working group because of the input of Invited Experts (Working Groups, Task
Forces) or because they have been reported by developers or others experts.
So they are sufficient but they are not complete and will never be. If
techniques would be quasi-normative who will then have an interested in
developing new techniques? What about HTML5, ARIA...and whatever there will
be in future.

Another point for me is: When using techniques in the evaluation process and
documenting them somehow every update of the techniques document means that
the templates also needs an update which costs time and also money (time is
money). Another problem is: the template would become longer and longer and
of course also the evaluation itself.

Of course evaluators should/must know them, but 'just' in cases where an
evaluation (testing procedures) is guided by description of problems
(understanding) and solutions (techniques).

Regards

Kerstin

> It is my hope (realistic or not) that when the majority of web
> developers understand that "the most evidential way to show Conformance
> with WCAG 2.0 to any evaluator is by using sufficient techniques, and
> not failing failure conditions" - they will swiftly move over to using
> the techniques, and possibly dropping some of the techniques they have
> been advised to use in the past.
> 
> It is also my hope that we and our W3C/WAI WCAG 2.0 Evaluation
> Methodology will support them.
> 
> All the best
> 
> Alistair
> 
> On 13 Jun 2012, at 16:24, detlev.fischer@testkreis.de wrote:
> 
> > Hi Alistair,
> >
> > In our common evaluation context (mostly public domain sites), this
> would not work. The agencies are certainly knowledgable about a11y
> issues (and often get input from a pre-test in the desvelopment phase),
> but I doubt they think along the lines of WCAG Techniques. Do you
> really believe it is realistic to expect them to map the techniques
> they used in their design to the hundreds of WCAG Techniques?
> >
> > But maybe your evaluation context is quite different, I don't know.
> >
> > I think the only situation where looking at Techniques provided by
> the commissioner/client is helpful is in the case of novel techniques -
> say, some fancy HTML5 or WAI-ARIA-enhanced custom widgets. In that
> case, the real problem would be gauging the degree of accessibility
> support needed to consider the novel technique sufficient. This is not
> a clear-cut matter as WCAG says:
> >
> > "The Working Group, therefore, limited itself to defining what
> constituted support and defers the judgment of how much, how many, or
> which AT must support a technology to the community and to entities
> closer to each situation that set requirements for an organization,
> purchase, community, etc."
> > (end of http://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-
> WCAG20/conformance.html#uc-support-level-head )
> >
> > Regards,
> > Detlev
> >
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: alistair.j.garrison@gmail.com
> > To: richard.warren@userite.com, public-wai-evaltf@w3.org
> > Date: 13.06.2012 16:07:01
> > Subject: Re: Success, Failure techniques - side issue for discussion
> >
> >
> >> Dear All,
> >>
> >> "an evaluator needs a procedure which is capable of recognising and
> analysing the use (or not) of those techniques (added: and failure
> conditions) whilst still being aware that there could be alternative
> solutions".
> >>
> >> Might such a procedure be:
> >> 1)     ask the web developer what techniques they used;
> >> 2)     determine if these techniques broadly fulfil the relevant
> Success Criteria;
> >> 3)     if they do: evaluate if their selected techniques have been
> properly implemented, and evaluate all relevant failure techniques; and
> >>     if they don't: suggest further techniques, but still evaluate if
> their selected techniques have been properly implemented, and evaluate
> all relevant failure techniques.
> >>
> >> You would of course need to ask for the techniques - in order to
> make such a procedure reproducible.
> >>
> >> All the best
> >>
> >> Alistair
> >>
> >> On 13 Jun 2012, at 15:35, RichardWarren wrote:
> >>
> >>> Hi Shadi,
> >>>
> >>> Thank you - I believe that your argument re-inforces my point that
> we should concentrate on procedures for checking compliance, not solely
> the existence (or not) of certain techniques. Yes F65 says that no alt
> = failure, but H2 says that no alt is acceptable if the image is a link
> that also contains text within the anchor element.
> >>>
> >>> I do not think it is our task to refine  WCAG techniques etc. but
> rather it is to check for compliance with the actual GUIDELINES in
> practice and intent to ensure that the web content is accessible to all
> users. We thus need a procedure that checks first for the obvious (in
> this case has the developer used the technique of including and alt
> attribute and is it suitable? ). Only then, if the obvious technique
> has not been used, we need to include a check to see if the image is
> included in an anchor (or other similar resource) with adjacent text
> within that resource (H2). Or, indeed any other technique that ensures
> AT users can understand what the image is for/about.
> >>>
> >>> I am afraid that evaluation cannot be properly done by simply
> failing an issue because a certain "General Failure" applies. I still
> believe that Success and failure Techniques are primarily aimed at the
> web developer whereas an evaluator needs a procedure which is capable
> of recognising and analysing the use (or not) of those techniques
> whilst still being aware that there could be alternative solutions.
> >>>
> >>> If we stick stubbornly to the published techniques, and only the
> published techniques, we are in danger of stifling the development of
> the web.
> >>>
> >>> Regards
> >>>
> >>> Richard
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> -----Original Message----- From: Shadi Abou-Zahra
> >>> Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 1:20 PM
> >>> To: Richard Warren
> >>> Cc: Eval TF
> >>> Subject: Re: Success, Failure techniques - side issue for
> discussion
> >>>
> >>> Hi Richard,
> >>>
> >>> Looking at "General Failure F65" as per your example:
> >>>
> >>> Case 1 correctly fails because there is no alt attribute and a
> screen
> >>> reader would in most cases start reading the filename. Your example
> >>> would work if you use null alt-text as "General Failure F65"
> advises
> >>> about in section "Related Techniques".
> >>>
> >>> Case 2 uses the alt attribute so it does not fail "General Failure
> F65"
> >>> (but we can't say much more about its conformance just from F65
> alone).
> >>>
> >>> Now this is exactly the point: by looking only at the section
> called
> >>> "Tests" we miss out important context and explanations, such as the
> >>> important reference to "Technique H67" in this example.
> >>>
> >>> WCAG 2.0 Techniques and Failures (as Detlev correctly points out
> the
> >>> terminology should be) are far from complete or perfect. We can
> talk
> >>> about how to improve them both from how they are written and to how
> they
> >>> are presented to evaluators. We can also explain the concept in our
> >>> document more clearly. I think this would get more to the core of
> the
> >>> problem then by trying to re-label the sections as they are.
> >>>
> >>> Regards,
> >>> Shadi
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> On 13.6.2012 13:04, RichardWarren wrote:
> >>>> Sorry but I got my cases mixed up.
> >>>> The last paragraphs should have read
> >>>>
> >>>> NOW here is the rub. - Failure F65 says that both my case 1 and H2
> are failures because neither use the alt attribute !!!! So if I rely on
> Failure Techniques I would fail both my case 1 and anything using H2.
> >>>>
> >>>> HOWEVER - using testing procedures I can check that case 2 passes
> because it has (reasonably) meaningful alt attributes; whilst case 1
> passes because it makes perfect sense when read out by my screen
> reader, my blind testers confirm it is good, it still makes sense if
> the image fails to display. The only thing about case 1 is that Google
> will not catalogue the image (which might be a good thing !)
> >>>>
> >>>> Sorry about that - poor proof reading on my part
> >>>> Richard
> >>>>
> >>>> From: RichardWarren
> >>>> Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 11:21 AM
> >>>> To: Eval TF
> >>>> Subject: Success, Failure techniques - side issue for discussion
> >>>>
> >>>> Hi.
> >>>> I would like to drop in a  (very rough) example to explain why I
> am concerned that we are getting hung up on the techniques used by the
> developers rather than the procedures used by the evaluator.
> >>>>
> >>>> Case 1
> >>>> <ol>
> >>>> <li>Here is a picture of Uncle Fred wearing his bright Christmas
> Jumper<img src="fred.jpg"></li>
> >>>> <li>Here is a picture of Aunt Mary setting fire to the Christmas
> pudding<img src="mary.jpg"</li>
> >>>> <ol>
> >>>>
> >>>> Case 2
> >>>> <ol>
> >>>> <li><img src="fred.jpg" alt ="Uncle Fred"></li>
> >>>> <li><img src="mary.jpg" alt = "Aunt Mary">  </li>
> >>>> </ol>
> >>>>
> >>>> Now case 2 employs the "alt" attribute, so it meets a success
> technique (even though it is less informative than case 1)
> >>>>
> >>>> If Example 1 were links (using the<  a>  element) it would also
> pass muster (H2 Combining adjacent image and text links), but it is not
> a link and there is no documentation (that I know of) within WCAG about
> this specific situation (within the<li>  element).
> >>>>
> >>>> NOW here is the rub. - Failure F65 says that both my example 2 and
> H2 are failures because neither use the alt attribute !!!!   So if I
> rely on Failure Techniques I would fail both my example 2 and anything
> using H2.
> >>>>
> >>>> HOWEVER - using testing procedures I can check that example 1
> passes because it has (reasonably) meaningful alt attributes;  whilst
> example 2 passes because it makes perfect sense when read out by my
> screen reader, my blind testers confirm it is good, it still makes
> sense if the image fails to display. The only thing about example 2 is
> that Google will not catalogue the image (which might be a good thing
> !)
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> So I return to my original thought that step 1e should be about
> procedures not techniques.
> >>>>
> >>>> Bets wishes
> >>>> Richard
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Shadi Abou-Zahra - http://www.w3.org/People/shadi/
> >>> Activity Lead, W3C/WAI International Program Office
> >>> Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG)
> >>> Research and Development Working Group (RDWG)
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >
Received on Wednesday, 13 June 2012 19:37:24 GMT

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