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[attempted summary] Techniques, Procedures, and Checklists

From: Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2012 10:38:19 +0200
Message-ID: <4FD9A2FB.60406@w3.org>
To: Eval TF <public-wai-evaltf@w3.org>
Dear Eval TF,

There has been a lengthy discussion with many different points raised in 
it. This is an attempt to summarize key points to try and draw out some 
decisions; please add clarifications or points I may have missed.

#1. Making the use of Techniques mandatory

The thread was initiated in a request to make Step 1.e "Define the 
Techniques" to be used as non-optional. Here is the initial mail:
  - <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-wai-evaltf/2012May/0008>

It seems that the base assumption for this request is that developers 
will use documented Techniques and provide a comprehensive list to an 
evaluator to check. Several people have responded that this model may 
not always work, and that the methodology also needs to work when the 
evaluator has no information about how the website has been developed.

*Suggested action:* decide if Step 1.e should be optional or mandatory.

#2. Difference between Techniques and Failures

A second related thread was initiated in a request to use the term "Test 
Procedure" rather than "Technique": Here is the initial mail:
  - <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-wai-evaltf/2012Jun/0019>

It seems that the motivation for this request is to differentiate 
between guidance that the developer follows to implement accessibility 
features and checks that the evaluator uses to determine barriers. It 
seems that the misunderstanding stems from the fact that WCAG 2 uses 
"Techniques" as an umbrella term for both "Sufficient Techniques" and 
"General Failures". Also "General Failures" seem less well explained.

*Suggest action:* revise how we refer to and explain "WCAG Failures".

#3. Open-ended concept of WCAG 2 Techniques

Throughout the discussion there seems to be misunderstandings around the 
_concept_ of Techniques (the umbrella term) and the _instances_ of 
Techniques that are regularly published by the WCAG Working Group. It 
seems that this point also relates to the previous point about the 
clarity of explanations in WCAG 2, especially for evaluators.

While we are not chartered to develop Techniques (including "General 
Failures") nor to edit the supporting documents for WCAG 2 ("Techniques 
for WCAG 2.0" and "Understanding WCAG 2.0"), we can suggest changes to 
the WCAG WG. We can also add specific explanations and references that 
are particularly relevant to evaluators in our methodology.

*Suggest action:* explore potential improvements to WCAG 2 resources 
from the perspective of evaluators.


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 Thursday, 14 June 2012 08:38:56 UTC

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