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AW: [attempted summary] Techniques, Procedures, and Checklists

From: Kerstin Probiesch <k.probiesch@googlemail.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2012 14:10:34 +0200
To: "'Alistair Garrison'" <alistair.j.garrison@gmail.com>, "'Shadi Abou-Zahra'" <shadi@w3.org>, "'Eval TF'" <public-wai-evaltf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <4fd9d4ab.c209cc0a.411f.42eb@mx.google.com>
Hi Alistair,

even if a technique can be submitted it doesn't mean that it will be
submitted. Until a technique is accepted and an updated version of WCAG2 is
published time goes by and it would mean, that a working technique couldn't
be used because it is not part of the techniques document. We should also
consider that we speak not only about HTML and ARIA but also about PDF,
where there are discussions about (as I understood 'differences') between
WCAG 2.0 techniques and PDF/UA techniques.

There are many ways to rome and a way is successful if rome is reached, even
when the route is not one of the suggested route in existing street maps.
Let's see the WCAG 2.0 as something like this: even when I don't think about
going to rome but to a friend's house in an area nearby google maps gives me
a route which would indicate, that I have to follow a route which will take
me a 17 minutes (walk). Instead of taking this route I tested a small way
through the forest without any problem and which took me just 8 minutes.
(the time is not that much important, even if this way would take also 17
minutes, I would take this one, because it's nice. Google Maps doesn't even
show this way on the map, because they don't know about it. Would I submit
the way to google maps? I don't know. Would I submit this way to open street
map? Perhaps. Anyway: if someone would ask me for the route to this area I
would suggest the way I took successfully several times before, even when
google maps doesn't show and know anything about it. With the techniques I
think it's similar. If I can reach my goal successfully everything is fine,
even if the technique is not part of the document. The comparison falls a
bit short and I don't want to say that the sufficient techniques are bad,
complicated, not fast enough and so on. But what do we know about the future
and all techniques used in all relevant technologies? And we should also
motivate developers not only in using the sufficient techniques but also in
developing new techniques.



Von: Alistair Garrison [mailto:alistair.j.garrison@gmail.com] 
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 14. Juni 2012 11:44
An: Shadi Abou-Zahra; Eval TF
Betreff: Re: [attempted summary] Techniques, Procedures, and Checklists

Hi Shadi, 

All sounds fine… 

But, can I just check… 

Say I'm an evaluator with my own set of direct checks for WCAG 2.0
SCs… Would it be the case that in order to use each of my own checks for
conformance - I really should create a technique, provide the check I wish
to use as a way to evaluate this technique, and then publish it - so it can
become a publicly documented, vetted, and broadly consensed/recognized
Technique.  I suppose it could even be published through the "Techniques for
WCAG 2.0 submission form"... http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/TECHS-SUBMIT/ 

All the best 


On 14 Jun 2012, at 11:25, Shadi Abou-Zahra wrote:

Hi Alistair,

As far as I know WCAG WG is very clear that the instance of Techniques that
they publish are *not* exhaustive and *not* exclusive. In fact, they
encourage the development of Techniques by technology developers, specific
to different languages and regions, or specific to particular contexts (for
example in a particular network setting or such).

However, they *do* encourage the use of publicly documented, vetted, and
broadly consensed/recognized Techniques for the particular context (country,
region, technology, etc) for development and evaluation.

The emphasis is clearly on the Success Criteria rather than on the
Techniques, which is why they are optional in the methodology.


On 14.6.2012 11:11, Alistair Garrison wrote:

Hi Shadi,

With all the debate, I think the "elephant in the room" question is for the
W3C/WAI WCAG 2.0 WG to clearly answer:

"Do they envisage, and wish to encourage, WCAG 2.0 SCs to be evaluated
directly using an evaluators own checks and intuition; or do they envisage,
and wish to encourage, WCAG 2.0 SCs to be evaluated through the test
procedures from the _instances_ of 'sufficient' Techniques (and failure
conditions) that they regularly publish?"

All the best


On 14 Jun 2012, at 10:38, Shadi Abou-Zahra wrote:

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:

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:

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)

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 12:10:54 UTC

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