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Re: Contribution to ACTION-61: Propose notes for both 'user agent' and 'content' to clarify software usage + M376 harmonisation

From: Andi Snow-Weaver <andisnow@us.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2012 07:00:19 -0500
To: Michael Pluke <Mike.Pluke@castle-consult.com>
Cc: "public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org" <public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OFB045D57A.843B89D4-ON86257A7D.0041BAB1-86257A7D.0041F285@us.ibm.com>
Mike,

Can you, Peter, and Gregg walk us through this at today's meeting please? I
don't think Loïc will be there.

Andi



From:	Michael Pluke <Mike.Pluke@castle-consult.com>
To:	"public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org" <public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org>
Date:	09/18/2012 06:14 AM
Subject:	Contribution to ACTION-61: Propose notes for both 'user agent'
            and  'content' to clarify software usage + M376 harmonisation



Hi

During the last meeting an ACTION-61was created  for Peter to “Propose
notes for both 'user agent' and 'content' to clarify software usage; work
with Gregg, Loic, and Mike”.

There has been a lively email thread on this. As part of this thread Loïc
and I have tried to indicate how notes that we believe that we need to add
to the M376 standard may largely meet the needs of ACTION-61. Peter has
asked me to share some of these thoughts with the group.

Content
The note for content should state the following (or similar):

      NOTE: Content exists as a separate entity that requires a user agent
      in order for it to be presented to users. Some examples of content
      are documents that have an associated document reader/editor, media
      files that are played in a media player, etc. See also “user agent”.

      and/or

      NOTE: What distinguishes content from software is that content
      requires some additional software (a user agent) in order for users
      to view and interact with it. Some examples of content are documents
      that have an associated document reader/editor, media files that are
      played in a media player, etc. See also “user agent”.


Note to WCAG2ICT only: these definitions are based very firmly on a direct
interpretation of both the WCAG 2.0 definition of content which is:
“information and sensory experience to be communicated to the user by means
of a user agent, including code or markup that defines the content's
structure, presentation, and interactions”. Note also that
“document” (interactive or otherwise) now only appears as an example of
content.

User agent
If the above note is included, and maybe a “see also” link to “content”, I
do not think that a note is needed for user agent. The WCAG user agent
definition still works fine outside the Web. Maybe a “see also” link back
to “content” might help to reinforce the beneficial circularity between the
two definitions.
Definition of terms
In WCAG2ICT we talk variously of “an electronic document or a software user
interface” or “electronics and software” as combined grouping. However none
of these terms are defined and we have received several comments in the
review of the Working Draft that highlight this. This clustering of the two
terms helps to avoid the need to precisely define these two or three
concepts. However it does not hide the fact that we have, in reality, had
many discussions where we say that “we can see how this works for documents
but we don’t think it works (or we can’t understand it) for software”.

I think that the audience for WCAG2ICT will continue to be dissatisfied if
we fail to define the terms that we use repeatedly throughout our work i.e.
electronic document, software, software user interface.

Harmonising between WCAG2ICT and M376
In M376 we wanted to divide between content (which we should now call
“non-Web content”) and “software” when directing people to appropriate
understandings of how to apply WCAG (in two separate clauses 10 and 11). We
clearly totally failed to clarify the logic of our approach.

I believe that the WCAG2ICT agreed (WCAG) definition of content together
with the above notes (or similar) works perfectly for both WCAG2ICT AND for
M376.

When considering the application of WCAG 2.0 to software we in M376 say
that it should be applied to “software that provides a user interface”.

In M376 we  are thinking of adding a note to clarify exactly what we mean
by the above term, and help to distinguish it from “content” in the other
clause. A possible note is:

      “Software that provides a user interface” includes both applications
      that act as a user agent for separate content and also applications
      where it is not possible to separate the content from the rest of the
      application.

      Examples of software that provides a user interface include
      stand-alone self-running eBooks and most of the software user
      interfaces that are built into hardware ICT.”

Maybe we would also do better to refer to “non-Web content and software
that provides a user interface” when saying how to apply SCs in WCAG2ICT.

Best regards

Mike



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Received on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 12:01:03 GMT

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