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AU working group conference call

From: Jutta Treviranus <jutta.treviranus@utoronto.ca>
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 11:00:10 -0500
Message-Id: <v01540b00b11c9239d771@[142.150.64.68]>
To: "w3c-wai-au@w3.org" <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
The following is a proposed agenda for our conference call on Monday.
Please e-mail me any additions or revisions.

As a reminder the conference call is at 3pm EST, Monday March 2nd. The
telephone number is: 617-258-7910.
I have also included notes as background to the agenda items. I would
recommend that everyone read the notes and the Page Author Guidelines at:
http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/WD-WAI-PAGEAUTH-0203.html, one hour is not long.

Agenda

1. Brief Introductions
2. Very brief review of charter (http://www.w3.org/WAI/group/AU/charter.txt)
3. WWW7 meeting
4. Author supports (see below)
5. Recommendation structure (see below)
6. Ranking priority (see below)
7. Default alt-text (see below)
8. Distribute tasks
9. Schedule next conference call.

As we have discussed, our first task is to review the Page Author
Guidelines and determine how each of the recommendations can be supported
in an authoring tool.

I propose that we consider the following supports for each recommendation:

a) Help File: There should be information provided related to the
recommendation in either context sensitive or general help files and in the
documentation. One of our tasks is to author example text which can be used
by an authoring tool developer.

b) Prompt: This implies that dialogue boxes include text and input fields
which prompt the author to follow the recommendation. An example would be:
when importing an image there would be text and a text field which would
prompt the author to provide alt-text for the image

c) Warning: This would be a pop up warning. Using the same example this
would appear if the image was inserted without alt-text. Ideally there
should also be a quick way to fix the problem, e.g. a fix button which
takes you to a "correcting tool" with the image and a text field to fill
in.

d) Checker: This refers to the verification tool or checker utility which
may also check for compliance to HTML specifications. We need to determine
which recommendations can be verified in such a utility.  We may also want
to make recommendations regarding utilities which would make it easy to fix
the problems detected.

e) Tool or Wizard: This refers to a utility or tool which automates some
part of the recommendations, for the author. Examples include: a
server-side to client-side image map converter, a long-desc editor or a
utility to create a parallel text only site.

During the conference call I would like to get consensus on the types of
supports and begin discussing several of the recommendations to see if the
structure works. Thus we would come up with a list similar to the following
example for each of the recommendations:

2. Images and image maps
        2.1. Provide alternative text for all images and image maps
        2.1.1 Images

a) Related help file text: "Alternate text provides a textual description
which is displayed in place of the image by text-based browsers and
graphical browsers whose image loading has been disabled. ALT text is
particularly important to users who are blind, who use screen reading
programs that are unable to interpret images of any kind, including
pictures of words. Since the ALT text is displayed independently from the
image, the description must be adequate enough to keep the user informed.
For example: if the button's image depicts a mailbox icon and the function
of the icon is to submit a form, the corresponding ALT text might be
"Submit the form."
b) Prompt: include a prompt and guidelines in any dialog that is used to
insert images
c) Warning: a pop-up warning should appear whenever an image has been
inserted without alt-text with a quick link back to a correction tool.
d) Checker: This recommendation can be checked
e) Tool or Wizard: When an image is moved its alt text should follow. A
utility which displays all images with a corresponding text field to fill
in the missing alt text may prove helpful.

We also need to talk about a system of ranking our recommendations, whether
we rank them as required vs. recommended or whether we institute some sort
of grading scheme for authoring tool compliance to our recommendations.

If we have time I would like to discuss an issue which has come up about
default alt-text. The question we have been posed is: under what conditions
is it good for the authoring tool to provide default alt-text. For example
if a graph is inserted should the authoring tool automatically insert graph
into the alt-text. Is it better to know there is a graph there than not to
know, even if you don't know what the graph is about. Will this set a
convention which causes authors to simply fill in the word graph when
creating alt-text. Should there be some way to distinguish default alt-txt
from real alt text?

Lastly, you may wish to read a commentary on the problems we are trying to
address by Jan Richards of the ATRC at:
http://www.utoronto.ca/atrc/rd/hm/3tions.htm

Look forward to talking to you on Monday.
Jutta
Received on Friday, 27 February 1998 10:49:26 GMT

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