W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-au@w3.org > April to June 1999

Re: WAI IG CALL FOR REVIEW: Authoring Tool Guidelines

From: Harvey Bingham <hbingham@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 03:38:02 -0400
Message-Id: <4.1.19990424222458.00a39770@pop.tiac.net>
Message-Id: <4.1.19990424222458.00a39770@pop.tiac.net>
Message-Id: <4.1.19990424222458.00a39770@pop.tiac.net>
To: <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
Abstract, Para 1   add comma:   ... Web content, and to assist ...

Table of Contents

2. Ensure ...

2.3 Ensure ...  [too much ensurance!]

2.5 Never remove existing ...  suggest  Preserve existing ...

3. Ensure ...

3.2 Ensure ... ibid

3.4 Ensure ... ibid

2 Ensure that content ...

First two bulleted lists have different structure for items:
   first are sentences
       in second bullet,  I'd substitute "that" for "which"
   second are capitalized as if sentences, but are only gerund phrases
       I'd remove ";" at ends.

Guideline 2.1 Generate standard markup

First para. W3C does not make standards, so that is an inappropriate word 
for that sentence. Suggest replacing it by:

The first step toward accessibility is conformance with the Technical 
Recommendations of W3C that promote interoperability and accessibility.

2.1.1: [Priority 2]         
       Use applicable W3C specifications.      
           [again, Technical Recommendations, they aren't specifications.]

Interesting that we start off with a priority 2 checklist item!

Guideline 2.3 Ensure that no accessibility content is missing

"Ensure"  How about  "Check that all accessibility content is present"

Para 1   ad comma after ...transcripts, ...

Ordered list below seems unnecessarily ordered, bullets would suffice,
remove trailing ";".

2.3.1: Technique: Default to an accessibility error such as no "alt" 
attribute for images. 
Suggest: 'no "alt" attribute for images.'

2.3.2:  Prompt the author for all missing structural information 
(e.g. TABLE scope, labels LABEL for form controls). 

What is the meaning of, and who does the "labels LABEL"?  Does that suggest 
some autogenerated LABEL value? or a popup or other means to indicate the
author needs to supply a value for the LABEL?

2.3.3: Provide pre-written alternative content for all multimedia files 
packaged with the authoring tool. 

The authoring tool cannot have packaged with it "pre-written alternative
content" for any, much less all multimedia files. The tools possibly
work on, but do not limit through foresight what that alternative content

Comment: Multiple uses of an image may need different descriptive material,
depending on where and how they are referenced. If those images have
associated description, how does one distinguish.

2.3.4: Provide a mechanism to manage alternative content for multimedia 
objects, which retains and offers for editing pre-written or previously 
linked alternative content. 

This presumes a means to attach that pre-written alternative content to any
multimedia file, and have it knowable to that multimedia file. Not all such
file formats currently have that capability. Should this capability be
independent of those file formats, and somehow standardized to work across
authoring tools? Example is the Alt text registry of the A-prompt tool,
though it should include LONGDESC and possibly D-prompt content as well.

2.3.5 ...(e.g. the filename, and/or size).

Guideline 2.5  Never remove existing accessible structure or content.
Make positive: Preserve existing accessible structure or content.

Strictly content is the stuff outside the element tags. Attributes for
accessibility need to be preserved as well.

Idea in para 1 should include that accessible content in structure and in 
attributes needs to survive transformations.

<rant>On the other hand: Give the author the option to get rid of all the
formatting folderol. I just looked at a page filled with (Mozilla
autogenerated in some transformation into ?HTML?) sets of two or three
nested font tags, each with only one attribute. About half the tags
were <font x=y>. There must have been some structure and content there
somewhere. Yuk.</rant>

Added checkpoint:

2.6.5 [Priority 1]
Allow author to specify those formatting tags to be transformed, like
bold => strong, italic => emp, font => trash

2.7.3 Examples must not use inaccessible markup

The markup and content that would be in such examples should be described,
as what not to do.

3 Ensure that the Authoring Tool is Accessible to Authors with Disabilities

3.2 Ensure independence of authoring and publishing environments

To de-ensure:

Provide independent environments for authoring and for web-publishing.

[Why "publishing" , rather than "user presentation?] For some, publishing has
pagesize constraints, even web publishing.

3.2.1 Technique   I don't like adding "text brackets" to surround start and end
tags. What's wrong with the commonly used "<...>", "</...>", or "<.../>" ?

Guideline 3.3: Provide accessible navigation

Para 1 change "marked up" to "marked-up".

4. Appendix - Sample Implementations

As it is non-normative, and subject to change over time, it should
be moved to a separate Techniques document, consistent with the page
content and user agent techniques documents.

Implications: the techniques throughout the document should become references
into that techniques document.

2.3 makes presumption about some authoring tool shipped with images. Why?
It also presumes the alt-text registry.

2.5 never remove existing accessible structure or content, 
though changing the alt="..." for different instances of the same img src="yyy"
is allowed.  So I question the final assertion that the tool never modify
alt-text entries.

2.6  disagreement in number:    ... an IMG element that lacks "alt"-text,
the author is prompted to add XthemX it (unless Xthey haveX the author has ...

5. Terms and Definitions

User Configurable Schedule 
number disagreement:   ....Xthey add an imageX  when adding an image

Conversion tool   

Do we also need a transformation tool, as in the front-end of XSL?
I believe this will be a common way to write transformation tools, although
those transformations needn't work on non-wellformed mark-up.

Site management tool

Presumably manages all the files, HTML or otherwise. It will manage entities,
as well as distinguished URLs. In many vendor products, it will not manage
the content within an URL. The DOM is the representation of that internal


Good to mention pair of elements, although HTML does not require endtags in many


Also may be inherited properties and their values from ancestral or prior sibling 


are distinguished by name=value, no attribute name may be repeated in a single element,
no ordering of attribute=value pairs is required.

Rendered Content

Rendering is done by a user agent. Different user agents may render the same document
in different ways, eg, a visual browser vs. an aural rendering.


What is a "line by line record"?  Basically, I believe 

A transcript is a textual description of narration, non-speech sounds, action, and 
background that can be synchronized with the video or audio clip.

Video Captions

May be more than one text track. Need to distinguish descriptive video from real-time
transcription to text. The latter may benefit from autogenerated markup to distinguish
the speaker for example.

Inserting an Element

Includes both its start-tag and ending, an explicit end-tag or 
end-empty-element-tag. If the tag is being inserted to contain existing tagged 
material, the positions are disjoint. Insertions to be valid must appear where 
allowed by the Document Type Definition, or schema of the Resource Definition 
Format. The authoring tool should enforce correct placement, though temporary 
invalidity may occur, e.g. while only one of a pair of tags is placed.

Editing an Element

Property change permits change in stylesheet. Are we assuming that the editing 
tool also works on stylesheets? Only attribute or value change, or element 
placement or content seem proper for element editing. 

Should we address the accessibilities issues of stylesheet editing? 


Another view may show element structure without attributes. Another may have some 
levels of hierarchy collapsed. 


A selection needn't be to one or more complete elements. 
For example, select some portion of the text of a paragraph to make it an 
abbreviation. May be voice-activated, as well as mouse or keyboard activated.

I suggest that the 47 href="...#..." pointers in this document to other places 
herein, should have just the fragment part, for example:
rather than to this specific version of it: 
For full URL references, make them be to the latest version, 
There is one residual reference on line 35 to

Only one of the name=xxx actually has quotes around the xxx.
Likewise none of the href=xxx have quotes around the xxx.

For XML, those will be required, so we should be getting ready.

It is only necessary to keep the 4 "...#..." referencing into external URLs.

I don't understand the many unreferenced name="xxx" (85) vs.
only 35 that are referenced internally by href="xxx".
There are a set of name="qnn" unreferenced, where nn are digits.

The stylesheet seems to need some more leading after the ends of lists.

Regards/Harvey Bingham
Received on Wednesday, 28 April 1999 03:38:21 UTC

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