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Re: 2.1.1 -- is it a "checkable" checkpoint?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 18:44:32 -0400 (EDT)
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
cc: w3c-wai-au@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.9906161825160.17203-100000@tux.w3.org>
hile not actually agreeing, I dont think it is because you are insane *grin*.

In implementing the checkpoint there is no particular requirement that you
have read the IBM guidelines, just that you have done the things which are
standard to the relevant operating system(s), and which are applicable
accessibility conventions. In the techniques document we give references to a
number of guidelines documents to help developers find those which are
applicable to their projects.

Imagine a developer working on platform X, where there are a set of
guidelines. I would expect those guidelines if they were much good (and many
developers have produced comprehensive guidelines) to explain what the
accessibility conventions are, or to refer the reader to any other documents
which must be read in conjunction. Indeed, in the techniques for this
checkpoint requirements which commonly appear in guidelines have been listed.
Clearly they are not all applicable to all situations, and they are not
claimed to be complete. The reader is referred to documentation which is
applicable to various software types, and to various platforms, but the
techniques give them a rough idea of what they can expect from a set of

It is true that checking this checkpoint exhaustively may be difficult. This
is not the same as being an undue burden, and I would suggest reading a
couple of the checklists and guidelines documents linked from the techniques
to check my claim that in fact it is not really very hard to check in most


On Wed, 16 Jun 1999, Kynn Bartlett wrote:

  I think checkpoints should all be "checkable".  For 2.1.1,
  the guideline really is:
  "The authoring tool is a software program with standard
   user interface elements and as such should follow relevant
   user interface accessibility guidelines."
  _That_ is what must be done.  The current checkpoint is:
  2.1.1: [Priority 1]
  Use all applicable operating system and accessibility
  standards and conventions.
  HOWEVER, it's entirely possible to create an accessible 
  web authoring tool if you have NEVER read the IBM guidelines!
  Following IBM's or Microsoft or Sun's guidelines are a _way_
  to ensure that your program has standard user interface
  elements etc -- therefore this is a _technique_ for the
  checkpoint of:
  [Priority 1]
  Use standard accessibility user interface guidelines as for
  any other piece of software.
  Please rewrite this to look better and communicate in terms that
  can be understood, but what we want them to _do_ is to make the
  software accessible.  I don't CARE if they've never HEARD of
  IBM's Java rules as long as the tool works and is accessible --
  maybe they read a book by Microsoft on accessible java and it
  never refers to IBM, but still conveys the necessary info?
  Therefore, I think that we should insist the tool follows normal
  accessibility conventions but not specify that there's a special
  set of guidelines (e.g. "operating system") that must be 
  followed.  That's HOW most people will satisfy the checkpoint,
  but the HOW can go in a technique, and the WHAT is something
  Does anyone agree or am I just insane?  (BTW sorry about not
  speaking up more, my throat is still sore and I talked for an
  hour on the phone to grad student today...)
  Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                   http://www.kynn.com/
  Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet      http://www.idyllmtn.com/
  Catch the Web Accessibility Meme!                   http://aware.hwg.org/
  Next Online Course starts August 2         http://www.kynn.com/+nextclass

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Wednesday, 16 June 1999 18:44:35 UTC

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