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Re: a possibly contentious suggestion

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 10:07:32 -0500
Message-ID: <36CADB34.EAA0FA34@w3.org>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
CC: WAI AU Guidelines <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
Hi Charles,

Your suggestion sounds reasonable to me. I think part
of the challenge of writing a document is deciding what
to include (to make it easier on the reader) and what
to reference (to avoid excess content that is not definitive
anyway). I think making the document readable and usable
has a higher priority than ensuring it is 28 pages
instead of 30. 

 - Ian

(Your email excerpted below).

Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
> It seems to me that although the guidelines refer to several other
> documents which treat particular subjects more fully (for example the Web
> Content Accessibility Guidelines, Notes on SMIL and CSS, and various
> documents dealing with the accesibility of software applications) we
> should summarise the most important points of those documents, as well as
> referring to them as 'authorative sources'.
> This opens a Pandora's box of opportunities, but one into which I feel we
> should look. As points for discussion, rather than a specific proposal, I
> think we should make mention of the following principles:
> In section 2:
> Content produced must be device independent, or should have accompanying
> information (eg alternative and/or descriptive text) which can be used to
> ensure the information or function provided by that content is accessible.
> For example, where a Java applet is used to provide a navigation system,
> an alternative system which relies on ordinary HTML must also be offered.
> This could be done in the content of the OBJECT or APPLET element.
> Content produced must seperate, or allow the seperation of, presentation
> from structure. For example, where headings are indicated with a certain
> colour and font-style, it must be done by applying style to the
> appropriate level of Heading element (H1, H2, etc in HTML) rather than
> styling 'ordinary' text (content of a P in HTML)
> Content produced should have simple and consistent orientation and
> navigation. For example, navigation bars should use icons and ALT text
> consistently (see appropriate guidelines/checkpoints). Features which
> disorient users (such as the unexpected opening of new windows) should be
> avoided.
> In Section 4:
> Access to functions provided by the tool should be device independent. In
> many instances this can be achieved by providing keyboard access to every
> function, according to operating system conventions, since in nearly all
> operating systems any device can control the keyboard commands. Although
> this may in principle be true of a mouse, the use of a mouse is
> exceptionally difficult for many users, as it requires much more complex
> feedback than keboard-based functions.
> The representation of content must be configurable. For example, font
> sizes and colours used in editing the content must be configurable
> independently of the intended representation of them by a user agent.
> Representation of the content being produced must be accessible through an
> interoperable accessiblity interface. Complex elements (such as tables),
> or those which can only be rendered in certain media (such as graphics)
> may not be otherwise accessible to users who are relying on a
> representation other than a common-sized colour monitor. For example,
> the position within a table, and the relationship of the 'current' cell to
> other cells may not be readily apparent via a speech interface, and
> requires a further exposure of the document structure. As dynamic content
> becomes more wdiespread, this need is likely to increase significantly.
> I think that this effectively covers the issues, although the reader must,
> of course, be referred to the various full treatments which are included
> as references in the document. I feel that something along these lines
> justifies the volume it adds to the document. What do others think?
> Charles
> --Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
> phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://purl.oclc.org/net/charles
> W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
> MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org) 
Tel/Fax: (212) 684-1814 
Received on Wednesday, 17 February 1999 10:09:07 UTC

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