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Re: please review and comment

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 00:04:28 -0500 (EST)
To: pjenkins@us.ibm.com
cc: w3c-wai-au@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.9912130002490.14191-100000@tux.w3.org>
Phill, I agree with your bottom line here, removing "working group" and
changing "no prior", although I am not sure that nominal is precisely right
either - how about "the autor may have little or no knowledge of
accessibility"?

Charles McCN

On Fri, 10 Dec 1999 pjenkins@us.ibm.com wrote:

  
  
  
  William and Gregory,
  
  I am confused why you make the comment
  "... I'll certainly go along but there is obfuscation caused
  by proliferation of endlessly growing volume of
  explanatory material designed ..."
  when I was proposing to "reduce" the text in the 2 Dec draft that was
  pointed to as a resolution of the issues raised during proposed rec.  I
  understand your comment, I just think it should have been guided at earlier
  text proposed.
  
  Charles, I appreciate your constructive comment on  the
  "... the idea that an author would be familiar with
  the language produced by the tool was implicitly rejected ..."
  and that
  "...that an author cannot be expected to know the nuts and
  bolts, only how to use a tool..."
  That is why I did not use the phrase "familiar with", but I used the phrase
  "aware of the language supported" to support the notion that a user chooses
  a tool because of it's capabilities which includes the "languages
  supported", or at least the notion that the tool supports publishing on the
  Web by converting RTF to HTML, or PDF, or whatever language formats the
  tool supports.  I had thought that the assumptions going into selecting the
  priorities did assume that the author knew why she was using the tool and
  that is why I add the phrase to be explicit.
  
  I agree with Gregory when he says:
  "...whether or not an individual
  author has experience using a particular tool or a specific markup language
  does not materially affect the user's need to be guided, assisted,
  prompted,
  and encouraged to create accessible content ..."
  and I agree that needs are met when the checkpoints are implemented by the
  tool. In other words the selection of the checkpoints did not need to
  assume a particular level of user.  But Gregory's statement does not
  explain the assumptions used to select the priority levels assigned to the
  checkpoints.
  
  I also agree with Gregory when he says:
  " ... the other goal of ATAG is to ensure that users with quote
  disabilities unquote
  will be able to use such tools to create accessible content ..."
  and that is why we have the goals stated in the document and Guideline 7.
  And again Gregory went on to say:
  "... how, then, can we expect them to be quote
  competent, but not necessarily an expert, user of the tool, unquote when
  use of
  such tools has been seriously curtailed, compromised, or stymied by the
  inaccessibility of the tool itself?"
  again, that is why we have priority 1 checkpoints in Guideline 7.
  
  
  However, I am now even more convinced that we need to document the
  assumptions about the level of the user [disabled or not] when we assigned
  the priorities.    Our assumption is not "obvious" or we would not have had
  so many comments posted to the list.  Gregory made the following assumption
  about the author's [tool user] skill level when he said:
  " ...it is _our_ priority to ensure that the broadest
  possible spectrum of authors (and _poetential_ authors) be given the
  opportunity to ..."
  and Gregory went on to say:
  "... what about the graduate of a web design course (or program of study)
  who hasn't
  learned a lick of markup, nor how to properly structure content and apply
  styles, but was only given a glorified introduction to a particular user
  interface?  what constitutes being quote aware of the language supported
  unquote? ... that phrasing is so ambiguous that it could be taken to mean
  that the author is aware of the language supported because he or she chose
  to
  "Save as HTML""
  and William said:
  "... it is as important to assume literacy and intelligence on the
  part of the developer, user, and casual reader of this document as it is
  to speculate about her knowledge of the interface, HTML, or
  accessibility concerns."
  
  But, since we agreed to document the assumed skill level of the tool user
  when Bruce raised the issue that the priorities could in fact change if we
  assumed a more motivated and knowledgeable user.  Bruce said:
  "...[single] A used by highly motivated user, [double] AA average user who
  does not know about accessibility, [triple] AAA used by below average
  user."
  
  Because we are going to document our assumptions, I agree the verbiage
  should not assume too much, it should not ignore too much either, and it
  should not cause obfuscation by proliferation of an endlessly growing
  volume.
  
  I cannot support the removal of our assumptions from the document, but I
  can support what is in the 10 Dec draft with editorial changes: removal of
  the phrase "the working group has" and change "no prior" to "nominal":
  
  In choosing priority levels for checkpoints, the "author" is assumed to be
  a competent, but not necessarily expert, user of the authoring tool, and
  that the author has nominal knowledge of accessibility. For example, the
  author is not expected to have read all of the documentation but is
  expected to know how to turn to the documentation for assistance.
  
  
  Is there another proposal?
  
  
  Regards,
  Phill Jenkins
  
  

--Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                    http://www.w3.org/WAI
21 Mitchell Street, Footscray, VIC 3011,  Australia (I've moved!)
Received on Monday, 13 December 1999 00:04:29 UTC

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