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ATAG2 Action related to A.2.1.1 Alternative Content

From: Richards, Jan <jrichards@ocad.ca>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2010 15:31:31 -0500
To: AUWG <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
Message-ID: <F2C77FB59A1A4840A01EF5F59B1826E20A3057DD5D@ocadmail.ocad.ca>
I had the action to: outline A.2.1.1 Alternative Content in an email:

Sorry for the essay, skip to the bottom for the "upshot"...

THE PUBLIC Working Draft had this Wording:
A.2.1.1 Recognized Alternative Content: If recognized alternative content is available for editing view content renderings, then the alternative content is provided to authors. (Level A)

THE RATIONALE was that if an authoring tool renders content as an aid to authors as they edit content, then authors who rely on alternatives should be able to receive the same benefit via alternatives.

BUT we had comments such as:
MS5: A.2.1.1 The success criterion needs to have simplified languages. We cannot determine its meaning without reading through the implementation guide. Rewrite the success criterion to make it more comprehensible.
OC3: -A.2.1.1 - We find the guideline to be generally confusing. The word 'provided' in the guideline also complicates it, since it may be interpreted to mean that the tool must supply the text, perhaps as a default value. Was the intent that the tool 'expose' current content? We recommend this item should be removed or made non-normative.

SO during previous meeting we agreed to reword as:
A.2.1.1 Alternative Content: If web content is rendered in editing-views, recognized alternative content can be programmatically determined

WHILE I think the swapping out of "recognized alternative content" for "programmatically associated alternative content" is OK...the "programmatically determined" part is a problem because it refers to what the user agent or platform can programmatically determine. Programmatically determined is the right term for making alt text available, but not for playing an audio description track for a video.

THAT is why I had proposed "@@is either rendered or can be programmatically determined"

BUT now I'm concerned that this is too broad and has the potential to open up all of UAAG as an ATAG requirement. For example, what about an HTML editor that includes the ability to render an embedded video, but not play any audio - would that fail due to its inability to render audio descriptions? And then what about all the other UAAG criteria related to video playback? Or would an editor fail if it rendered images and allowed the addition of aria-labelledby markup but then itself did not process ARIA in its own UI?

UPSHOT: Perhaps a way forward is to add make a "real" user agent preview an option, as in:

Content Rendering Alternatives: If an *editing-view* *renders* *non-text content* with *programmatically associated alternative content*, one of the following is true: (Level A)
(a) the alternative content can be *programmatically determined*; or
(b) the alternative content is rendered; or
(c) the author has the option to have the content with its *programmatically associated alternative content* *previewed* in a *user agent*.

The intent of this success criterion is to help ensure that when content is rendered during editing, authors with disabilities have access to alternative content for the renderings. This is important because rendering content while it is being edited serves as a kind of real-time preview. Authors with disabilities should be able to access this same functionality. 

In some cases, alternative content will be directly rendered (e.g. a secondary sign language interpretation video track), while in other cases the alternative content will be made available programmatically to the platform (e.g. alternative text for images). Finally, there may be cases in which the partial rendering of the editing-view may be insufficient and the recourse to previewing in a user agent will be the best option.

The term "programmatically associated alternative content" is use to acknowledge that "alternative content" may appear in content in ways that authoring tools are not able to detect and process (e.g., when captions are "burned" into the main video track).



(Mr) Jan Richards, M.Sc.
jrichards@ocad.ca | 416-977-6000 ext. 3957 | fax: 416-977-9844
Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) | http://inclusivedesign.ca/
Faculty of Design | OCAD University
Received on Wednesday, 8 December 2010 20:31:51 UTC

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