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Updated proposals on ATAG2 defns of author and authoring tool

From: Richards, Jan <jrichards@ocad.ca>
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2011 13:40:02 -0500
To: AUWG <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
Message-ID: <F2C77FB59A1A4840A01EF5F59B1826E20A30DD9173@ocadmail.ocad.ca>
Hi all,

In response to the concerns expressed in the Survey and on Monday's call I'm updating my proposals, including:
- trying to simplify things by moving as much of the complexity as possible into "authoring tools" from "authors"
- moved in example of why checkers by themselves are not authoring tools
- changed how "simple text editors" are handled in response to Alex's concern
- rewording text around data collection

Definition of authors
People who use authoring tools to create or modify web content. The term may cover roles such as content authors, designers, programmers, publishers, testers, etc. (see also "Part B Conformance Applicability Note #6: Multiple author roles"). Some authoring tools control who may be an author by managing *author permissions*.

Definition of authoring tool
Any software (or collection of software components) that can be used by authors (alone or collaboratively) to create or modify web content for use by other people (other authors or end-users).

* Note 1: "collection of software components": Multiple applications, plug-ins, etc. can be used together to meet ATAG 2.0 (see also note in the "Required Components of an ATAG 2.0 Conformance Claim").

* Note 2: "alone or collaboratively": Multiple authors may contribute to the creation of web content and, depending on the authoring tool, each author may work with different views of the content and different editing permissions.

* Note 3: "to create or modify web content": This clause rules out software that collects data from a person for other purposes (e.g., online grocery order form) and then creates web content from that data (e.g., a web-based warehouse order) without informing the person (however, WCAG 2.0 would still apply). This clause also rules out software used to create content exclusively in non-web content technologies.

* Note 4: "for use by other people": This clause rules out the many web applications that allow people to modify web content that only they themselves experience (e.g., web-based email display settings) or that only provide input to automated processes (e.g., library catalog search page).

* Examples of software that are generally considered authoring tools under ATAG 2.0:
- web page authoring tools (e.g. WYSIWYG HTML editors) 
- software for directly editing source code
- software for converting to web content technologies (e.g. "Save as HTML" features in office document applications)
- integrated development environments (e.g. for web application development)
- software that generates web content on the basis of templates, scripts, command-line input or "wizard"-type processes
- software for rapidly updating portions of web pages (e.g. blogging, wikis, online forums)
- software for generating/managing entire web sites (e.g. content management systems, courseware tools, content aggregators)
- email clients that send messages in web content technologies
- multimedia authoring tools
- software for creating mobile web applications

* Examples of software that are not considered authoring tools under ATAG 2.0 (in all cases, WCAG 2.0 still applies if the software is web-based): 
- customizable personal portals: ATAG 2.0 does not apply because the web content being edited is only available to the owner of the portal
- e-commerce order forms: ATAG 2.0 does not apply because the purpose of an e-commerce order form is to order a product, not communicate with other people via web content, even if the data collected by the form actually does result in web content (e.g., online tracking pages, etc.)
- stand-alone accessibility checkers: ATAG 2.0 does not apply because a stand-alone accessibility checker with no automated or semi-automated repair functionality does not actually modify web content. An accessibility checker with repair functionality or that is considered as part of a larger authoring process would be considered an authoring tool. 


Things to shift to a "More Information about the Definition of Authoring Tools" section in "Implementing ATAG 2.0"

- Simple text editors: If a text editor provides no support for the production of any particular web content technology (e.g., no syntax checking, markup insertion, etc.) then ATAG 2.0 "Partial" Conformance (to Part A) is suggested.

(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, 16 February 2011 18:40:34 UTC

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