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Re: Comments on the Aux. Ben. Document

From: Chuck Letourneau <cpl@starlingweb.com>
Date: Thu, 08 Aug 2002 11:40:38 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org

I extracted those points from your document that I could comment on. I kept 
the same numbering scheme you developed. My comments are preceded by 
"CL:"  The points I didn't comment on: In most cases I agree with your 

>Charmane's Comments on Auxiliary Benefits Document

5) Under "2.1 Improve usability for all users" Under "Device independence"

>"and WCAG 1.0 techniques can expose critical content and facilitate 
>interaction in all these situations."
>I don't quite understand how the techniques "expose" content or can 
>"facilitate interaction" These concepts are foreign to me. Novice users 
>will be confused or skim over because they don't understand what it means. 
>Is there another way to explain this to someone who is unfamiliar with the 

CL: ... these situations." refers to the following list of 
sub-bullets.  Maybe the period should be a colon.

6) Under "2.1 Improve usability for all users" Under "Device independence"

>"An increasing number of users will access the Web with 
>hands-free/eyes-free devices."
>What is an example of "eyes-free devices". I know what hands-free looks 
>like but not sure what is meant by eyes-free.

CL: Alternative wording: hands-free = speech-to-text (voice recognition), 
eyes-free = text-to-speech (screen-reader).

7) Under "2.1 Improve usability for all users" Under "Clear and 
understandable content"

>"This will immediately increase the size and breadth of the audience that 
>can benefit from your Web site."
>Why or how would it do that. I anticipate a "by..." at the end of this 

CL: "... of the potential audience ..."

8) Under "2.1 Improve usability for all users" Under "Text alternatives" - 
"Text descriptions for multimedia files"

>"The same applies to other non-HTML files such as PDF."
>This one confuses me a little. I thought that Acrobat Reader 5.0 took care 
>of these issues. I also wonder about a full text alternative to a 30 page 
>pdf document. So, is this the best place or best way to make this point? 
>Or maybe I am not understanding what you are trying to say here.

CL: Acrobat Reader 5.0 may not "take care" of PDF created with earlier 
development tools.  In any case, maybe we should change it to just read: 
"The same applies to other non-HTML files."  and let the reader decide what 
falls into that category.  Alternatively, we could/should create a separate 
bullet for content types that are not "multimedia", but are problematic, 
like (some) PDF.  The PDF issue should probably not be tacked on as an 
afterthought in a bullet about multimedia .

14) 2.3 Improve Search Engine listings and Resource Discovery Under 
"Structure Documents with Markup "

>"Structure Documents with Markup - some search engine spiders actually use 
>the text within your header tags ...to rank Web pages and accord increased 
>relevance to this text."
>Isn't this type of coding header tags supposed to be in the style sheet? 
>How do we affect structure with these codes if they are in the style 
>sheet? How does what I code as an H1 or H2 affect the ranking on the 
>search engine. I thought Meta Tags were designed to serv that function 
>somehow. Do we need more explanation here?

CL: Style applied to markup goes into the stylesheet.  The markup stays in 
the page.  This is an alternate criterion for some search engines: 
presumably the person on the WG who originally suggested it was actually 
aware of an engine that does this.  If so, this would be a good reference 
to find for the supporting example page.

16) 2.4 Support for the Semantic Web first paragraph

>I am unfamiliar in this "Semantic Web" and a lot of people will be. Could 
>we have more explanation on how the Semantic Web is different from the 
>current web not just what it can do. Maybe even give an example.

CL: Perhaps a link to the Semantic Web activity on W3C 
[http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/]. The definition is right at the top of their 
current home page.

18) 2.4 Support for the Semantic Web Under "Device independence"

>My experience with device independence is very limited. I have not tested 
>my websites with Internet-ready cell phones or PDA's. How might we explain 
>to people how to "do" device independent coding? Can we link to a URL 
>where it explains how the pages might behave differently from a standard 
>browser on other devices and what those devices might be that we need to 
>be aware of how they react to standing coding. What kind of adjustments as 
>a web coder do I need to make to not only create this type of coding but 
>also test it?

CL: This is certainly not the document  to explain how to code for or test 
for device independence.  Unfortunately, I am not aware of a single (or 
concise) source for such techniques, but they are well scattered through 
WCAG and other standards.  This may be another example of a second-order 
benefit. There is no guarantee (that I am aware of) that a conformant page 
will automatically be repurposable, but if you do code to a strict standard 
like XML (or even XHTML) and apply WCAG then your content at least has a 
chance to be easily repurposed (i.e. non-standard code and inaccessible 
content means automatic repurposing is not possible.)

19) 3.1 Reduce site maintenance under "Text Alternatives"

>"Think of text alternatives as "internal documentation" for your Web 
>Might we confuse people telling them to use alt text as internal 
>documentation. In one sense this makes a lot of sense. In another, I can 
>see people coding in internal documentation for an alt tag that would make 
>no sense to a person using a screen reader.

CL: Charmane is right... I think that sentence should be removed. It is 
redundant in any case.

22) 3.3 Repurposing Content

>...devices from WAP-enabled phones to PDAs to in-car navigation devices."
>Do in-car navigation devices really read our web pages. This is an new 
>development for me. Do we have anywhere on the WAI site that offers tips 
>on how to code for phones, PDA's and in-car navigation devices??? Should 
>we link to that from here?

CL: I agree that "in-car navigation device" may be too specific a Web agent 
to be mentioned in this case.  If the term came from me in the first place 
(it's possible... I tend to think like that)  then I was really envisioning 
an in-dash Web device that was purpose-built to display geographic 
information system data but could do double-duty as a regular Web 
browser.  Fiction maybe.  Maybe not.  In any case... I suggest removing 
reference to the navigation device.  Thins relating to mobile devices are 
covered at the W3C in the Device Independence activity 

23) 3.4 Address server-load under "Style sheets"

>"the use of separate, or master, style sheets will reduce the size of the 
>content pages that your server has to send out. Furthermore, the style 
>sheet files contain all the presentation and layout code and will be 
>cached locally on the requesters local machine."
>This assumes that the web coder is actually putting all of the 
>presentation and all of the layout code in the style sheet. Is that 
>necessarily so. Might some coders - due to lack of training or whatever - 
>put some in the style sheet and some in the document? Does this mean we 
>might to amend how we use the word "all" or explain that the web coder can 
>put "all" in the style sheet?

CL:  Charmane is correct, and I think this is a good example of where our 
hopeful assumptions annoy readers who don't share our ideal.  Perhaps it 
could be improved simply by removing the "all".

29) 5. Reduce Legal Liability second paragraph

"Having your programmers and developers incorporate WCAG 1.0 checkpoints 
into your Web site design from an early stage will be more efficient, and 
cheaper, than doing so after protracted legal proceedings."

Could we add text that makes it clearer that the costs after litigation 
include not only the cost of redoing the site but also the time and funds 
lost to such litigation.

30) 5. Reduce Legal Liability last paragraph

"Furthermore, an increasing number of industry organizations in various 
countries are developing accessibility codes of practice or industry policies."

This seems to be hanging out there. What does the industry organizations 
have to do with litigation? Does their law of the land provide legal status 
to these codes of practice or industry policies?

CL: How about clarifying with:
"Furthermore, an increasing number of industry organizations in various 
countries are developing accessibility codes of practice or industry 
policies. If your company is a member of such an organization its 
continuing membership may depend on adopting those practices."

At 08/08/02 09:41 AM, Charmane K. Corcoran wrote:

>The following URL has my comments on the Aux. Ben. document.  I did not
>include any punctuation comments.  Assume we are still rewriting.  (Judy,
>if you want those too, please let me know.)
>       http://ckc.cl.msu.edu/WAI/ckc.html


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Received on Thursday, 8 August 2002 11:41:56 UTC

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