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Re: EOWG work for this week: Baseline docs

From: Sylvie Duchateau <sylvie.duchateau@snv.jussieu.fr>
Date: Thu, 04 May 2006 16:43:44 +0200
Message-ID: <200605041643440687.01B62CDA@mail.snv.jussieu.fr>
To: shawn@w3.org, w3c-wai-eo@w3.org

hello Shawn and all,

I have spent the last hour reading the document: 
http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/baseline/

While reading I asked myself several questions that worry me. I cannot assign to them priorities and cannot suggest changes for now but here they are. 

1. Audience: 
Who is the audience of this document? Web Content designers (who are technical experts), or decision makers (who do not always know about Web development but who have a goal in mind: how should their web site look like) or Web users who want to know if such or such Web site conforms to WCAG and how to inform the site owner about the accessibility of their Web site. 

>From my perspective, someone working for several years in the field of accessibility, the document is difficult to understand. 
So for someone who does not know much about Web Accessibility, it can take a long time reading and understanding the document. Will this person still be willing to implement Web Accessibility after reading this document? 

2. Applying a baseline
If I understand the document correctly, the Web site developer has to determine which baseline he will use for his Web site. 
I wonder if the document doesn't require too much from Web site developers: if they want to conform to one priority level of the guidelines, they have also to determine and follow a baseline? Isn't it too much work for him/her? 

3. choosing a baseline
While reading the paragraph explaining how to choose a baseline, I wonder if web site developers are able to do it. 
I met many Web site developers who did not ever imagine that someone with a disability could use a Web site. As a consequence how will a site developer be able to find out if a screen reader, or a platform is able to use his baseline? How will he be able to determine which technologies he can use so that everyone can use his site? 

I can take one concrete example: 
I met a web site developer who had made his site accessible only for Microsoft Internet Explorer. His argument was: 90% of Web users use IE. So if the web developer chooses a baseline that is intended for users of IE only, the Web site will not be accessible to users of other browsers? 
If one specific baseline is used, how can the internet user oblige the web site owner to include the technology/user agent he is able to use? 

May be my worry is not justified, but I'm afraid that applying a specific baseline will discourage people from making web sites following a baseline and conforming to a specific accessibility level.

I hope this can ehlp. 
Best regards
Sylvie 

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********

On 02/05/2006 at 14:12 Shawn Henry wrote:

>EOWG,
>
>At last week's teleconference we agreed to review the documents related to
>Baseline this week:
>- About Baselines for WCAG 2.0 at http://www.w3.org/wai/wcag20/baseline/
>- Conformance to WCAG 2.0 at http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/conformance.html
>
>Note that the editors might be able to make some edits to the "About
>Baselines" document right away; therefore, we want to focus review and
>comments on that document first. The "Conformance" document will not be
>edited for a while, and so comments on that can be submitted later.
>
>In order to facilitate quick turn around on comments and to make the best
>use of EOWG teleconference time, please:
>- send your comments to the EOWG list before *Thursday* 4 May *12:00noon*
>US Eastern (as mentioned last week, so that we can plan teleconference
>discussion for this Friday)
>- clearly distinguish and put at the top issues the that you think need
>EOWG discussion (versus clear-cut issues that can be submitted directly to
>the documents Editors and Working Group)
>- clearly distinguish between high and low priority issues
>- as possible, include suggestions for addressing any issues that you
>identify
>
>If you have copyedits (typos, mis-spellings, and such), send those
>separately to:
>	gv@trace.wisc.edu (not the EOWG list)
>Use a clear subject line such as: About Baselines - copyedits
>
>NOTE: We agreed that this first review would be how the "About Baseline"
>doc communicates the issues of Baseline, and that we will save the
>discussion of the concept of Baseline itself for later.
>
>Regards,
>~ Shawn
Received on Thursday, 4 May 2006 14:40:32 GMT

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