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WAI-ARIA Primer, "Reasons for Adopting..." section

From: Alan Chuter <achuter@technosite.es>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2008 11:30:20 +0100
Message-ID: <79cab0900803060230j2fe65197o885011803849d075@mail.gmail.com>
To: EOWG <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>

Regarding the "3 Reasons for Adopting WAI-ARIA and WCAG 2.0" section
of the "WAI-ARIA Primer" [2].

I found the opening paragraph rather hard to understand. It seems to
be saying "WCAG 1.0 made things difficult" while what I would expect
would be "WCAG 2.0 with ARIA will make things easier". It kind of goes
against my mindset to read that WCAG 1.0 reduces usability.

Rather than "Web content and application providers can meet the 1999
WCAG 1.0 standards, but in doing so, they may reduce the general
usability for their user base" how about "Web content can be made
accessible using WCAG 1.0 but usability can be much improved with WCAG
2.0 and ARIA."

"... outdated methods that do not scale well" was difficult to
understand. "method" isn't a term I'm used to in this context
("techniques" is) and "scale" suggested numerous pages, while I think
what is meant is the number of links on a page. I understand that they
don't want to be specific here, but I couldn't understand what they
were hinting at. Perhaps an example would help. Perhaps let's just say
"loads of links and form controls make tabbing tedious".

In 3.1 "to support accessibility compliance based on WCAG 1.0
standards" might be better written "to achieve WCAG 1.0 compliance"

Include a link to a definition of "degrade" such as WAI Glossary [1].

"HTML 4 or XHTML 1.X. WCAG 1.0" is hard to parse as there are periods
in the middle. later they use the term "host language," an unnecessary
abstraction. Use "markup language" in both? Or just say "like HTML";
it's not a spec.

"must make an active element a link or use a form element" was
confusing. I think what is meant is "to make an active element, must
use a link or a form element".

In the bullet list "usability a step back" is again confusing, as this
is the status quo, while the text suggests doing something new and
spoiling usability, while people have always done it that way.

Some explanation is needed of "repurposing" HTML elements. Ditto "Lack
of context".

The diagram was actually less clear to me than the text description.
Perhaps the text could appear first. It might be better to avoid using
any code and just discuss things from the user's point of view. The
concept is quite easy to understand that way, I think.

Typo, "sited users".

To summarize, my initial impression is that this section discusses the
existing status quo as if it is something new, suggesting that ARIA is
normal practice, when the situation is actually the opposite. there
are a couple of terms that can't be taken for granted, like
"repurposing" and "degradation".



[1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/Glossary/printable.html#def-transform-gracefully
[2] http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/aria-primer/#reasons

Alan Chuter,
Senior Web Accessibility Consultant, Technosite (www.technosite.es)
Researcher, Inredis Project (www.inredis.es/)
Email: achuter@technosite.es
Alternative email: achuter.technosite@yahoo.com
Blogs: www.blogger.com/profile/09119760634682340619
Received on Thursday, 6 March 2008 10:30:34 GMT

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