W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > October to December 1997

Re: Updating guidelines in accordance with HTML 4.0 recommendation

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 12:51:59 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199712191751.MAA09525@access4.digex.net>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

> I think the issue of how or if the Checklists, Guidelines and Master
> Document can be linked to the HTML 4.0 specification is a matter for either
> the Interest Group or the Coordination Group (or both) at the moment.

I think that the Interest Group would need some more framing to respond
effectively on this issue.  Even the CG will be more useful to ask if
there is some proposal or other issue-framing starting point.  Some more
details below.

> It would probably be a good idea though, to link the references to the TAGs 
> in the guidelines back to the discussion of the TAGs in the HTML 4.0 spec.
> That kind of linking is pretty straightforward.
> Now that I said that a thought occurs to me.
>     We will be putting links in the guidelines to more detailed discussions 
> of the access issues (either in master doc or the resource web site.  If we 
> link all the html 4.0 references to the html4.0 spec,  it will be harder to 
> tell whether a link in the  guidelines is to more info on access or just 
> info on the HTML 4.0.
> There could be a *lot* of links!


The GL output will appear in both print form and as HTML resources on 
the Web.  The Web form should use judicious linking to other resources
	a) assist users who wish information which goes beyond the
	scope of the present document, and

	b) thereby keep the scope of the present document within bounds.

You don't want your document to look like the HTML specification
itself where each use of a keyword is hot-linked to its
definition.  For references outside your own document, you
probably want to link based on something more like the "first
use" criterion which says you should spell out an acronym the
first time you use it in your context.  Actually, there should be
a sliding scale based on two things:

	1) how recently has there been a link to the definition.
	2) how central is this term to the present topic.

The real test is not really "inside your document vs. outside
your document" but the level of help that the reader has finding
their way back after following a link.  You can use links inside
your own document a lot, because when the user follows that link
they are surrounded by navaids which help them find their way
back to where they were.

If the only way back is with the browser "back" function, some
users do get lost.  So these links should be used carefully.
But they should still be used.  No web document should be
an island...

Once we have a WAI region in the W3C web there will be an
intermediate level of navaid support.  All links to other points
in WAI documents should have a level of return navigation support
[need flag to editorial standards here, don't I] above what one
gets across W3C pages which is higher than what one gets across
all Web pages World-Wide.

Your linking frequency or intensity inside your patch of the WAI
resource web is an application of the general principles of good
web design.  While these principles are of general applicability,
they are mostly honored in the breach, i.e. they are not very
general in their actual application.

If y'all do two things, you will probably do OK:

	One: Keep a notebook of the editorial principles you
	invented to keep your sanity as you developed this resource.
	Share that with the GL and CG groups (via web access).

	Two: Check what you are doing in this area by comparing
	what you are doing with the guidance offered to working
	groups concerning working group home pages.

		Is Gregg on the chairs@w3.org distribution?
		Is Wendy monitoring the http://www.w3.org/Guide/ area?


-- Al Gilman
Received on Friday, 19 December 1997 12:52:29 UTC

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