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Some comments to WAI Guidelines

From: Marja-Riitta Koivunen <marja@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 12:30:01 -0500
Message-Id: <199803241729.MAA15960@www10.w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

I'm a Visiting Scientist at W3C. Mostly I'm trying to learn and understand
the different W3C standards and how they affect the users (or designers who
are also users).

I promised some comments to Judy concerning the WAI guidelines and I was
asked to send them here as well. They are not polished but I hope they are
still useful.



  WAI Accessibility Guidelines: Page Authoring

  Comments by Marja March 18:

       It would help to have links to the html4 manual to the discussed object

       Should we have more general kinds of guidelines at the beginning of the
       document and then see how these are reflected in the actual html

  Introduction/navigation (page 2)
       Shouldn't we write something also on navigation from the cognitive
       For instance, that people should be aware where they are, where they
       came from and what kinds of possibilities they have to continue
       Navigations bars or maps of the site should be provided  to help people
       in creatin a mental model. The navigation bars should be visible at all
       times to support the mental model of the site and the current
       should be clearly marked  so that people know where they are.

  Introduction/alternative format (page 2)
       Does every object have an alt and longdesc attribute? How do they
       for instance from the titles? Can we make some general statements here
       and also give a recommended order of importance (i.e. at least always
       provide alt text).

       Could we define couple of user groups describing who is not able to get
       the info if the required guideline is not followed. Then we could

       the user groups to the required statements e.g. [required: vision,
       cognitive, anybody].

  Introduction/alternative format (page 3)
       How are the alternative versions defined? If with style sheet, how are
       the style sheets used and how do they cascade? For instance, if a
       palmtop tries to show web-pages, who designs the style sheet
       (manufacturer? or page designer?) and how does it work when
according to
       the current standard the designer definitions always win the user

  Rating  (page 3)
       [Interim] Which are the todays browsers? I guess this is going to
       every now and then, so it would be nice to know what browsers we are
       talking right now. This would help to know when the guidelines become

  1 Style Sheets (page 3)
       What does the first [New] refer to?
       The two required guidelines conflict. If I want something to be
       and especially usable I need to use some presentation. If I cannot use
       style sheets, as guideline 1 says, I use HTML markup. However,
       2 says that I should use style sheet instead of markup.

       What actually happens, if I use both markup and style sheets? What
       definitions win?

  1 Style Sheets  (page 4)
       Is it really the designer who is supposed to know all these different
       target medias and design style sheets for them (if the style sheets
       really do the job)? Should these target medias then be specified in
       detail? I would need a concrete example (even a hypothetical one) to
       a model of how this really works.

  2 Images and Image Maps  (page 4)

       Should we tell that objects should be preferred instead of images?
       Should there at least be a chapter of object guidelines if that is the
       preferred way (at least instead of applets).

       Should we have also audio descriptions available the same way as of
       video (for instance some-one might explain the picture in audio)?

       Is text always the first thing that we want of visual objects because
       there are tools/devices that can produce the audio of it?

       Why an earth does an object not have an alt attribute so that the
       explanations have to be included in the contents of the object? Is alt
       also going to be deprecated?

  3 Applets and Scripts  (page 6)

       I think the deprecated note should be at the beginning so that it is
       easier to notice.

       Guideline 1: Why is the noscript tag used instead of alt and longdesc?

  3 Applets and Scripts  (page 7)

       Guideline 6:  This would actually be very good generally. Should it be
       also as a recommendation to the browsers to allow users control moving
       things or sounds starting when you visit the page?

  4 Audio and video  (page 8)

       Guideline 3: Why does this help people with both visual and hearing
       disabilities? Is it because people can control the pace and replays of
       the video more easily.

       Guideline 4: [Interim] You do not have to have disabilities to make use
       of this. Therefore, I prefer that the captions are at the same version
       and you can turn them on and off as you like. For instance, I use
       captions (in TV) sometimes when I don't want to disturb my child in the
       evening or sometimes it helps to understand people's pronunciation.

  5 Text, Symbols …  (page 9)

       This section is actually more understandable than the style sheet
       section. Is the title right? Should it be someway merged with the

  7 Tables  (page 11)

       Guideline 2: Why should the tables be avoided? What is the recommended
       way to do this?

       Guideline 8: Why the should not be allowed to wrap? I thought it would
       be better if it wraps.

  8 Links  (page 12)

       Guideline 1: makes – instead of make

       Guideline 2: I guess image links are no exception?

  10 User Input Forms  (page 14)

       Guideline 6: So in the future we will have list with expanding and
       collapsing levels of details. Does this mean that it is not possible to
       see all differents fields of a form at once? Or is it the user who

       Guideline 7: Why is this. I have no clue.

       Guidline 8: as an alternate - instead of as alternate an
  11 If all else …  (page 15)

       Guideline 2: What if the selection of the target media is made by
       selecting a different style sheet as stated earlier? How does this work
       then? Is the alternate page thing preferred over style sheets?
       Can style sheet even provide all the necessary info?

  12 Good web site design practices  (page 15)

       Should these be at the beginning of the document maybe with some more

       3. Navigation bar is not explained. What is ment by it?
       4. Where should this info be located?
       6. A big problem is also to define which databases are going to be
       searched at which points. Now it seems to be quite random.
       9. How does the tool remove access when I reopen the page?
Received on Tuesday, 24 March 1998 12:29:38 UTC

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