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Re: Removing Priorities from Guidelines

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@srl.rmit.EDU.AU>
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 05:21:48 +1100 (EST)
To: Greg Gay <g.gay@utoronto.ca>
cc: Gregg Vanderheiden <po@trace.wisc.edu>, "'GL - WAI Guidelines WG'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.981119051602.9014B-100000@sunrise>
Hmmm. The problem is that the guidelines are not based on 'today', but on 
what is going to remain true for a while. If OBJECT were more common than 
IMG, your argument would be reversed. So the appraoch in the guidelines 
is 'What things are going to make life impossible for users?' 'ALT text 
on IMG, content for OBJECT, transcripts/captions for audio and video'. 
So all of those things are priority one. The things that are really 
horrible, but not insoluble, are priority two. And things that are nice 
things to do, but won't make life really difficult for people if they are 
ignored, are priority three. It's a rough system, but it is meant to be 
robust and stable, which I think it is.

I think that it can be applied to the texhniques, on the basis that the 
guidelines are all important to be followed, as per the Rationale thta 
Gregg originally published. The number of techniques which are relevant, 
and their priority, in a given case, is probably a good rough guide to 
how important the guideline is in a given case.

(I haven't been sold on this yet. But I have put the money aside from the 
weekly budget, and I'm trying to think of where it would be best.)


On Wed, 18 Nov 1998, Greg Gay wrote:

> Hello Charles
> I don't think priorities should be eliminated altogether but perhaps re-thought
> through. There are certain fundamental practices, like including ALT text for
> images, which should carry more weight than the practice of say, including ALT
> text for objects,  simply because images are the most common  accessibility
> barrier and everyone should be familiar with the problems they pose for adaptive
> technology users.
> We are currently developing a tool for measuring the extent to which web
> authoring tools promote accessibility (HTML editors and conversion tools, and
> web based course authoring packages) . We have found that promotion of
> accessibility must be measured in relation to a product's functionality. To
> accomplish this, priorities were used to add weight to the more fundemental
> practices, awarding or penalizing products for providing  provisions for them or
> not. For example, a product is awarded more points for providing a way to
> include ALT text with images than for providing a way to include ALT text for
> Objects. Likewise they are penalized more for not providing a way to add ALT
> text to images than they are for not providing a way to add ALT text to objects.
> With regard to functionality, products are awarded points  for providing tools
> to create various components of Web pages and are assessed on the extent to
> which those particular tools promote accessibility. The results provide three
> scores, functionality, accessibility, and the ratio between the two.
> I agree that a weighting scheme should be discussed. As our measurement tool
> currently exists, based on the WAI  guidelines, I am not convinced that all of
> the priorities have been weighted appropriately. I will make a copy of the Excel
> measurement tool and its accompanying documentation available for anyone
> interested in providing input into it's development.
> Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
> > I think then we are left with a list of guidelines to be followed, all
> > effectively P1. There are techniques. Where they are relevant the
> > importance of using that technique has  a priority. I think we should say
> > something like this in the document if we do remove priorites.
> >
> > Charles McCathieNevile
> >
> > On Tue, 17 Nov 1998, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:
> >
> > > This is a proposal from the editors that we remove the priorities from the
> > > guidelines and just have priorities on the techniques.
> --
> Greg Gay
> Adaptive Technology Resource Centre
> University of Toronto
> SNOW Project Site Facilitator
> http://snow.utoronto.ca
Received on Wednesday, 18 November 1998 13:26:12 UTC

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