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"Bugs" in the 24 March 1999 Version

From: eric hansen <ehansen@ets.org>
Date: Tue, 06 Apr 1999 23:08:45 -0400 (EDT)
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-id: <vines.yRv7+7lg0rA@cips06.ets.org>
"Bugs" in the 24 March 1999 Version of the Web Content Accessibility 
Guidelines

This memo highlights key "bugs" in the 24 March 1999 version of the "Web 
Content Accessibility Guidelines." Additional bugs and suggestions are 
described in my revision of the 24 March 1999 guidelines document. The 
revision is available (temporarily) at:
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm

=====
Bug-1. The concept of "equivalent" is incomplete.
Importance: Extreme
Description: The overall concept of "equivalent" is probably the most 
important concept of the document. Yet I believe that without the change, 
the concept of "equivalent" will remain vague.  
Action Performed: Refined definition of "equivalent". See:
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#equivalent-def
Further Action Suggested: Replace old language with new.
Ease of Correction: Very easy
===
Bug-2. The definition of "equivalent" is incomplete without a concept of 
"communication element".
Importance: Extreme 
Description: I think that the concept of "communication element" is very 
important. It has to encompass all the things listed in checkpoint 1.1. The 
term communication element is an essential foundation for the definition of 
equivalent. The term makes clear that we are not talking about "HTML 
elements." 
Action Performed: Added a new term called the "communication element". See 
the definition of "communication element":
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#communication-element-d
ef
I also replaced the phrase "non-text elements" with "non-text communication 
elements". I think that this change is extremely important. I did this 
because (1) The former was and is undefined and the latter is now defined.; 
(2) Several of the things that were called non-text elements looked like 
"text" (scripts, ASCII art, etc.) so the simple reference to "non-text 
elements" was confusing.
Further Action Suggested: Add the provided definition to the glossary. Make 
a few related changes noted in main revision.
Ease of Correction: Very easy
==
Bug-3. The term "text equivalent" is vaguely defined.
Importance: Extreme
Description: This is probably the most important refinement of the 
revision. The characteristic of being able to be rendered in several 
different ways - auditorially (synthesized speech), tactually (braille), 
and visually (visually-displayed text) -- was mentioned in the previous 
3/24/99 version (in the body of the document but not the definition of text 
equivalent). But this revision makes the feature the one that distinguishes 
it from non-text equivalents. (A parallel contrast is found in the new 
distinction between "text communication elements" and "non-text 
communication elements.") If this cannot be addressed editorially, then I 
ask that it be discussed on the list or wherever else necessary.
Action Performed: Refined the definition of "text equivalent". See the 
definition of text equivalent:
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#text-equivalent-def
Further Action Suggested: Replace old language with new in the glossary and 
make a few other changes as indicated in the revision.
Ease of Correction: Very easy
==
Bug-4. The term "non-text equivalent" is improperly defined.
Importance: Extreme
Description: This is another very important refinement. Essentially, a 
non-text equivalent is an "equivalent" that it is not a "text equivalent." 
The previous definition of non-text equivalent did not provide such a clear 
distinction. If this cannot be addressed editorially, then I ask that it be 
discussed on the list or wherever else necessary.
Action Performed: Revised the definition of "non-text equivalent". See:
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#non-text-equivalent-def
Further Action Suggested: Replace old language with new in the glossary and 
make a few other changes as indicated in the revision.
Ease of Correction: Very easy
==
Bug-5. The term "alternative equivalent" is redundant.
Importance: High
Description: I eliminated the term "alternative" from the term "alternative 
equivalent" since the latter phrase is redundant. "Equivalent" is adequate 
by itself. Also, the term is "alternative" is not defined, except by 
context. (The word "alternative" seems fine in other usage.)
Action Performed: Removed the "alternative" from the term "alternative 
equivalent"
Further Action Suggested: Make edits as provided.
Ease of Correction: Very easy
==
Bug-6. Document uses of the word "description" without making clear its 
special meaning.
Importance: High
Description: The revision reduced reliance on undefined terms such a "video 
description", "auditory description"; these terms will tend to confuse 
people, especially if they are not defined in the glossary. They are not, 
to my knowledge, necessary. I tried the use defined terms and to get the 
same message across. For example, I found that the defined terms 
"equivalent" was often helpful. 
Action Performed: Reduced reliance on undefined uses of the word 
"description"
Further Action Suggested: Make edits as provided. 
Ease of Correction: Very easy
==
Bug-7. The introduction to guideline 1 is inconsistent with the refined 
definitions.
Importance: High 
Description: NA
Action Performed: Provided a revised introductory section for guideline 1 
to make it consistent with the revised definitions above. See:
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#revised-guideline-1-int
ro
Further Action Suggested: Use the provided language.
Ease of Correction: Very easy
==
Bug-8. Checkpoint 1.1 needs refinement. 
Importance: Extreme
Description: Note that is recently underwent a revision and therefore might 
be expected to require some editing. As noted, the reference to 
"synthesized speech" as requiring a "text equivalent" would not be 
comprehensible without further explanation. 
Action Performed: Revised the wording of checkpoint 1.1
Here is my current suggestion:
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#suggested-revision-chec
kpoint-1.1
Here are some earlier versions. They have some comments not in the most 
recent version.
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#revision-2-checkpoint-1
.1
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#revision-1-checkpoint-1
.1
Here is an even older version with heavy comments:
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#commented-checkpoint-1.
1
Here is the original (3/24/99) version:
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#old-3-24-99-checkpoint-
1.1
Further Action Suggested: Make the provided changes. Note that any 
reference to "synthesized speech" as a non-text communication element would 
need to be explained if the group feels that it is important to include.
Ease of Correction: Moderately easy. Should be reviewed by several members 
of the working group. There are a few questions raised that should be 
addressed.
==
Bug-9. Checkpoint 14.2 mistakenly makes reference to equivalents "to text".
Importance: Extreme
Description: This is a clear factual error.
Action Performed: Provided revised wording. (I also made other edits that 
should be considered.) See:
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#equiv-to-text-bug
Further Action Suggested: Make the provided changes.
Ease of Correction: Very easy.
==
Bug-10. The possibility of synchronizing text equivalents for video was not 
acknowledged in checkpoint 1.3
Importance: Very High
Description: The old version of 1.3 reads: "For each movie, provide an 
auditory description of the video track and synchronize it with the audio 
track. [Priority 1]"
Action Performed: Revised checkpoint 1.3 and gave it a split priority.
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#checkpoint-1.3
Further Action Suggested: Easy. This one should be reviewed and discussed. 
The idea proposed was discussed briefly but received inadequate 
consideration.
Ease of Correction: Easy.
==
Bug-11. The word "visual" is used to describe non-text elements, even 
though text is usually rendered in a visual manner.
Importance: Moderate
Description: NA
Action Performed: Reduced reliance on the word "visual". 
Generally, I have tried to reduce reliance on the word "visual" when 
referring to things like graphics and video. The problem is that it is 
sometimes intended as a contrast to text, yet text can also be "visual." If 
the editors think that it is important to use the visual, I recommend that 
they define it early in the body of the document.
Further Action Suggested: Make provided changes.
Ease of Correction: Easy
==
Bug-12. The need for text equivalents for ASCII art was cited in two 
checkpoints (1.1 and 1.5).
Importance: High
Description: This is a small redundancy in the checkpoints.
Action Performed: Deleted Checkpoint 1.5
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#checkpoint-1.5
Further Action Suggested: Make suggested deletion.
Ease of Correction: Very Easy
==
Bug-13. The description of the relationship between the terms "assistive 
technology", "screen reader", and "user agent" is not consistent throughout 
the document.
Importance: High
Description: This is a fairly clear factual mismatch. See:
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#assistive-technology
Action Performed: I have not tried to resolve this. 
Further Action Suggested: The editors should pick one explanation and use 
it throughout the document.
Ease of Correction: Easy.
==
Bug-14. The guidelines document does not claim a conformance level.
Importance: High
Description: The guidelines document does not claim a conformance level for 
itself.
Action Performed: Added a conformance claim. See:
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#conf-claim-for-wcag-doc
Further Action Suggested: Review and approve language.
Ease of Correction: Fairly easy. This should be reviewed by Working Group 
members.
==
Bug-15. The document fails to follow checkpoint 4.2 on acronyms and 
abbreviations. 
Importance: High (essential for obtaining triple-A rating).
Description: NA
Action Performed: Problem noted. One or more acronyms were expanded in the 
body of the text. Also another example was suggested. See:
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#abbreviations-and-acron
yms
Further Action Suggested: Fix them. I think that it would be an important 
lost opportunity to fail to claim a triple-A rating and do whatever it 
takes to make sure that it sticks.
Ease of Correction: Fairly easy to somewhat difficult
==
Bug-16. The document does not say how to handle conformance ratings for 
inaccessible primary pages that have accessible alternative pages.
Importance: Moderate to High
Description: NA
Action Performed: Provided an explanation. See:
http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/r990324a.htm#alt-page-conformance
Further Action Suggested: Verify that this is the desired location for this 
information. Approve.
Ease of Correction: Easy
=============================
Eric G. Hansen, Ph.D.
Development Scientist
Educational Testing Service
ETS 12-R
Rosedale Road
Princeton, NJ 08541
(W) 609-734-5615
(Fax) 609-734-1090
E-mail: ehansen@ets.org 
Received on Tuesday, 6 April 1999 23:41:12 GMT

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