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Re: Some comments on the Web Contents Accessibility Guidelines (26 Feb 99 draft)

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1999 09:45:05 -0500
Message-ID: <36F11171.F8404D7B@w3.org>
To: Brian Kelly <b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk>
CC: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Brian Kelly wrote:
> Some comments on the Web Contents Accessibility Guidelines (26 Feb 99
> draft).

> In the introduction you state "...accessibility design does not generally
> mean extra work ...".  I think this is misleading.  It may not mean much
> extra work if you are creating HTML documents from scratch.  However if you
> are converting large numbers of legacy documents it can be (prompts to add
> ALT tags can't be done in batch mode).  Also work has to be done to use
> "safe" CSS features - otherwise pages may be unprintable in certain versions
> of Netscape.  

The statement about "extra work" has been removed in the latest draft
(available from the WAI GL home page, published 16 March) 

> Unfortunately I think the accessibility guidelines have to
> take into account bugs in widely deployed browsers.

I think that tracking bugs in browsers lies outside the scope of
even the techniques document. That information should be readily
available to authors and the techniques document should list
some places where it may be found, but in my opinion, it would
(1) be difficult for W3C to list bugs in browsers produced by
Member organizations and (2) be difficult to list only bugs
in major and not all browsers (and what about assistive technologies?)
(3) possibly require more updates to the techniques document more
frequently than planned.
> Guidelines one gives the example "a logo in a link might be "Return to home
> page"."  The "Return to Home Page" is a bad name for an anchor, as the user
> might not have visited the home page.  I'd suggest "Go to home page".

This has also been removed from the current draft [1], and the
definition of text equivalent expanded in the glossary. There
is no example there now, and perhaps we need to reinstate it correctly.

> Checkpoint 1.1 and elsewhere gives HTML elements in capitals (e.g. IMG).  In
> the light of the XHTML document, arguably these should be lowercase??

That's an interesting point, but this document doesn't refer to
XHTML (perhaps it should). It only refers to HTML 4.0, where the c
onvention in the spec is to use uppercase names. Perhaps we should
say explicitly that this is an editing convention, 
as we did in the HTML specification [2]:

        Element names are written in uppercase letters 
       (e.g., BODY). Attribute names are written in
        lowercase letters (e.g., lang, onsubmit). 
        Recall that in HTML, element and attribute names are
       case-insensitive; the convention is meant to 
       encourage readability. 

Thank you for commenting,

 - Ian

[1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WD-WAI-PAGEAUTH-19990316/
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/about.html#h-1.2.1

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org) 
Tel/Fax: (212) 684-1814 
Received on Thursday, 18 March 1999 09:46:34 UTC

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