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Re: Comments on WCAG 2.0 requirements draft.

From: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 17:03:20 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "Steve McCaffrey" <smccaffr@mail.nysed.gov>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Thank you for your comments and compliments, Steve.

I have a few questions and comments that are interspersed and marked with WC::

>"Resolve the relationship between user agent support and author supplied
>content (cross-platform and backwards compatibility issues)."
>Yes, extremely important.
>Does "author supplied content" include the role of authoring tools?

WC:: This is an interesting question.  I would say "yes" because the 
majority of people creating content do not want to deal with pointy brackets.

>In short, I believe WCAG2 must include sufficient knowledge from the user
>agent and authoring tool accessibility guidelines as well.

WC::  What should we include from the ATAG and UAAG guidelines?  Could you 
give me an example?

>And, of course, user agent = browser + assistive technology.
>Guidelines should carefully and clearly give guidance to the developer
>1. "What do I have to know about how the (user agent, authoring tool) does
>behind the scenes, how it works, in order to  produce accessible content?"
>2. when to ask 1, that is,
>"How do I know that my possible lack of knowledge
>of how user agents and authoring tools work may be influencing the degree
>to which my content is accesible?"

WC:: However, a large portion of people who are creating content for the 
Web will not be technical.  Therefore, providing tests that they can 
perform to determine if their content is accessible seems to be a less 
ambiguous way to go.  I think this information might be more helpful to 
people creating the tools that evaluate content for accessibility or that 
create Web content (i.e. evaluation tools and authoring tools).  That 
knowledge should be build into tools so that the author is not required to 
learn that.

>      What I'm driving at here is that, in problem solving, it is important
>to know how and when  to break your problem down into simpler problems
>(finer grained detail) you can solve.
>If you are solving a really new problem, with no prior experience, you
>don't know ahead of time even what details need to be considerred in the
>first place.
>Guidance must be givenn.

WC:: Yes, we must give guidance, especially since some people will use a 
text editor and the guidelines to create accessible content.

>(For a much better treatment of these issues, see George Polya's classic,
>"How To Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method".  I think Polya's
>detailed discussion of the problem solving process is worth reading for
>anyone creating what amounts to a domain specific problem solving manual.
>Especially useful are his example dialogs between teacher and student.)

WC:: Has someone provided a summary of this somewhere?  I can only find 
references to buy the book (do you work for Amazon.com? <big grin>). How 
long is the book?

>"XML technologies (DTD authoring? namespaces?)"
>Absolutely, essential, esp. considering
>issues raised in
>" XML Accessibility Guidelines", (
>W3C WAI PF draft note - 17 February 2000
>considering that there are a proliferating number of markup languages and
>as noted in the above,
>there is no accessibility built into XML itself (e.g. requirement for an
>alt attribute), are there any thoughts about modifying the XML spec itself
>to do this, (or will these be handled via style sheets?).

WC:: Yes, we will absolutely cover XML. The question is more about how to 
incorporate the PF XML guidelines. What do we do about DTDs? 
Namespaces?  The approach of these guidelines is currently very different 
from the current WCAG 1.0 and we aren't sure right now how to fit them in.

Thanks again,
wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
madison, wi usa
tel: +1 608 663 6346
Received on Tuesday, 6 June 2000 16:56:52 UTC

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