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Re: Documenting assumptions + an issues list for the Requirements document.

From: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2000 00:06:05 -0400
Message-Id: <4.2.0.58.20000614234439.02488ec0@localhost>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Cc: pjenkins@us.ibm.com, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
What is the common adage about assuming?  when you assume something you 
make an ASS out of U and ME?  <grin/>

We should try to collect as much evidence as possible before making 
assumptions.  A "no-brainer" yet something that I don't think we did enough 
of for WCAG 1.0.  For the next revision I would like to see the group 
surveying users, collaborating with usability engineers, and testing ideas 
by working with the Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group to implement 
them.

Even with this data, we will still be making assumptions about the sampled 
population, the robustness and correctness of the data collection process, 
etc..

I learned some interesting lessons from the "User survey: browsers and 
scripting" that I sent to several lists a couple weeks ago.  I think only 
the people who understood what scripting was responded.  On one list we 
discussed how to write the survey in non-technical terms.  I resubmitted it 
to that list and got several more responses.  I will be tallying the 
results from the survey over the weekend and it will be interesting to see 
the responses.  However, to make good assumptions I think I will have to 
send the "easier to understand" version to get a more realistic sample 
population.

The lesson was "how to write an easier to answer survey."  I know there are 
books about this topic and I'm interested to learn more.  I think this type 
of exercise will be very beneficial over the course of revising the 
guidelines.  I'll also be anxious to see people with these expertise more 
involved in the revision process.

Therefore, yes - we have assumptions to document.

I propose adding a 4th bullet to the 2nd requirement (Ensure that the 
minimal conformance requirements are clear) that would read:
Document the assumptions that underly the minimum requirements.

thoughts?
--w


At 11:35 PM 6/14/00 , Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>I think there are also undocumented assumptions. For example, it is assumed
>that anyone can get and use lynx, so the fact that something works in lynx is
>enough for it ito be available. It is assumed that not everyone has access
>to a javascript-capable browser. I think it is assumed that people can use
>forms, but not necessarily tables. These kind of assumptions (what is the
>minimum technology we are supporting?) are extremely important to the
>priority of checkpoints (and we made changes at various stages in the
>process, as our assumptions shifted with the "state of the art".
>
>I think that it should be very clearly explicit that we need to document
>these assumptions.
>
>Charles McCN
>
>On Wed, 14 Jun 2000, Wendy A Chisholm wrote:
>
>[snip]
>   Are there undocumented assumptions in WCAG 1.0 or are they undocumented
>   facts?  I think there are undocumented facts, such as "which browsers
>   support which aspects of the various technologies?"  The answers to this
>   question are not assumptions.  My sense is that since these are not
>   documented and there are ambiguities in some of the statements, people 
> have
>   made assumptions to fill in the gaps.  I think the goal with 2.0 is to be
>   less ambiguous to prevent the assumptions.
>
>   Note that the current version of the Requirements document is at [2]  [I
>   just updated the dated link on the WCAG WG home page to point to this
>   non-dated link.]
>
>   As for your question about JavaScript and non-W3C Technologies refer to 
> the
>   thread that I started called, "Scripting and links to non-w3c technology
>   techniques (to do's)" [3]
>
>   Thanks,
>   --wendy
>
>   [1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/wcag20-requirements-issues.html
>   [2] http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/wcag20-requirements
>   [3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/2000AprJun/0440.html
>
>   --wendy
>   --
>   wendy a chisholm
>   world wide web consortium
>   web accessibility initiative
>   madison, wi usa
>   tel: +1 608 663 6346
>   /--
>
>
>--
>Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
>W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
>Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053
>Postal: GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001,  Australia

--
wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
madison, wi usa
tel: +1 608 663 6346
/--
Received on Thursday, 15 June 2000 00:05:56 GMT

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