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Re: Agenda

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2000 15:44:16 -0700
Message-ID: <011b01c01853$fd8e7da0$acc5a2cd@love26>
To: "Jason White" <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>, "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
AS:: "1.2 Provide a transcript for audio content."

WL: I worry that "audio" content might require some really weird
"transcript". Music, sound effects, etc. often beggar descriptions, let
alone "transcripts". While it's probably OK to assume that most users can
deal with text (although that's not even universally accepted), it would be
very hard to require that a musical score be furnished.

I think we'd best talk this one through a bit more.

I more or less prefer the language in the "reformulation" draft even though
it's perhaps not as specific as that proposed here for guidelines. "1.1
Provide a textual equivalent for every non-text (auditory or graphical)
component " has the "every" problem - one is never sure that *all* possible
non-text components are capable of having an equivalent (or even that
"auditory or graphical" covers all the possibilities) that's expressible.
But since that's rather deep picking of nits, then I'd prefer it stand. The
less confident "Provide text equivalents for non-text items where
feasible/important" might even suffice.

The Principles should be a bit lofty without being too vague, IMO. How many
and which guidelines are chosen is sort of what we're about as well as how
specific they must get. The line between "too dense" and "too 'DUH!'" is
quite narrow. Do we want to require extensive knowledge/experience or insult

As to the dropped Principle 3: it is to be hoped that "2.3 Where
presentation is used to communicate distinctions of meaning or structure
within the content, ensure that the meaning is captured in the markup."
might be a template for addressing the missing items Jason evokes in "a
style sheet, programmatic object, transformation procedure or other
infrastructure may be required..." if we can find some general term that
includes *anything* that evokes semantics. The guidelines are requiring that
the author examine a fundamental (usually visual) prejudice that overlooks
that sometimes she's using how things *look* to express what things *mean*
and this is not an easily understood concept by people whose native tongue
so often uses "blind" pejoratively.

When we undertake an attack on some unrealized assumptions that almost
everyone makes, we lay out a tough course, but if we persevere... One
problem with the "just a click away" is that "just" is taken so much for
granted - there are too many cases of recognizing something "*just* by
looking at it" and in many ways that's not very different from Anglocentrism
and other problems of translation.

As to Principle 4 we are asking the author to consider not only people with
"differences" but also machines, some of which haven't even been invented
yet! However some updatable list of potential devices might help. An urge to
think about the site being accessed by WebTV, WebPhones, Search Engines,
Voice Browsers, Text-only Browsers, Screens ranging from those filling a
wall to those projected on eyegless lenses - is a heavy requirement, but if
we are to really espouse "Universal Design Principles" that's what has to be
done. The alternative is to make a separate series of Webs for these various
devices and that *will* lead to exclusion. CC/PP isn't yet a "magic bullet"
to handle content negotiation but it (or something very like it) will
prevail. After all the "CC" stands for "Client Capability" and that can be
very detailed in principle. However our guidelines must encourage/require
the author to make it at least feasible to have "negotiable content" so that
there is a basis for negotiation.

Hope somebody reads this <g>!

Received on Wednesday, 6 September 2000 18:43:15 UTC

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