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Re: "intro"

From: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2000 08:29:08 -0400
Message-Id: <4.2.0.58.20000907081900.0505f7d0@localhost>
To: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At the face to face meeting in March [1] we determined the need for an 
Executive Summary or some sort of short (2 page?) overview of the 
guidelines.  At the Steering Committee meeting in July(?) it was decided 
that this role was clearly ours and not EOs.  I believe that William's 
draft is the possible basis for this short, easy to read version.

There seem to be at least 2 main concepts to cover in an overview:
1. separation of content and structure from presentation
2. transform gracefully and device independence

Other major themes to cover?

I would love to see "WCAG in X points" similar to the "XML in 10 (7 really) 
points" [2].
--wendy

[1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/meetings/20000320
[2] http://www.w3.org/XML/1999/XML-in-10-points

>Given that the guidelines are likely to be scrutinized carefully in a
>variety of contents (by software developers, implementors, regulators,
>policy analysts, etc.), I would agree with William that they must maintain
>a high standard of clarity and precision, thus avoiding any informal
>treatment of the subject.
>
>The latter could be included, perhaps, in a section which is explicitly
>identified as non-normative, or in a separate document, perhaps prepared
>by EO (as they are more in contact with non-specialist audiences than we
>are).
>
>Do we need to define our terms twice, once in an informal introduction
>(perhaps worked on jointly with EO) and again in precise definitions that
>would be designed to avoid the kind of ambiguity and misconstruction that
>can easily arise when terms and concepts are not carefully explained and
>used consistently.
>
>For example, the term "textual equivalent" was introduced into WCAG 1.0
>(and accompanying documents), at least in part as a response to the
>inadequacies that had been identified in the existing nomenclature.
>Specifically, the term "description" had to be avoided, as it was
>inappropriate and misleading: a genuine "equivalent" to an image, for
>example, achieves the same effect and plays the same role as the graphical
>content, but often does not constitute a description of it. Emphasis is
>placed on the function and meaning to be communicated in the context of
>the document, rather than on a characterisation of the medium-specific
>presentation for which the text provides a substitute.
>
>Similar arguments apply to many of the other terms which have been
>introduced in the course of developing the guidelines. They serve to
>clarify concepts and, if used consistently, can actually facilitate
>comprehension of the text (for example by avoiding long and repetitious
>explanatory clauses in sentences).
>
>Thus, writing on my own behalf and not in my capacity as co-chair, I would
>urge that informal explanations be either avoided or provided in sections
>of the working group's deliverables that are clearly identified as
>illucidatory and non-normative.

--
wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
madison, wi usa
tel: +1 608 663 6346
/--
Received on Thursday, 7 September 2000 08:25:13 GMT

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