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Re: Principles

From: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2000 16:01:43 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: love26@gorge.net (William Loughborough), "Guidelines" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
As I suggested before, I would really like to see a "WCAG in 10 points" 
that is similar to the "XML in 10 points" [1].  Based on Al's and William's 
terse statement of principles, here are some possibilities for the points:

Accessible Web content is a method for removing barriers to information.
Accessible Web content presents information without depending on any one 
device or sense.
Accessible Web content separates structure and content from presentation.
Accessible Web content is highly structured and easy to navigate.
Accessible Web content is easy to understand.
Accessible Web content contains images, movies, text, applets, and scripts.

Others?  Thoughts?
[1] http://www.w3.org/XML/1999/XML-in-10-points

Al Gilman and William Loughborough have separately sent suggestions for 
high level principles.  I have merged the two.  AG denotes Al Gilman, WL 
denotes William Loughborough.

AG:: Leave no gratuitous barrier between the information and its consumer.

AG:: Transform gracefully into various views, don't depend on any one 
device or sense.
WL:: Assure content availability across sensory modalities.
WL:: Permit user modifications of (recommended) default presentations.
WL:: Design user interfaces for device independence.

AG:: Separate the content that informs all views from the presentation that 
is view specific.
WL:: Convey semantics using content, structure, and markup (or data models) 
rather than presentation.
WL:: Separate content and structure from presentation; capture semantics 
with markup.

At 02:33 PM 9/7/00 , William Loughborough wrote:
>AG:: "First, leave no gratuitous barrier between the information and its
>WL: Now that's the level of abstraction that I think we should be pursuing
>here. Although this "requires" a bunch of explanation, as a guiding
>*principle* it might be hard to cap. It has nothing to do with not only the
>Web but with media at all - even language!
>AG:: "...the intrinsic structure of the information is graph-shaped, not
>WL: The characterization of the structure's shape is of interest but until
>the fundamental of there being such a thing as "structure" reaches our
>audience, it mattereth little if we think of ovals and arrows or some other
>realization. The problem we face is that authors and their tools are
>besieged by retinal conceit. Too many aren't even aware that the tasks they
>use their eyes for could readily be made available to machines (and
>incidentally blind folks) through the use of some not-too-tedious
>constructs. It just has to be put into what they think of as "English" (or
>"French" or whatever) so that they "get it". Most of us are totally clueless
>as to how this is done and often even demean such efforts. I've tried to do
>it but without much success and it may be that the ability to participate in
>all these "inner workings" precludes the particular communication skills
>needed to write in less-polysallabic terms. Al's shot at de-mystifying the
>thing about "navigable, hierarchical
>content decomposition." gave us a small taste of how problematic this is
>because none of the words in that quote (except possibly "content" - which
>is debatable) are in the daily vocabularies of much of our intended
>If I try to explain what I do to the people I play poker with (mostly Latino
>agricultural workers), I bumble horribly. Al Gilman has a similar problem
>with almost everyone he talks to outside the rarified places he mostly
>frequents. While I don't expect to pattern-match to the guy who maintains
>the milking machines, I think we even have a problem with a great many
>people who design Web sites - and even more so with their managers.

wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
madison, wi usa
tel: +1 608 663 6346
Received on Thursday, 7 September 2000 15:58:00 UTC

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