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Terminology Problem: "Avoid"

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 10:32:31 -0700
Message-Id: <4.2.0.58.20000929102539.00aa3220@garth.idyllmtn.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
The verb "avoid" appears repeatedly in the WCAG 2.0 draft:

* Avoid methods that interfere with navigation.
* Avoid causing content to blink or flicker otherwise than
   under the control of the user.
* Avoid causing pages to be refreshed or updated automatically,
   otherwise than in response to a user's request.

We should eliminate the use of this term for a number of
reasons:

1.  It is "negative thinking" and requires the reader to _not_
     do something, rather than to _do_ something.  Proactive
     guidelines make for a better document.

2.  It is unclear what "avoid" means.  Does that mean don't
     do it?  Does it mean do it but feel bad about it?  Does it
     mean don't do it most of the time?

3.  The ambiguity of the term effectively means (by a plain
     English interpretation of "avoid") that it is up to the
     reader's discretion whether or not the undesirable method
     is used.  This is extremely poor as our guidelines need
     to be far more explicit _and_ should not assume that the
     reader has sufficient knowledge to make complex decisions
     regarding accessibility issues.

Therefore, I propose the following:

      The verb "avoid" should be avoided -- er, should NEVER BE
      USED -- in WCAG 2.0.

--Kynn, the guy who nitpicked for "author" vs. "user" in ATAG

-- 
Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                    http://kynn.com/
Director of Accessibility, Edapta               http://www.edapta.com/
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet   http://www.idyllmtn.com/
AWARE Center Director                      http://www.awarecenter.org/
Accessibility Roundtable Web Broadcast           http://kynn.com/+on24
What's on my bookshelf?                         http://kynn.com/books/
Received on Friday, 29 September 2000 13:51:41 GMT

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