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Re: Against zero-sum games

From: gregory j. rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 14:11:30 -0400 (EDT)
To: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.BSI.3.95.1010514130852.14322A-100000@ns.hicom.net>
aloha, anne!

Anne Pemberton wrote:
>      With my limited knowledge of specifics in technologies, we can go
> either of two choices - 1) work to put everything onto each page, and have
> people tripping over other folks' needs, or put some of the requirements on
> a site, rather than a page level ... there will be pages of text and
> illustrations perhaps with accompanying sound files, but multi-media would
> be linked from a page "other modality page" rather than *ON* the other
> modality page ....

to which i reply: as lisa wrote in another thread, it is time that we, as
a working group, disabused ourselves of the notion that addressing the
accessibility needs of one group of users necessarily leads to the
erection of barriers for others -- that logic runs counter to the whole
exercise of drafting, testing, and promulgating web content accessibility
guidelines...  if i add an image to my page, then i need to ensure that
its functionality and purpose is clear when the image isn't rendered;
likewise, if i include an audio file, it is incumbent upon me as a page
author, to provide a text transcript of the contents of the audio file, or
-- if the file, for example, contains non-verbal information, a "long
description" of its nature, function, and purpose... 

anne also wrote:
> 	On the multi-media page, we need to specify the controls that are needed
> for accessibility - such as the ability to stop, pause, back up a bit, play
> forward, etc. If it is felt that these controls are needed on each and
> every type of multi-media, then the guidelines need to specify the minimum
> types of controls that are necessary. 

to which i reply that these are the types of control that are (properly) 
covered by the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG), the last call
draft of which can be found at: 
   <http://www.w3.org/TR/uaag10/>
while i have included a longer list of pertinent UAAG checkpoints as a
postscript, the following, i believe, address the concerns you outlined: 

checkpoint 3.2 - configuration not to render multi-media except upon
explicit user request; ability to have UA display/render each
multi-media component individually on user request; P1

checkpoint 3.8 - ability to turn off individual multi-media components
that are exposed through the UA by explicit user request as per 3.2; P3

checkpoint 4.4 - ability to slow presentation rate of audio & animations,
including video; "audio and animations whose recognized role is to
create a purely stylistic effect exempted, but refer to notes on 4.7 and
explicit dependency on WCAG 1.0 (do not convey info through style alone);
P1

checkpoint 4.5 - ability to stop, pause, resume, fast advance, & fast
reverse audio & animations, including video; applies to content that is
either rendered automatically or on explicit user request; "audio and
animations whose recognized role is to create a purely stylistic effect
exempted, but refer to notes on 4.8 and explicit dependency on WCAG 1.0
(do not convey info through style alone); P1

checkpoint 4.6 - user control of positioning/repositioning of text
transcripts, collated transcripts, and captions; P1

checkpoint 4.7 - ability to slow presentation rate of audio & animations,
including video for "audio and animations whose recognized role is to
create a purely stylistic effect" (i.e. those exempted from 4.4); P2

checkpoint 4.8 - ability to stop, pause, resume, fast advance, & fast
reverse audio & animations, including video, not covered by 4.5; P2
 
where WCAG enters the picture is in providing guidance to authors on how
to integrate multi-media components into their pages so that the
above-listed checkpoints apply -- i'm thinking in particular of the
practice of embedding multi-media players in web pages, which often
precludes anyone without a pointing device (or the ability to use one)
from controlling the embedded multi-media player from the keyboard, since
any keyboard input acts not on the embedded player, but upon the browser,
since it is the browser that receives keyboard input and not the embedded
player, since the browser doesn't have a "pass-through"  mechanism, which
the user could use to force the browser ignore the next keyboard input so
that it can be received by the embedded player...  i believe that this
particular case is actually covered by UAAG checkpoints 1.1 (ensure that
user can operate UA fully through keyboard input alone;  P1); 9.2 (allow
the user to move the content focus to any enabled element in the viewport,
including disabled elements; P1); and 9.6 (allow user to move content
focus to any enabled element in viewport, excluding disabled elements
[special case of 9.2]; P2), but that is my personal reading of the
document and does not represent a consensus on the part of the User Agent
working group, of which i am a member...

anne also commented:
>      I did include illustrations and sound files with the text page. I
> don't feel there is any need for an "all text version" ... It is easy in
> any/all? browsers to turn off the illustrations, and sounds files can be
> controllable by the user (if by turning the speaker off if all else fails!)
> ... So all these can reside on the same page... 
 
to which i reply that i don't think that anyone's being asked to provide
an "all text version", but, rather, multi-media enhanced
pages/documents/applications (in the XML sense of the word) that transform
gracefully when support for particular multi-media components is either
turned off or not available--that is, not supported by the browser being
used to render the document source...

moreover, turning off support for a content type (such as scripts, so as
to prevent being taken unexpectedly to a new page whilst attempting to
review the contents of a list box) as you suggest, is a far too draconian
approach, which is why the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines address
both configuration (don't show me any images) and control (show me just
this particular image/hide this particular image/suppress this particular 
action)

gregory.

PS: my on-the-fly listing of UAAG checkpoints that appertain to control
over multi-media components are:

2.3 - access to unrendered "conditional content" (P1)

2.4 - ability to control timed events (P1)

2.5 - configuration/control over text transcripts, captions, and audio
description

2.6 - respect synchronization cues during rendering (P1)

2.7 - repair text for conditional content required by spec, but which
author has failed to provide (P2) 

2.8 - configuration for handling "null" conditional content (P3) 

2.9 - configuration to render all conditional content automatically

3.1 - ability to configure UA not to render background images/alert if
background available but not rendered (P1) 

3.2 - configuration not to render multi-media except upon explicit user
request; ability to have UA display/render each multi-media component
individually on user request; P1

3.3 - ability to configure UA to render animated or blinking text as
motionless, unblinking text (P2) 

3.7 - configuration not to render images with option to have UA substitute
a placeholder in context for unrendered images; ability to have UA render
original content when placeholders rendered (P2)

3.8 - once user has viewed original author-supplied content associated
with placeholder, allow user to turn off rendering of author-supplied
content

4.4 - ability to slow presentation rate of audio & animations, including
video; "audio and animations whose recognized role is to create a purely
stylistic effect exempted, but refer to notes on 4.7 and explicit
dependency on WCAG 1.0 (do not convey info through style alone);  P1

4.5 - ability to stop, pause, resume, fast advance, & fast reverse audio &
animations, including video; applies to content that is either rendered
automatically or on explicit user request; "audio and animations whose
recognized role is to create a purely stylistic effect exempted, but refer
to notes on 4.8 and explicit dependency on WCAG 1.0 (do not convey info
through style alone); P1

4.6 - user control of positioning/repositioning of text transcripts,
collated transcripts, and captions; P1

4.7 - ability to slow presentation rate of audio & animations, including
video for "audio and animations whose recognized role is to create a
purely stylistic effect" (i.e. those exempted from 4.4); P2

4.8 - ability to stop, pause, resume, fast advance, & fast reverse audio &
animations, including video, not covered by 4.5; P2
 
4.9 - global configuration & control over volume of all audio with option
to override author-specified volumes and UA default volume settings (P1) 

4.10 - allow independent control of volumes of each distinct audio source
when more than one audio source is playing

4.12 - control of synthesized speech volume independent of other audio
(for example, turn down volume on background sound without affecting voice
output levels)

----------------------------------------------------------------
ACCOUNTABILITY, n.  The mother of caution.
                     -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
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            Gregory J. Rosmaita:  oedipus@hicom.net
         Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/
   VICUG NYC: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/index.html
Read 'Em & Speak: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/books/index.html
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Received on Monday, 14 May 2001 14:11:39 GMT

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