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Breaking the Techniques "Writer's Block"

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001 14:34:08 -0800
Message-Id: <a0501040bb676b3924956@[]>
To: gv@trace.wisc.edu, jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU, wendy@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Hi, WCAG chairs and working group members,

Maybe this is premature, but I don't think it is.

I think it's time that we start looking at developing technology-
specific techniques documents in parallel with the guidelines.

We've had a number of cases arise in which very good ideas were
brought -- such as about CSS, XHTML, etc. -- and were (rightly)
assigned to future technology-specific techniques documents.

However, without anyone charged with collecting those, they run
the very real risk of being lost or forgotten while we move on to
something else.  At the present, consigning something to a
technology-specific techniques list is effectively sending it to
/dev/null, off our collective radar.

In addition, the process we're using for techniques and guidelines
is an iterative one -- one in which we can expect to see much
back and forth flow between guidelines and techniques as the
attempt to apply the principles in the guidelines produce scenarios
in the techniques which highlight new or misunderstood needs.
There will be adjustments of the guidelines based on the techniques
and adjustments of the techniques based on the guidelines.

Therefore, I'd like to suggest that now is the time to start,
at the very least, gathering together existing techniques and
organizing them into rough drafts.  At the very least this will
serve as a way of preserving these "issues" so that they do not
get lost.

I suggest we need to take the following steps:

(1) Identify the specific "technologies" for technology-specific
     techniques.  This consists of making a list, such as:
     - HTML
     - CSS
     - XML
     - XHTML
     - SVG
     - SMIL
     - etc.  (This is not meant to be used as _the_ list, but rather
     as a suggestion of what a list could look like.)

(2) Identify "editors" for each technology who wish to undertake
     the task of organizing/writing the technology-specific
     techniques documents.

(3) Create a format for techniques documents and firm up what exactly
     we want each to consist of.  Should they be a flat list, should
     they directly map the (current) guidelines, should there be
     multiple options presented with possible drawbacks?  These should
     be resolved by the working group to give the editors direction.

Can we start work toward this plan?

Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Received on Monday, 1 January 2001 17:38:45 UTC

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