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Re: Breaking the Techniques "Writer's Block"

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2001 18:21:38 -0500
Message-Id: <200101012323.SAA642736@smtp1.mail.iamworld.net>
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>, gv@trace.wisc.edu, jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU, wendy@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
At the level of "we should be generating and capturing into a maintained
collection concrete examples related to the issues we talk about" I entirely
agree with this idea.  

The "knowledge base" idea I just posted in reply to Len introduces a variation
on the type definition of what we are generating and accumulating, something a
little different from "accessibility techniques."  But it is a superset.
drafts of the eventual techniques documents can be sliced (extracted by
filtering) out of the knowledge-base heap when the set of guidelines and
checkpoints stabilizes.

And on an even more 'yes' note, I have proposed to the CG (call tomorrow) that
we handle certain SMIL work that is before us as work on the
techniques for accessible multimedia, i.e. that we make populating this
techniques section (in draft form) a work item with names and deadlines.


At 02:34 PM 2001-01-01 -0800, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>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 18:17:09 UTC

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