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RE: What does "for example" mean (process)

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 15:24:47 -0500
Message-Id: <200103082005.PAA5561481@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 01:59 PM 2001-03-08 -0500, Leonard R. Kasday wrote:
>So it seems that we're split on what  "for example" means in WCAG 1.0.  I 
>don't think we should spend any time arguing what "for example" "really" 
>means. (Anyway, I know I'm right, so what's the point <grin/>.)  From a 
>practical point of view, if we're split 50/50, the chances are our readers 
>are also reading it different ways.
>But are we agreed that it's used in different ways in WCAG 1.0?  In other 
>words, are we agreed that there are some places where what follows "for 
>example" must be done, while at others its just one way to do it?
>If so, we need to fix it.

I would break that down in pieces.

Yes, "for example" can be used as a key in searching for places in the
where people might misinterpret whether a given practice is a requirement
or an
illustrative example with other alternatives which may not have been spelled

The technology specific techniques for WCAG 2.0 needs to know for all these
cases whether the practice is a flat requirement or an available alternative.

The errata for WCAG 1.0 should document the resolution of these questions at
least for the cases that clearly have caused confusion among the readers of
this document.  Certainly the question "Is SUMMARY required on a TABLE" meets
this criterion.  Note that I am not saying the errata must include an
exhaustive treatment of all places where "for example" appears in the
discussion of checkpoints.  That is a choice that should be available to the
group, under the process leadership of the chairs.

Any erratum which addresses the usage of "for example" categorically should be
considered by the cross-working-group caucus before being adopted here.  The
intended requirements stated by any given WCAG checkpoint can be clarified by
GL with the consent of the [AC and] Director.  The generic use of "for
should be considered in a broader theater before we freeze it here.

As a process and infrastructure issue, I would suggest that

 Open issues from ER WG that need clarification

be replaced by a generic holding tank (owned and operated by GL) for WCAG 1.0
interpretation issues that have been accepted onto the docket and have not yet
been resolved.  Resolved issues go to the errata or to a closed with no change
status.  The sequencing of issues to bring to closure is the job of the
chairs.  The question of "what does 'for example' mean?" could be one of these
issues, or the chairs could decide to subdivide the issue and bring specific
cases to the agenda separately.

>At 11:23 AM 3/8/01 -0500, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>>I would suggest the other interpretation - that "for example" means "one way
>>that this can be achieved is". That is the assumption under which I read the
>>WCAG drafts as a member of the group. Whether the example is in fact the
>>or only way is not reaqlly relevant - I expect people will keep using it for
>>the real world, and the idea was that the examples are useful. But  they are
>>not necessarily the only or even best way.
>>I agree that focussing on what things are actually required is  agood thing
>>in any event.
>>my 2 bits.
>>On Thu, 8 Mar 2001, Leonard R. Kasday wrote:
>>   I agree with william that the main thing is to make sure people
>>   there are choices and explain the choices.
>>     I suggest we change the wording from
>>   quote
>>   For example, in HTML, use the "summary" attribute of the TABLE element.
>>   unquote
>>   to something like
>>   quote
>>   For example, in HTML, one way is to use "summary" attribute of the TABLE
>>   element.
>>   unquote
>>   Or any other wording that makes it explicit that "summary" is not
>>   Also, as part of this erratum, I think we should say that things
>>   "for example" are always required unless the guidelines explicitly say
>>   otherwise.  I think that covers most or all of the uses of "for
>>   example".  We then put in a few words where we didn't want it to always
>>   required.
>>   It this leads to arguments about whether things are required or not,
>>   that has to be settled for WCAG 2.0 anyway, so that work isn't wasted.
>>   I think we have to be really clear here.  Adherence to WCAG is being
>>   written into actual contracts, so we should remove ambiguity as much
as we
>>   can, even if it's clear to us what we mean.
>>   Len
>>   At 07:49 AM 3/6/01 -0800, William Loughborough wrote:
>>   >At 09:21 AM 3/6/01 -0500, Bailey, Bruce wrote:
>>   >>Documents like the WCAG _are_ going to be taken literally, and if this
>>   >>not the intent, then the authors should write more carefully
>>   >
>>   >Apparently "literally" and "carefully" are, as Al tried to point out, a
>>   >bit more complex than they seem.
>>   >
>>   >What stuff "means" is often in the mind of the reader a quite different
>>   >matter than it was for the author. Does "all men are created equal"
>>   >deliberately exclude women? Are people with otherly-colored skin 
>> "men"?, etc.
>>   >
>>   >No matter how careful we are there will be different readings of our
>>   >product, but if we can avoid being too testy with one another we will
>>   >a way to make future clarifications more likely.
>>   >
>>   >Whatever "erratum" we issue re WCAG 1.0's treatment of SUMMARY won't
>>   >matter much if we make clear that summarizing is encouraged (in the
>>   >checkpoints) and how to do it includes (in the techniques) some
>>   >among TITLE, CAPTION, NAME, SUMMARY, ALT, LONGDESC - in other words "get
>>   >appropriate", whatever that means in a particular instance.
>>   >--
>>   >Love.
>>   >
>>   --
>>   Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
>>   Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at
>>   University
>>   (215) 204-2247 (voice)                 (800) 750-7428 (TTY)
>>   <http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday>http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday        
>>   Chair, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Evaluation and Repair Tools Group
>>   <http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/IG/>http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/IG/
>>   The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant:
>>Charles McCathieNevile   
<http://www.w3.org/People/Charles>http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61
>>134 136
>>W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    
<http://www.w3.org/WAI>http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 
>>258 5999
>>Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
>>(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, 
>Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
>Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Temple 
>(215) 204-2247 (voice)                 (800) 750-7428 (TTY)
>Chair, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Evaluation and Repair Tools Group
>The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant: 
Received on Thursday, 8 March 2001 15:05:08 UTC

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