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raw minutes: final afternoon session of GL f2f, 21 june 2001

From: gregory j. rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 13:56:50 -0400
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
GL Face2Face
Last Afternoon Session
Thursday, 21 June 2001/CWI, Amsterdam

People present:
  WC Wendy Chisholm (chair)
  PB Paul Bohman (scribe)
  JB Judy Brewer
  DD Daniel Dardailler
  KH Katie Harritos-Shea
  MM Matt May
  CM Charles McCathieNevile
  AR1 Antti Raike
  AR2 Adam Reed
  GR Gregory Rosmaita
  LS Lisa Seeman

WC Open issue number 15 -- the "until user agents" clause --
what do we do about current questions? -- will be answered
in the FAQ -- checkpoint 10.3 -- on user agent support page,
which is supposed to clarify things, it shows where the
linearization of tables is supported --
2nd issue: what about when there is not a legacy user agent?
3rd question (open issue 31) user agent conformance claims.

GR about that clause: (until user agents), depends upon the
DOM and the specific technology in question (e.g. JFW and
IE); some of the examples (e.g. Opera's table linearization 
toggle) are a matter of the user agent performing the 
operation. What about when the DOM is proprietary, and the 
assistive technology is acquiring info from such a DOM 
implementation? -- it's not the W3C DOM, it isn't an open, 
public, interoperable standard, and is platform specific --
would, for example, would OutSpoken for PC interact with the 
IE DOM differently than OutSpoken for Mac would interact with 
the IE DOM on the Mac platform?  is the IE DOM implementation 
on each platform equivalent in terms of functionality?  would 
absolute equality of access/implementation need to be assured 
before the caveat can be removed?  would the fact that ATs 
that do communicate with the IE DOM are heavily reliant on 
MSAA have any impact on judging whether or not the clause has 
been satisfied?

WC The definition of until user agents clause: in most of
the checkpoints, content developers are asked to ensure the
accessibility, but user agents play a role as well.

GR The question is: does the label disappear even when there
is nothing in the user agent that enables something such as 
table linearization; i understand that allowing an AT access 
to the DOM is all that a UA needs to do, but what about all 
of the other conditions that make that extraction possible? 
i truly doubt that the scenario we had in mind when we 
agreed upon the "until user agent..." construct was an 
assistive technology extracting information from a 
proprietary DOM in combination with a proprietary, platform 
specific API, such as MSAA -- take the MSAA bindings away 
from JFW or Window-Eyes, and their functionality decreases 

AR2 I want to draw attention to this issue: when people are
asked to switch tools that they are using, there is a
learning curve and an unlearning curve of previously learned
info. The problems are even more salient for those with
learning disabilities

LS no, actually it's less. Especially dyslexia.

AR2 I was thinking of cognitive disabilities. But when a new
user agent becomes available, the learning curve may be  an
obstacle to using it.

WL The assistive technology is an agent of the user, and we
use the term "user agent" as a combination of the browser
and the screen reader. But it is also used to refer only to
the browser. We are pretending that there is an idealized
set of tools is available, but in the real world, it happens
at the granular level, at the technology specific level. All
of us like to see the "system requirements" on the box of
our purchased software. We need to have something like that
as well.

WC we don't use the phrase "user agents" in our drafts now.
It only becomes an issue when you talk about techniques.
They are technology dependent. SVG for example has an issue
with legacy browsers. Maybe we need to finish the checkpoint
solutions first. .. The questions from the user group: the
"q" element for example is not supported, but we recommend

JW These discussions have been interminable. Issue: whether
intended audience should be taken into account, whether
content developers should make certain assumptions about
audience. Do we leave it to the author to judge, or should
we make some arbitrary decisions as a working group? General
guideline: if you have reason to believe that the user agent
can't handle it, then provide an alternative. We could also
keep a database of info about each of the assistive
technologies. Then we could decide whether or not we should
make prescriptions.

// Amsterdam connection was lost //
// Jason was lost from the connection //
// Amsterdam connection reestablished //

WL Program called StyleMaster that typifies what we have to
do. It generates a style sheet and lets you know what the
capabilities of each of the browsers are with regard to the
style sheets. We have to do something similar to allow
people to claim conformance under specific circumstances.

// Jason rejoins //

WL how to define circumstances: publish an array of specific
requirements. Best viewed with IE 6 ,for example. You can
only access this with a screen reader for example.

LS I didn't like that. Adds another layer of complexity
that's unnecessary. We're only talking about the techniques
doc, I think. It is finished, sort of, but it will be
evolving. We can make it static, and edit it yearly. And we
can leave "until user agents" out, and leave out the whole
question mark of conformance. A lot of policy makers will
appreciate that. We need to state our assumptions, and then
have a list of techniques.

MM There are some good circumstances under which you could
specify audience, but it sounds like William's direction
would allow organizations to opt out of things that they

GR Although it would add to complexity, it also addresses
reality. This is more important if the GL are to be useful.
As we move into an XML based world, things such as X Forms,
that have no legacy support, Yes, we have to tell people
that there are system requirements. It should be discussed
in checkpoint solutions level and techniques level. We have
to note that there is no support under circumstances or
technologies. We have to base our solutions in reality.

JW I think we all agree that if there are two or more
technology specific solutions available, which are depend on
the user agent capabilities, the alternatives should be all
given. What latitude should the content developer have? When
there are two or more solutions, both should be included in
our document, then it becomes a question of conformance.

WL system requirements is all I have to say

MM remediation vs. new development. You have different
system capabilities, and other things that weren't addressed
in WCAG 1.0. New evolving technologies need to be taken into

AR2 once we allow for system requirements, someone browsing
several docs may find some that work with a certain
combination of technologies, then have to go to another
combination of technologies with other documents. Then we'll
end up with a requirement to switch between technology

LS I kind of agree with Jason. Summary of conversation: we
have to state basic system requirements, and at a technique
level, state the user agent assumptions. What Gregory was
saying . . . is not being disagreed on. It's not that we
shouldn't know the assumptions, but the idea of a matrix is

GR 1. perhaps if they were included as technological
requirements, that would be less loaded than "system
requirements." 2. When a particular solution or technique is
proposed, people need to know at the beginning under which
circumstances the solutions are supported. This would
decrease traffic on the IG list. Too many times, our
recommendations are unsupported.

JW I want to clarify that everyone agrees. If there are two
alternative solutions, or means of satisfying a checkpoint,
where support for a feature varies among user agents, both
of those solutions should be included in our document. Then
it is a matter of guiding people's choices, giving them
freedom to decide.

GR Do you want us to take a poll?

JW I want a confirmation that we really do agree on the
first part, and that we only disagree on the second part.

WC I think this issue is too big to tackle right now.

GR Where does that leave Bills' proposal?

WC we have another proposal from Charles about baseline
capabilities from last October. This is similar to the
system requirements issue that was just brought up. We need
to reconsider Charles's proposal. They're on the open issues
list, but not for today. I need to prioritize our open
issues. We'll be kicked out of this room in 2 hours.

WL Whether we like it our not, we are assuming certain
system requirements.

WC We need to agree on how to state them.

WL Our assumptions change as the technologies change.

WC How do we keep our assumptions up to date without
continually updating the document?

WR I think we have to use external resources, for example,
Opera has a list of things that they are doing to approach
HTML validity conformance.

WC We have some techniques docs coming in the next couple of
weeks. I propose that we leave this as an open issue, and
not discuss it until the issue until the techniques docs are
Moving on: are there other topics to add to the agenda?

CM In Spanish there is a document which explains how to
implement the quick tips, using 5 or 6 popular authoring
tools. It seems like a useful document. I'm not sure where
this document belongs, but it exists. What do we do with
this doc?

WC what is the open issue here?

JW Sounds like an open issue for EO

JB I'm not sure about that. Our quick tips is as close as we
want to go into the WCAG territory. The curriculum is close
also, but it is more educational. We don't want to take on
more work that is techniques oriented. We can package it,
but not develop it.

// 20 minute break //

AR1's Demonstration:
The CINEMASENSE Site: Using Multimedia to Promote Distance 
	Learning Amongst the Deaf
Finnish: <http://www.mlab.uiah.fi/elokuvantaju/2001/index.html>
English: <http://www.mlab.uiah.fi/elokuvantaju/2001/english/english.jsp>

This is JSP and HTML. There are multiple versions, including
other languages and sign language. This is meant for
distance education for deaf students. But really it is a
tool for everyone that is also accessible to deaf students.
The sign language is only one feature in the system.

WC When you were talking about it earlier, you were
suggesting guidelines for including audio and video on Web
sites, is that right?

CM My understanding: we're looking at techniques. Maybe
we'll have checkpoint level problems later to work out.

AR1 What is important to me is the social aspect of sign
language. How go use sign language properly on the Web? I
think it would be good to have additional guidelines with
regard to that.

LS I think it would work well as a server-side technique.
You may be able to have a downloadable tool or program to
install on the client side. Then all you download is the
reference frame. I didn't catch the tunnel vision part of
what you said.

AR1 Usher's syndrome: it creates a tunnel vision effect.

LS We ought to take this into account in the guidelines.

AR1 There is a light gray background in the demonstration
around the text, and there is dark gray text in the areas
where there is no information, so that it allows the person
to focus in better. It is our solution, at least.

GR For someone with extremely constrained vision, blacking
out parts makes it easier to distinguish between the things
that do or don't have meaning. Black on white contrast is
very strong...  the problem, or rather sensitive issue, 
however, is that the decisions as to what is and what isn't 
important and what is and isn't distracting is predetermined 
by the author of the page/site; perhaps a useful paradigm 
for situations such as distance learning, where the student 
is being directed in certain directions, but still a 
problem, both philosophically and practically; this is a 
strategy that i would encourage assistive tech developers to 
follow -- if products like VIPInfo (which I'm not sure is 
still in production) can highlight the currently word, 
phrase, sentence or user-defined semantic/syllabic chunk as 
it is being enunciated, why not something that obscures 
what isn't being spoken (if the AT/UA offers supplemental 
speech capabilities) or which is outside of the user's 
already constrained "viewport" -- that might be the needed 
configuration option -- allowing the user to define the 
diameter/parameters of the highlit (non-blacked out) region

WC this is some very good discussion -- thank you Antti; We 
should look at the ideas in there, as well as the social 
aspects of using sign language in video.

// OPEN ISSUE: tunnel vision considerations in the
guidelines //

WC: Let's review action items from today.

    Lisa: 1. bring page PageMap concept to the list
          2. Generate a sentence for the intro
    Lisa, Matt: universal access
    Paul: contribute to intro, add Audience section to intro
    KHS: assist with intro
    [NOTE: more action items appear in previous notes from f2f]

// Resolved: open issue: baseline capabilities should be
discussed //

MM will send DTD be to list "soon"

WC: Some of the proposals for face to face meetings: the Pacific 
Northwest of North America in September -- most likely the week 
of the September 10 -- probably in Seattle (Vancouver still a 

// ACTION WC: contact Yolanda of Galudette university to see 
if she could participate in GL WG and upcoming (North American) 
f2f meetings //

WC: Also, the week of the tenth of November in Melbourne

LS Why the two meetings, so close together? If people can't
get to them for whatever reason, then those that can will
meet, then we'll move on. Rather than just having just an
agenda, why don't we have a list of phone calls, with the
opportunity join in where they are interested? We should
have a phone call before the meeting, to get together a list
of topics contributed by members who may not be able to make

MC People who happen to be in the US can still participate
if the meeting is in Australia, because the time difference
is still favorable to meeting times together.

GR I like Lisa's idea, but I still think we could have the
two face to face meetings. Both NW USA and Australia offer
opportunities to network with people in the disability
community and vendors of authoring tools, etc.

LS What about video conferencing?

CM Tends to be expensive. Equipment is a problem.

LC We could open it up to more people on the phone, but I
like having the face to face aspect of things, the meetings
in the hall, the lunch conversations, etc. Hopefully we're
getting better at these meetings. Maybe we ought to see if
we can maximize the meetings better. We could meet with
advocacy groups, and do some more outreach to community
members, companies, etc. We could have guest speakers, etc.

JB Video conferencing: technical issues are too daunting.
Too many different setups and technologies. We need common
protocols, and its just logistically difficult.

AR2 I have an idea: After our meetings, there may be some
issues still worth talking about. There are linguistic
questions about sign language, and perceptual psychology. We
could talk about these after the meeting.

WC William can make the Seattle meeting but not Australia.
Phone meetings do seem to have some value for you. Do you
think we should open up face to face meetings for other

WL No. Only if it worked.

Group: Yes, probably good

GR I have participated in some by phone. I appreciated at
least the chance to listen. Make sure that only members in
good standing can call in.

// The operator interrupts to tell us that our phone bridge
is scheduled elsewhere. We will switch bridges //

WC We have to define members in good standing somehow

JB This is defined in the documentations of W3C already.

WC Propose this to the list.

JB I don't see any problem with that. We could take it to
the team and coordination group just for feedback. If we
come up with something that is clean enough, we can adopt it
more generally

// ACTION ITEM for WC: take this to the Coordination Group //

WC Looks we have interest in September and November.

JB In September, we have an offer from Microsoft to host
several meetings together. They are checking the
availability of rooms. Very likely the UA group will be
there. One concern of Microsoft: hosting 4 or more different
meetings. Still, they could provide space for a week or so.
I checked into dates, and we were looking at Sept 10th. Do
you guys want to meet the same week as the Authoring Tools

WC and Australia?

CM The potential host is Telstra at the Human Factors
research group in Melbourne.

// ACTION FOR WC: propose these dates to the list //

WC We need to decide on something in the next couple of
weeks. In general: what is the feedback about the face to
face meetings? What about the breakout groups? Smaller
groups? Yesterday was long. Partly because of jetlag, but
also because of the cocktails and social events.

MM When a lot of thinking is required, let's not do it right
after lunch

WC I like breakout sessions. The problem was generating the
agenda. Why was this? Not a lot of feedback from the list.
That concerned me.

LS I find it helpful to pick a theme (e.g. techniques,
requirements, user agents, etc.) These kinds of questions
work together. It solidifies it more. It allows us to get a
subject matter as a whole behind us. It also helps me to
come pre-prepared for a meeting. For me it would have been
helpful to have information before the meeting. Somehow,
this meeting didn't come together for me.

GR One thing that I would suggest: on the list, we should
increase the visibility of messages on the list, by putting
F2F in the subject. It also makes it easier to find the
messages later.

WC The major issues that we'll tackle in the next months:
techniques, conformance, minimum requirements. Also
introduction and actual text of WCAG. We need to aim to
publish next working draft before the meeting, e.g. July.
August for feedback. Then come to the meeting with feedback.

GR Face to face meetings are good ways to establish
benchmarks for deliverables. We need to give sufficient time
to review information before the meeting.

WC I would like to come to a meeting and summarize the
threads from the discussion group. Goals: by the next
meeting, HTML techniques, CSS techniques, next version of
WCAG 2, and a PDF techniques doc.

AR1 If you need good info about sign language contact Ted
Supalla, University of Rochester, NY.

WC Event for cognitive disabilities?

JB Go ahead and introduce the general idea

WC We want feedback about moving forward with cognitive,
learning disabilities, etc. We might schedule an event a
telecon call where we would invite a group of experts who
would provide a short written summary of their positions,
and we would listen to some presentations. It would be an
information-gathering activity. Previous to that call, we
would discuss Process. How to come to consensus, etc. We
need to lay the ground work. An infusion of expertise would
be a good way to circulate new ideas in this area to the
group. What is your feedback?

GR It sounds very good. It would be a virtual workshop of
sorts. Mostly presentations. Very structured. It would be

LS I'd like to help out

MM Sounds good to me too.

WC We'll continue with the discussion and add things to the
discussion group.

// RESOLVED: Have the following deliverables by the next 
  * HTML techniques,
  * PDF techniques,
  * CSS Techniques, 
  * New version of WCAG 2.0 //

WC: There is a small group of us in Seattle who meet fairly 
regularly. We can bounce ideas off of each other. General 
reports about things that are going on?

// end meeting minutes; general conversation continued //
Received on Thursday, 19 July 2001 13:55:54 UTC

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