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RE: RE Checkpoint 3.4 again

From: Joel Sanda <joels@ecollege.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2001 20:53:51 -0600
Message-ID: <2FECE9363D811B418C3F282834F172A56DBE27@sundance>
To: 'Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y Restrepo ' <emmanuelle@teleline.es>, "''Anne Pemberton' '" <apembert@erols.com>, "''Jo Miller' '" <jo@bendingline.com>, "'w3c-wai-gl@w3.org '" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Well, I can't really claim www.ecollege.com as my home page, but since it is
my place of employment it is often my home <grin />.

That did remind me, though, of an excellent example of "3.4 in Action".
About three years ago we built a "browser test" to help users ensure they
have necessary plug-ins and a browser we support. The Browser Test is an
"interactive" little series of pages that tests for cookies, JavaScript,
Java, Flash, and the RealPlayer plug-in. We require a browser that can
handle that - not necessarily for the code we write for our sites but for
the content that is hosted on our servers.

You can view our Browser Test on any of our clients' pages. Here's an
example: http://online.luc.edu/index.real?action=technical.

I think this is a good example of "3.4 in Action" because it uses several
modes of presenting complex ideas to folks who may be inexperienced and/or
don't understand how browers interact with plugins. If we detect the absence
of a plug-in we alert the user in the concluding page which lists links and
buttons for the download. Of course, I know there's at least one page that
says "you should see..." so we're not fully compliant here. On the upside,
the usability testing I did with some blind students were nice because they
had no problem using the Browser Test and said it really helped them get the
correct plug-ins.

What really concerns me about 3.4 though, is how - written now - it can
apply to *any* content - even content that isn't meant for a general
audience but a very specific audience. Consider a physics course hosted on
any major eLearning platform. The professor likely builds the class because
there's no budget for course development professionals - or that budget is
very limited. The professor is teaching a graduate level phsyics course.
With a little effort the content can meeting the WCAG 1.0 - even if the
mathematical formulas are images (use of the "alt" and "longdesc"
attributes). But asking the professor to supplement that forumala - let's
say a formula describing how asteroids are impacted by gravity in space - is
a major undertaking with 3.4. 

What to do? A Java applet that displays the course of the asteroid? A video
of the professor drawing the formula on a chalkboard and describing it? A
sound file the professor recorded? Any one of those can easily be considered
technically infeasible for the professor.

The adoption of 3.4 could easily be a burden for a lot of folks - which is
the source of my concern regarding it.

Great comment on including the term being defined in the definition. I was
humbled by that one my Freshman year in college when I defined the word
"time" using the word "time" in my first exam <grin />


-----Original Message-----
From: Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y Restrepo
To: Joel Sanda; 'Anne Pemberton'; 'Jo Miller'; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Sent: 8/1/2001 5:12 PM
Subject: Re: RE Checkpoint 3.4 again

Hi all,

I believe that the polarization in the discussion on the point 3.4 is
due to
that not all understand the implied concepts in the same way.

For example, I have visited the page of Joel (www.eCollege.com) and I
found that in it they are used the graphics profusely, to facilitate the
understanding of the textual content. It is possible that he is not
aware of
it. A line is a graph, and in its pages these graphic elements are used
guide and to help the user. There is not more than to see the menu of
main page.

Therefore, it is possible that when one speaks of non-text content and
put on as examples, images, sounds, video, etc. some understand that it
demanding to use complex drawings or pictograms, that which is not
necessarily this way. The rhetorical complexity will depend on the
of its use and, sometimes, the simplest element gets the objective
that one complex.

The drawing that has made Charles to illustrate the point it is
especially because it has been able to express, graphically, the case
difficult of application of this rule. But to apply this rule won't
necessarily demand that each paragraph or each concept is expressed
graphically. What demands the rule is that the capacity multimedia of
Web is used to facilitate the use and understanding from the contents to
the possible visitors.

The multimedia elements (text, graphics, charts, sound, animation,
videotape, table, etc.) they are, each one of them, more or less
to express certain contents. For example, to express and to give to
understand data, the ideal thing is to use tables and better if they go
accompanied by charts. Evidently, the sound is the less appropriate
to express great quantity of data. Rules exist on the use of the
elements of
an application multimedia that, at least in Spain, they are studied in
career of Communication.

Therefore, in my humble opinion, what we try to say with this rule is:
jointly, all the "media" that they are appropriate to express and to
facilitate the understanding of the content.

As for the " non-text " definition, I believe that it deserves to be
again because, at least in Spanish, a definition should not contain the
defined term.

Kind regards,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joel Sanda" <joels@ecollege.com>
To: "'Anne Pemberton'" <apembert@erols.com>; "'Jo Miller'"
<jo@bendingline.com>; <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2001 11:16 PM
Subject: RE: RE Checkpoint 3.4 again

> Anne -
> You are absolutely right about kids. My son is three. None of the
> books I dutifully read prior to his arrival into my life led me to
> words would be an obstacle. Of course, he's the smartest kid in the
> <gin /> but doesn't care on bit about the words I read to him in the
> He's into sounds, images, and texture. He loves words like all kids,
but a
> picture of a fire truck or the sound of a siren is all that is
> him right now.
> So: point taken well, and your logic is what led me to try and
> 3.4 the past two evenings and refer to your Holiday's page for
> logic of 3.4 is 100% right on. I'm excited about the prospect of how
> use XML and XSLT to render content in ways that are meaningful to all
> of people.
> But I have tried bouncing this off several people: graphic designers,
> developers, and content authors. Some at my work place, most friends
> other companies or folks I've done work with the in the past. All had
> same reaction: "yeah, that's cool, but I'm not gonna do it". Most
> intimated by the requirement or felt it was overkill and would consume
> many resources (time and money and bandwidth for the I.T. folks).
> I'm not sure 3.4 is appropriate for all web sites, or all content. We
> swing it with the WCAG 2.0, so I am *very* uncomfortable including it.
> this group can't make it work with the requirement specifying it, I
> put my vote behind its inclusion.
> And if we continue the logic of the WCAG 2.0, and point 3.4, we could
> argue - with a greater sense of urgency behind it - that to be truly
> accessible the site would be in English and Chinese, since there are
> people who can read English and Chinese than can't read text and leave
> an understanding.
> This leads me to believe we may find more common ground and a solution
> happier about if we opt for a list of reasons to implement this
> as well as how to implement the technqiues. Is it appropriate to
> this on the WCAG 2.0? Maybe not - since all the supporting material
> WCAG 2.0 are all in text and no one has the time to implement 3.4 on
> content.
> Is it appropriate for an Internet Privacy Policy to implement this?
> - only attorney's enjoy reading those <grin />. Is it appropriate for
> content geared to younger audiences or audiences that can't read?
> Joel Sanda
> Product Manager
> eCollege
> joels@ecollege.com
> > p. 303.873.7400 x3021
> > f.  303.632.1721
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Anne Pemberton [mailto:apembert@erols.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2001 2:56 PM
> To: Joel Sanda; 'Jo Miller'; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
> Subject: RE: RE Checkpoint 3.4 again
> Joel, Kynn, and others ....
>          Thanks very much for the comments on the holiday page. Yes,
it is
> quite symbolic, but then it is created to be used mostly by
> I still have some illustrations (or symbols) to round up for some of
> links before school starts ...  The holidays pages is one of the pages
> I use a lot of clip art to illustrate the links. I have learned that
if I
> leave the links without illustration, the kids are less likely to use
> link independently, tho they will use it when told to.
>          Joel, in primary school, illustrating is an skill kids are
> expected to come to school with. In Kindergarten it is a favorite way
> asking a child to show s/he understood a story. Throughout education,
> students are expected to illustrate their written and oral work. They
> do pictures instead of a written book report, or as a part of one.
> create covers for reports that illustrate their topic. They include
> illustrations in their reports -- in the lowest grades they are
> perhaps pasted pictures, and by grad school they are all charts of
> .... but illustrating one's work continues.  After schooling, as one
> settles down in a career, the need to illustrate doesn't go away. A
> co-worker needs to understand the work flow --- you draw a flow chart
> something less ..... the head honchos want a demonstration of your
idea or
> concept .... better have illustrations for them to look at while
> talking .... the need to illustrate is never far away.
>          Perhaps my optimism that web designers will jump at the
> opportunity to consider illustrations for their sites is due to my
> education. It behooves me to stay as optimistic as possible ... You
> who expect a backlash from designers may indeed be right, since you
> the closest contact with them.  But I wonder if some of you who teach
> designers would give it a try sometime and let me know how bad it
> ....
>                                  Anne
> Anne Pemberton
> apembert@erols.com
> http://www.erols.com/stevepem
> http://www.geocities.com/apembert45
Received on Wednesday, 1 August 2001 22:53:52 UTC

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