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Re: 9 August 2001 WCAG WG telecon minutes

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 09:13:59 -0400 (EDT)
To: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
cc: Jo Miller <jo@bendingline.com>, Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0108100857060.4229-100000@tux.w3.org>
I agree that the checkpoint text is still a bit too complex to be understood
consistently. I would propose dropping the "appropriate" from the text for
now, and including it in the discussion material.

In the  sufficiency criteria we should be able to provide some ways of
measuring whether something meets the checkpoint.

For example (this is a 2-minute exercise and I don't think these are good
enough, but they might give an idea what I mean):

* The vocabulary used should be the most widely-understood terms that are
    available which do not change the way the text is understood.

Techniques:

  Use a thesaurus to check terms, and select ones in common use.
  (This takes judgement, and broad reading knowledge, but can be automated in
  large part)

  If terms are not in a standard spellcheck dictionary, try to find
  replacements that are. (This is a rough guide to common terms. As a
  speaker of Australian English I am painfully aware of the fact that the
  largely US-centric dictionaries I have used do a bad job for other
  variants of english)

* Any clause should not contain more than one dependent relative clause.

techniques:
  Where a sentence contains more than one dependent or relative clause, such
  as this one does, by including the examples, break it into two or more
  sentences.

  for example the above sentence could be rewritten:

  If a sentence contains too many clauses rewrite it as multiple sentences.
  For example, the above sentence includes dependent clauses to mention
  itself as an example

  (I haven't used grammar checkers enough to know if they are good at
  picking this kind of thing. As I recall they can spot many dependent
  clauses, but may not be able to propose rewrites themselves)

* Pronouns should always refer to the most immediate preceeding noun that
    agrees in case, number and gender.

techniques:
  Check each occurrence of "it", "him", "her", "them", "they", and make sure
  that the thing meant is the most recent one in the preceeding text that
  could fit.

etc

cheers

Charles

(I haven't hung up my writing instructor's hat, or my translator's hat, but
they are a bit dusty...)


On Fri, 10 Aug 2001, Anne Pemberton wrote:

  Jo,

           You were right to raise the issue on the telecon, but I don't
  think the fix worked.  The sentence is an important checkpoint, and if it
  has to be "read right", then it hasn't been written "clearly and simply"
  yet....

           Is it necessary to say "as is possible" as well as "as is
  appropriate" ? Can we omit "as is possible" and leave it "Write clearly and
  simply as appropriate for the site."  .... I think someone mentioned "as
  possible" leaves a checkpoint open to abuse.
Received on Friday, 10 August 2001 09:14:03 GMT

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