W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 2001

RE: 3.3 clear and simple Re: 9 August 2001 WCAG WG telecon minutes

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2001 10:56:07 -0500
To: "GLWAI Guidelines WG \(GL - WAI Guidelines WG\)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001401c1227e$227b1580$066fa8c0@750>
Al wrote
I think that to eat our own dog food, we may have three shrort
checkpoints, here, not two long ones.

a) use well-known words [check 'em]

b) use simple constructions [yes, the constructions are
language-specific]

c) document the exceptions [using markup and/or other forms of metadata]




GCV:  I think these are good techniques.  But are they guidelines or
checkpoints?   I would propose that a & b can lead to writing that is
less clear  -  unless "well-known" means well known to the people you
intend to read this.    Wouldn’t the phrase "as appropriate to the
topic" or "to the site" need to be on these items?

For example how would you talk clearly about any technical topic without
using any technical terms.   You could talk simply but it would not be
accurate or clear to someone who was really trying to understand it.
(e.g. describe an electrical circuit without using the terms capacitor,
inductor, etc.)

-- ------------------------------
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Professor - Human Factors
Dept of Ind. Engr. - U of Wis.
Director - Trace R & D Center
Gv@trace.wisc.edu <mailto:Gv@trace.wisc.edu>, <http://trace.wisc.edu/>
FAX 608/262-8848 
For a list of our listserves send “lists” to listproc@trace.wisc.edu
<mailto:listproc@trace.wisc.edu>


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Al Gilman
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2001 5:23 PM
To: WAI GL
Subject: Re: 3.3 clear and simple Re: 9 August 2001 WCAG WG telecon
minutes

** First,

While it is important to write in a way that is easy to read, it often
helps to
write in orthodox diction.  Colloquially known as correct grammar.

Where Checkpoint 3.3 says

  3.3 Write as simple as possible yet appropriate for the site's
content.

If I recall correctly the grammar teacher would have instructed us to
write

  3.3 Write as simply as possible yet appropriately for the content.

** Second,

One problem is that 3.3 and 3.5 are overlapping.  The central plain
language
technique one should be using across all language is scrubbing your word
use.
It is not up to the author's whim to determine if a word is obscure; use
tools
to find this out.

If the Atomica service is cross-disability usable (there may be a
problem with
mouse free access, here) then on possible trip level for extra
documentation
could be in terms of what Atomica will say about a word.

Is Atomica a known problem or a usable option?  It uses the IE module
for its
back end, but I don't know if the way it uses the module is accessible
via
screen.  The point is that although I like the OED for author-side
checking,
the Internet test of whether a word is undocumented should be to hit it
with
Atomica and see if the meaning you mean comes back.  Words that either
fail to
find an entry or come back with another meaning from this service are
things
that should be glossarized.

On the other hand I would suggest that 'radar' while an acronym in
origin is
now a vernacular common noun and doesn't need to be marked per the
'acronym'
rules.

Summary:

I think that to eat our own dog food, we may have three shrort
checkpoints,
here, not two long ones.

a) use well-known words [check 'em]

b) use simple constructions [yes, the constructions are
language-specific]

c) document the exceptions [using markup and/or other forms of metadata]

Al

PS: OED:  Oxford English Dictionary

At 10:22 AM 2001-08-10 , Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>[changed subject line to help finding it afterwards in the archive]
>
>Well, I think we could do without all the qualifying statements in the
>checkpoint text. But it seems that there is a desire to have some
>qualification, so the trick is to select the most important bits and
not
>overcrowd the text.
>
>Good point about the grammar lesson stuff, and if there are such things
>online then it would be helpful to refer to them. One of the reasons
for
>learning grammar is to have a better range of techniques for writing.
For
>example, a good understanding of the differences between active and
passive
>voices is generally helpful in trying to write in one or the other, and
in
>translating between the two.
>
>There are a number of differnt language skills that are needed to
actually
>implement 3.3. Good vocabulary can to a large extent be automated, or
>strongly supported by automatic tools. Good grammar is also important
in
>understanding how to write things that are not ambiguous (as well as in
>how to deliberately introduce ambiguity) and I expect a fair amount of
this
>to be in techniques.
>
>I also expect translations of techniques for this to actually be
different -
>some features of language use are the same for a lot of languages, some
are
>different. And examples of language should be relevant and natural to
the
>language they are written in. (So all you translators out there, have a
think
>about this one <grin/>).
>
>cheers
>
>Charles
>
>On Fri, 10 Aug 2001, Anne Pemberton wrote:
>
>  Charles,
>
>           Do we need "as possible" as a qualifier, or should that be
in the
>  techniques as well?
>
>           Oh, I liked the first two of your techniques, but think the
one
>  about pronouns belongs in a grammar lesson instead of "techniques"
...
>
>                                                   Anne
>
Received on Saturday, 11 August 2001 12:03:27 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 7 December 2009 10:47:11 GMT