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Re: machine-readable claims Re: Conformance Ideas -- Collection #1

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 06:28:26 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: W3C Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Thanks for helping me understand what is at stake here.

          Since everything that could use the information is not yet 
developed, I would suggest keeping any conformance scheme that depends on 
supplying data that isn't useful yet, be minimized until such time as it is 
actually useful.  There is no sense in creating applications for vaporware! 
If PICS was/is in place but is under used, why go to another format that 
isn't even usable yet?

         If there must be some form of documentation of conformance, I 
suggest that it remain as simple as possible - two levels - minimum 
compliance and full compliance, and skip the layers in between because they 
make work for page developers and benefit no one.


At 03:46 AM 10/10/01 -0400, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>Hi Anne,
>it isn't that the data isn't meant to get to the user. But just like HTML
>code, it isn't presented in raw form, but interpreted by a machine.
>There are several benefits of this, as outlined by others.
>One is that it is then fairly easy to make the machine present the claim in
>whatever language the user wants. As pictures, words, or both.
>Another is that it is possible to search for exact claims - if we allow the
>old proposed consensus statement C6, where it is possible to make partial
>claims, even to the extent of being able to say "this page is illustrated
>appropriately for a simple reading level, even though it lacks textual
>equivalents (or vice versa)".
>I hope this makes it clearer.
>Technical digression: There are, and have been for years, search engines and
>browsers (such as IE and Netscape) that can use PICS ratings to filter
>content. There was a basic PICS scheme developed for assessing conformance to
>the guidelines, but it was not promoted well within the group let alone
>outside, so there is litlle content that uses it. There has now been a lot of
>work done on a system called RDF - Resource Description Framework. This
>allows description of resources (which really means things with URIs, such as
>Web pages or parts of them) in a way that means the computer can interpret it
>and present it to people afterwards, and more usefully, can add a few bits of
>information together and make basic conclusions first (like "this page has
>text equivalents, but they all say 'image or media object' so it isn't likely
>to be useful to a text-based user"). Using this information in the popular
>search engines is in its infancy, but is a major project of the US
>government, the European Union, W3C, and others.
>The Authoring Tool group, the Evaluation and Repair tool group, and others,
>have been working on this kind of evaluation already, and are now at the
>stage of deploying it  in tools - there are demonstrations available, and we
>are hopeful that you will be able to see it in major market tools within the
>next year (although you won't "see" it if it works, the tools will just be
>smarter about helping you).
>It would be possible to use PICS and therefore existing systems to provide
>the kind of detailed claims talked about above, but it is somewhat harder
>than with RDF both to make the statement and to process it. Given that in
>WCAG 1.0 the take-up of machine-readable claims was fairly poor it didn't
>seem worth the effort of pushing to put in place a system that was already
>On Tue, 9 Oct 2001, Anne Pemberton wrote:
>   Jim,
>            So, if not the user, then who is the audience of the "conformance
>   data"?  the regulating agencies?
>                                                    Anne

Anne Pemberton

Received on Wednesday, 10 October 2001 06:30:52 UTC

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