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Time Bounds - Universal and User-Specific

From: Adam Victor Reed <areed2@calstatela.edu>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 17:01:25 -0800
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <20011120170125.A4216@uranus.calstatela.edu>
Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com> wrote:

> What I'm thinking of, for example, are things like timed auctions --
> how do you make something accessible if they connect to an auction
> site and there's 3 minutes left to bid on that item, and it will
> take the user 5 minutes to comprehend the information and issue a
> bid?
> According to both WCAG 2.0 draft (and 508, and Joe's proposal above),
> there's no way to do it, really, and still be "accessible".  In fact,
> it may even be _true_ that there's no way to do it accessibly; it
> may be a lost cause?
> I'm not saying I have the answer -- and in fact, my own attempts to
> phrase things were self-admittedly poorly worded too.  But I do think
> that "timed events such as auctions" (or even "this sale lasts until
> Tuesday" or the like) are what we need to look at as test scenarios
> in addition to arbitrary ("keep your shopping cart!") or not-so-
> arbitrary (e-learning testing) time limits.

I think that there are 2 categories of time bounds which must be
distinguished in our guidelines:

1. Universal, user-independent absolute deadlines (e.g. "This auction
ends at 16:00 hours UTC.") For such limits there is no practical way,
with currently available technology, to reconcile accessibility with
fairness to other bidders. The guideline should specify that
user-independent deadlines remain acceptable at this time.

2. Time-outs relative to user actions (e.g., your shopping cart
vanishes if you don't submit complete billing information within five
minutes after you received the check-out page.) The service will
not qualify as "accessible" unless users can obtain an exemption from
such limits. In situations (such as e-learning/e-testing) where
response-time is used as a measure of performance, the fact that the
user obtained such an exemption may be included in the subsequent
report of the user's score.

				Adam Reed
Context matters. Seldom does *anything* have only one cause.
Received on Tuesday, 20 November 2001 20:01:33 UTC

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