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

Re: tone as a guideline?

From: Matt May <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 18:49:39 -0800
Message-ID: <025101c181ee$8c3aae20$6501a8c0@vaio>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
> Maybe we need "advisories" and "guidelines."  Advisories could be
> normative, too, they're just not checkable.  This could solve some of
> our problems with things like "use enough illustrations" and "use
> simple enough language."

I'd be all for creating a Note for advisories. I think we're collectively
coming to the (in my opinion, correct) conclusion that the central WCAG
document is not the ideal end product for the average consumer of
accessibility information.

Now, my experience with evolving technologies is that when a specification,
white paper, or other such document is released, and its validity is
verified, its technology's adoption in the market is slow (the early-adopter
phase) until an adopter writes a how-to on the subject. Examples abound, but
certainly the Camel and Llama books (Programming Perl and Learning Perl)
were more critical to the success of the Perl language than any spec.

I genuinely consider a how-to for WCAG2 to be absolutely essential to its
adoption. By this, I don't mean a techniques document: I'm talking about a
simplified document that outlines situations and strategies for increasing
accessibility, as a learning tool and reference. Presumably, such a document
would be profusely cross-referenced (since this _is_ the web and all...)
with the guidelines and techniques. But I feel that this type of document
could actually be the centerpiece of what this working group produces: a
reader's guide to the guidelines, with all the things we meant to say but
couldn't satisfy "objective" this or "normative" that.

This is the thrust of my (now ancient) proposal to make a checkpoint of
required reading. It's far too easy to be overwhelmed with even the refined
set of requirements in WCAG2. Many organizations I've encountered would have
been much more likely (again, in my opinion) to make their sites more
accessible (if not adopt WCAG outright) if they had some kind of prose to
turn to which could explain a lot of the items that are considered arcane,
confuse the authors, or require judgement calls.

Received on Monday, 10 December 2001 21:50:43 UTC

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