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Preliminary notes on April 24 draft

From: john_slatin <john_slatin@forum.utexas.edu>
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 13:22:16 -0500
Message-ID: <6AC4E20EED49D411941400D0B77E52F00693A5C7@forum.cc.utexas.edu>
To: "'w3c-wai-gl@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
I ran out of time this morning, but here are a few notes and suggestions re:
the latest Working Draft.  See you all in a couple of hours.
==Slatin's notes begin here==
Current wording

The WCAG Working Group is proceeding carefully to minimize substantial
differences between the WCAG 1.0 Recommendation and the WCAG 2.0 Working
Draft. Refer to the Checkpoint Mapping Between WCAG 1.0 and WCAG 2.0 Working
Draft for more detail on current correspondences. 


[js: If the goal is to "minimize substantial differences" between 1.0 and
2.0 there's no reason to spend time creating 2.0.  I would propose something
like the following language:

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group is working carefully
to enable organizations and individuals that have adopted WCAG 1.0 in the
past to make a smooth transition to WCAG 2.0.  To facilitate this
transition, please refer to the Checkpoint Mapping Between WCAG 1.0 and WCAG
2.0 Working Draft for more detail on current correspondences.]


Design Principle

Current wording

The overall goal is to create Web content that is Perceivable, Operable,
Navigable, and Understandable by the broadest possible range of users and
compatible with their wide range of assistive technologies, now and in the

[js: Suggest a re-wording to avoid passive voice, as follows:

The primary goal is to create Web content that the widest possible range of
persons can perceive, operate, navigate, and understand using the widest
possible range of current and future technologies.]


Current wording

Perceivable. Ensure that all content can be presented in form(s) that can be
perceived by any user - except those aspects of the content that cannot be
expressed in words. 


The more I read and think about this, the more uncomfortable I get.  What
are the "aspects that cannot be expressed in words"?  I assume that the
intent of this exception is to exclude such things as musical notes, the
brushstrokes in a painting? In other words, that we don't want to seem to be
demanding that Web developers find some way to allow people who are Deaf to
have a direct perception of audio content, or enable people who are blind to
have direct visual perception of images, fonts, etc.  If this is correct, I
think we should somehow make it explicit.  But we should be mindful that
we're asking Web developers to make some very subtle philosophical and
aesthetic distinctions, identifying what's irreducibly non-verbal.  Do we
really want to do that?

Would it change the intent of this provision to rephrase it as follows: "

"Perceptible. Ensure that any Web content that can be expressed in words
(language?) can be perceived by any user, either directly or with the aid of
assistive technology.  Provide equivalent alternatives for content that
cannot be perceived by all users, either directly or with the aid of
assistive technology."?

I am not convinced that we really need the wording about content that
"cannot be expressed in words" if we make it clear that making non-verbal
content available via assistive technologies satisfies this guideline.  I
worry that the presence of the phrase about content that cannot be expressed
in words will create a huge obstacle/firestorm that could threaten adoption
of WCAG 2.0]


Current wording:

Orientation/Navigation. Facilitate content orientation and navigation


[js: How about something like this:

"Orientation and navigation. Provide contextual information and interface
elements to facilitate orientation to and navigation through Web content,
and ensure that these mechanisms can be perceived and used by any user,
either directly or with the aid of assistive technology."?]


Current wording:


[js: Change to: Comprehensible.

Rationale: "Comprehendible" isn't good English.]


Current wording:

Technology robust

[js: Change to: Robust technology.]


 == This installment ends here==

John Slatin, Ph.D.
Director, Institute for Technology & Learning
University of Texas at Austin
FAC 248C, Mail code G9600
Austin, TX 78712
ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu <mailto:jslatin@mail.utexas.edu> 
web http://www.ital.utexas.edu <http://www.ital.utexas.edu/> 
Received on Thursday, 25 April 2002 14:22:30 UTC

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