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RE: FW: 4.1

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2002 14:15:06 +1000
Message-ID: <15612.16074.843257.303731@jdc.local>
To: Web Content Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

I have also heard it argued that there are few genuine synonyms in
English (this may or may not be true of other languages), with the
result that substituting one word for another almost always changes
the meaning. The effects of this may be limited by context, of course.
It is usually a matter of degree as to how well one sentence can be
said to express the same meaning as another.

We still haven't analysed in much detail the relevance of audience to
the success criteria. Most writing is produced in a social context,
with certain assumptions made regarding its purpose and audience. I
think everyone in this working group agrees that for the purposes of
accessibility it would be better if these assumptions were made
consciously, with awareness of disability-related issues, rather than
only in a haphazard, ill-informed manner. The author also needs to be
satisfied that the text is written in accordance with whatever
assumptions have been made, and exhibits whatever qualities are most
conducive to clarity and simplicity.

One way of framing the success criteria, as in the current draft, is
to specify an "assurance requirement" as the main success criterion -
the author must be satisfied that only appropriate assumptions have
been made, that within these assumptions the text has the qualities
appropriate to both simplicity and clarity, and that the
purpose/audience-related assumptions have been given due
consideration, instead of being made implicitly.

The advisory information following the checkpoint would specify what
factors should be taken into account.

At the next level, the requirements could be more constraining, for
example that links be provided to background material and other
(easier to read) content on the same subject, or that a simpler
overview be provided, or that metadata characterizing the subject
matter of the content be included, etc. Note the overlap with the
checkpoint that discusses summaries and definitions.
Received on Tuesday, 4 June 2002 00:16:11 UTC

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