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Checkpoint 1.5 - Proposal

From: Ben Caldwell <caldwell@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 14:06:06 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000c01c216fb$32e11790$c117a8c0@ippiii7501>

As mentioned in the highlights from the June 13 telecon, Gregg and I
have been working on a new checkpoint for Guideline 1 that focuses on
providing information needed for unambiguous decoding of the characters
and words in content. The proposed new checkpoint is included below. It
is an attempt to address the issue of missing vowel marks (such as in
Hebrew) and to incorporate ideas from recent discussions related to
character set remapping. 

The new checkpoint includes many of the success criteria and ideas
already captured in checkpoint 4.4 (Identify the primary natural
language of text and text equivalents and all changes in natural
language). Therefore, our suggestion is that checkpoint 4.4 be removed
if this new checkpoint is accepted by the group.

Issues:

1. The phrasing of success criteria 1 at the minimum level (maps back
to) still seems a bit awkward, but we haven't been able to come up with
anything better. 
2. The question of what we mean when we refer to text in WCAG and how to
/ where to define it for the document remains an issue. 

[begin proposed checkpoint 1.5]

Checkpoint 1.5 Provide information needed for unambiguous decoding of
the characters and words in the content.

Success criteria

You will have successfully met Checkpoint 1.5 at the Minimum Level if:

1. text in the content maps back to the [xyz] character set (where xyz
is whatever character set the international group recommends)

You will have successfully met Checkpoint 1.5 at Level 2 if:

1. passages or fragments of text occurring  within the content that are
written in a language other than the primary natural language of the
content as a whole, are identified, including specification of the
language of the passage or fragment. 

2. abbreviations and acronyms are clearly identified where they
occur. [See also checkpoint 4.3]

You will have successfully met Checkpoint 1.5 at Level 3 if:

1. the primary natural language of the content is identified at the page
level.  

The following are additional ideas for enhancing a site along this
particular dimension: 

• (Presently no additional criteria for this level.) 

Note: This checkpoint addresses the need for authors to provide
sufficient information so that text can be identified correctly by
technologies used to render the text (e.g. voice synthesizers) so that
the words can be accurately produced and perceived. This checkpoint does
not deal with providing definitions or expanded text for words,
abbreviations, foreign phrases etc.  These are covered under checkpoint
4.3 since they deal with understanding of the content.

Definitions (informative)

Natural languages are those used by humans to communicate, including
spoken, written, and signed languages.

Benefits (informative)

Phrases from various languages, acronyms and abbreviations are often
interspersed in writing. When these phrases are identified, a speech
synthesizer can voice text with the appropriate accent and
pronunciation. When they are not identified, the speech synthesizer will
use the default accent and pronunciation of the language on the rest of
the page, which can make the phrase unintelligible. Identifying changes
in language and marking abbreviations and acronyms as such will also
allow a tool to ask for automatic translations of that content. When
editing content, authoring tools can switch between appropriate spelling
dictionaries.

Examples (informative)

• Example 1: a French phrase in an English sentence.
In the following sentence, "And with a certain je ne sais quoi, she
entered both the room, and his life, forever." the French phrase "je ne
sais quoi" is marked as French. Depending on the markup language,
English may either be marked as the language for the entire document
except where specified, or marked at the paragraph level. 

• Example 2: an acronym in a page title.
In the following title, "RERC Information Page." the acronym "RERC" is
marked as an acronym. Because it has been marked appropriately, the user
agent would be able to speak the letters of the acronym one at a time
rather than attempt to pronounce it as though it were a word.

[end proposed checkpoint 1.5]

--
Ben Caldwell | caldwell@trace.wisc.edu
Trace Research and Development Center (http://trace.wisc.edu)   
Received on Tuesday, 18 June 2002 15:06:27 GMT

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