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Minutes from Feb 7, 2002

From: Loretta Guarino Reid <lguarino@adobe.com>
Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 18:04:54 -0800
Message-Id: <200202090204.SAA04621@patagonia>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

In attendance:

JW: Jason White
WC: Wendy Chisolm
ANW: Andi Snow-Weaver
JA: Jenae Andershonis
PB: Paul Bowman
JM: Jo Miller
LS: Lisa Seeman
LGR: Loretta Guarino Reid	
MM: Matt May
CS: Cynthia Stenger
GSW: Gian Sampson-Wild

Action Items:

WC: Send the mailing list the URL for the "basic English" word list
JM: Rework Lisa's proposal for 3.3 to move definitions into success criteria, 
note what conditions are conjunctions and what are disjunctions, and determine
which lists are meant to be exhaustive


JW: Resuming discussion of 3.2: assuming someone has decided to try to 
apply this to their website, how can he determine which part this 
checkpoint applies to.
WC: The 3rd criterion seems testable
WC: When we say that a unique style generated by the author or the user 
agent. Do we assume default styles exist for HTML, but not for XML? Should 
we just say that explicitly?
JW: Should we put this issue off til the discussion of 4.4? If you have an 
SVG renderer, it will have default rendering styles. So it's not just HTML 
vs XML.
JW: We could delete this qualification. But people might think they 
needed to provide style sheets for everything.
WC: The user needs to be able to find out whether a default exists. 
This may need to be part of the success criterion.
WC: The 2nd criterion is that each style needs to be sufficiently distinctive;
 Jason claims this is not testable. But color and font size are testable. 
So some aspects of this are testable, especially if you do human usability 
JW: I wasn't thinking about machine testability. I was worrying about what it 
means to be sufficiently distinctive for the user to grasp the structure. Do 
we really understand what the characteristics need to be in order to qualify
as distinctive? We can tell whether different rendering attributes are used, 
but that doesn't tell us whether it is adequate for a person to determine the 
structure. The implementor needs to have a reasonably good idea without 
needing to run a large number of user trials. If there is research available 
on this, we can move it to testable
LS: You could put a lot of this evaluation in place today, but not all of it.
With the right research, you could do this. So this is potentially testable. 
But someone needs to do the research to test it. 
WC: If it is potentially testable, it isn't yet. So it needs to be categorized
"not testable" for now.
JW: Preferably with someone taking an action to do the research
CS: There is probably lots of information today about what is perceptibly
different. But only to the limits of "reasonable". 95 out of 100 people
would probably agree.
LS: This is comparable to Bobby testing alt tags; Bobby can't decide
whether the alt tag is correct.
CS: The presence of the alt tag is testable. In general, quality is not
machine testable.
WC: I'm looking up color differences on google, and a search yields a formula
for measurin color differences; maybe we can use this. The problem is knowing
whether the tests are done with computer screens or real colors. 
??: Could W3C conduct these experiments?
WC: If someone in the working group wants to. The resources we have are the 
WG members. There isn't money available to fund such research. Maybe we could 
partner with a university? We need to network, and talk to the people who 
are doing this research. We don't have the expertise or resources to do the 
research ourselves.
WC: Jason proposed either creating another checkpoint or moving part of 3.2 
into 3.3. I agree with spitting it into 3.3. Looking at what Lisa wrote, 
she gets into some UI issues. This moves 3.3. into designing, rather than
writing, clearly and simply. Can we combine 3.1 and 3.3? There is lots of 
overlap; everything in 3 seems like an accordion that expands and contracts.
LS: Some things from my original proposal aren't in the current 3.3. proposal 
because of the overlap. But I'm not sure they are always being accounted for.
WC: My work in 3.4 overlaps with other things in 3. It's like there is really
one checkpoint - make things easier to understand - and these are the success 
LS: We should we go back to the drawing board, put all the success criteria 
down, and see if we can soft them into different check points.
JM: I agree, and we started to talk about it last week with the 3.2 success 
critria. But I have no suggestions. We can't look at them independently 
without looking at all of 3.
GSW: People may not look at all of the checkpoints if we split them into 
different priorities
JW: There are several issues: 
    1) what categories to place the different ideas under (this is the 
overlap problem). How to make it easier to understand and work with the 
    2) testability, 
    3) preconditions for applying each of the requirements, 
    4) defining as clearly as possible what the requirements are
WC: I like Lisa's idea of collecting all our success criteria. We have a lot 
of good ones. I'm less concerned about the text of the checkpoints. Why do we 
have these? Are we concerned about structure or ideas? We are trying to help 
people chunk and flow.
JM: And for what kind of content - instructiions, UI, etc
WC: I've been taking quite a while to think about 3.4, trying to avoid 
another massive thread. When should we illustrate text? I've been looking at 
existing uses of illustrations. There are also places to avoid illustrations. 
I'm collecting lots of information and thinking about needs. Lots of  
other things get involved in this. Positioning and layout are important. 
Sizes, colors, flicker, internationalization, formats, etc. Lots of these 
issues go across all these checkpoints.
(General agreement that what Wendy is doing is very useful) 
JW: What's the best way of opening this up wihout creating an enormous action 
item for someone. The current breakdown makes it easy to distribute the work. 
Let's collect lots of success criteria and see whether there is a better way 
of dividing things up.
WC: I still have questions about the work Lisa did. One question about one 
idea per paragraph. How does that apply in other langauges - Hebrew, Japanese?
Do notions of paragraphs and sentences apply?
JW: Every language has some notion of sentence. I don't know if they all 
have paragraphs in their writing system.
WC: Is there an internationalization issue here?
JW: if we place upper limits on length as guidance, they will change from one 
language to another. Some languages need more words to express a particular 
idea in a sentence. 
WC: I found a list of words - "basic English". This would make it easy to test
whether you are using basic language, but is there a comparable list for other
LS: Wendy, could you send a reference to the list?
CS: I'm still uncomforable with a general regulation on simplifying language 
and reading levels. And expecting web content to be written at an easier 
readin level.
LS: The current statement says to use words that are easily understood as 
long as it doesn't change the meaning.
WC: I don't think that is testable
LS: Maybe not machine testable
WC: I don't think it will pass the "8 out of 10 people" agreement
WC: As an example - the Wall Street Journal doesn't include a lot of 
illustrations. But that is just their style.
WC: Kynn's piece about writing says "Make assumptions about your audience. Now
 take your audience a couple of steps lower." As an example - Jonathan 
Chetwynd will write for people who can't read at all. He may include many 
illustrations and few words. Another example - there is an astronomy site 
that included 5 levels of presentation, from beginner through instructor
CS: It is great when people do that. 
WC: We are not asking everyone to do this. But if you want to, how do you tell 
whether you have succeeded?
CS: I'm worried that the current checkpoint will be read to require everyone 
to comply. I'm worried that we accommodate Jonathan's needs, but not those of 
a PhD 
LS: Our mandate is accessibility. We must accommodate everyone or we have 
failed. Kynn's idea of modules let's people select what policy to apply.
CS: I'm completely fine with describing the requirements, but I'm concerned 
that the way the guidelines read now, everything is equally weighted
??: I share your concern,and think there is a difference between providing a 
version where the simplest langage is used, and making your only version use 
simplest langauge. If multiple versions is a good solution, we should make 
that clear.
WC: We are getting into conformance issues. We need to focus on the question:
If you want to do this, how do you test whether you have succeeded? What 
guidance can we provide people?
JW: There are serious issues in when to apply things, and how. We can avoid 
many of these at the moment, but they'll come back. We should list all the 
techniques as long as we think they are useful, testable, etc. But wouldn't
want this to become part of a regulation. We will have a discussion of 
guidelines vs policy later.
JW: Getting back to 3.3, there may be internationalization issues with some 
of the criterion. One issue brought up last week - in trying to make some 
criteria testable, we may impose unnecessary constraints or make the language
used less comprehensible when applied inappropriately. 
LS: I will talk through the checkpoints. I left out some things because of 
overlap, and I tried to apply the checkpoint to itself as I wrote it. So I
tried to make the language appropriate to content, put the ideas into 
definitions, and provide success criteria. Clear document, clear pargraph, 
and clear words.
JM: If a web page is a document, but we are defining a clear document as one
having a page map, etc., this becomes prescriptive. Which is like a success 
WC: The definitions are written like criteria.
JM: They read like criteria. If they are proposed as critiria, we can decide 
if they are testable. For instance, having a page map looks testable.
JW: This brings back a topic from last week - where is it appropriate to
apply these
??: That's goin to be the bane of this checkpoint, and also 3.4
WC: Are you (JW) saying we can't separate what to do from when to do it?
JW: I don't think they can be separated when writing success criteria. 
Once someone makes a statement of this kind, someone is going to think 
of exceptions. 
LS: How about saying "A document can be made clear by providing..."
JW: or "can be made clearer"
JM: At this level, should we take the term "document" and break it down 
JW: I'm not thinking of types of documents, but a particular technique 
becomes useful under certain circumstances. e.g. summary becomes useful once 
a document gets larger or more complex than a certain limit. If we had 
information about when it becomes useful to apply a technique, it becomes 
part of the technique
LS: With this particular topic, I'm wondering if people are thinking about 
your average person when they say things aren't necessary. That's not what 
this area is about. it is trying to reach your not-average-person. In some 
cases, a summary might be provided by the title. Or the summary might be in 
a meta-tag. But I can go to very simple sites and feel confused. 
JW: There are different aspects of writing that one can consider: titles, 
division into, logically organized structure, composition into sentences and 
paragraphs, choice of language. It might be best to divide along those lines 
and try to explain, in a fairly concise way, how these factor contribute to 
comprehensibility or lack thereof. Instead of having success criteria, we 
can say that content that conforms with most of these, satisfies the 
checkpoint. A certain number of these characteristics need to be present. 
WC: We leave it to the author to decide which are appropriate to his content
LS: I'm looking at the document and it needs rework.  
JW: 1) Jo's item - some of the definitions look like success criteria, so we 
might need to rework that; 2) make clearer which techniques are alternatives 
and which must be carried out together. 
JM: Almost all of these fall into success criteria, because the aim of the 
checkpoint is to produce clear documents. The definitions say how we think 
this should be achieved, getting into consensus on what we have decided 
constitutes clear writing. Most of these are measurable. 
JW: Would you take an action item to rework it?
JM: if I do, something different might come out
??: Should we discuss the success criteria themselves? they recapitulate 
info in the definition
WC: It provides an overview - a list of different ways this can be done. 
It is testable.
LG: are these the only ways?
LS: We shouldn't limit people to these ways
JW: Rework it slightly so that what is in the definintions goes into the 
success criteria, and what are conjunctions and disjunctions, and what 
lists are meant to be exhaustive and what are not
JM: action item - to help with that rework
??: an overlap issue - emphasizing structure through markup. 3.1 vs 3.3
JW: A possible way of dividing it (Wendy's suggestion?) is to divide along 
lines of content. Document vs UI vs audiovisual presentation. Add 
comprehension-related requirements. List of characteristics, with some way 
of dividing by concept or content type. We can do this once we have good 
succes criteria for the items covered by those 3 checkpoints.
WC: Are there any experts in this area on this call?
LS: I have been working with learning disabled, and have been reviewing 
research for this checkpoint
WC: I have a list of people willing to review, once we come up with something
JW: We should write up each success criteria, ignoring overlap issues, and 
come back and revisit this once we have a good set of success criteria
WC: We'll deal with overlap later (I found items in Lisa's list relating 
to 3.5, 2.7, 2.1); those working on these checkpoints might coordinate some 
to avoid repeated work
Received on Friday, 8 February 2002 21:05:29 UTC

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