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RE: WCAG 2 Restructuring Proposal comments

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <GV@TRACE.WISC.EDU>
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002 12:33:30 -0600
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001301c1d4f4$cc392390$88306880@laptop600>
Lots of good input Joe,

Off to vacation later today so don’t have time to feedback but will

RE signing-  it would be done using text to sign "real human" avatar
(which is coming along now in a number of places),  it would be on
screen, but could be on window or off window depending on where the user
put it.


-- ------------------------------ 
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
Professor - Human Factors 
Depts of Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 
Gv@trace.wisc.edu <mailto:Gv@trace.wisc.edu>, <http://trace.wisc.edu/> 
FAX 608/262-8848 
For a list of our listserves send “lists” to listproc@trace.wisc.edu

> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
> Of Joe Clark
> Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 1:26 PM
> To: WAI-GL
> Subject: WCAG 2 Restructuring Proposal comments
> The document is *quite* an improvement and is the first set of
> proposals for WCAG 2.0 that does not contain clauses that render me
> apoplectic. I was just waiting to see how far y'all would go with the
> write-simply and illustrate-everything requirements before I went
> medieval on your arses. Apparently good sense is winning out.
> >Guideline 1 - 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.
> Well, everything can be "expressed" in words. You can always say
> *something*. Perhaps better terminology would be:
> 	except content components with no equivalent in words
> 	except content components that cannot be epitomized in words
> >A text equivalent
> >* serves the same function as the non-text content.
> >  * communicates the same information as the non-text content.
> No, this is a serious deficiency. Pictures (e.g.) by definition do
> not communicate "the same" information as text. That's why _The
> Shipping News_ the book and _The Shipping News_ the movie are
> different things (and why _Hard Core Logo_ the book, movie, and
> graphic novel are three separate things).
> The issue here is that the words express as much of the same
> information *as words reasonably can*.
> Let's also use "text" to mean "words" as infrequently as possible.
> >Non-text content includes but is not limited to images, text in
> >raster images, image map regions, animations (e.g., animated GIFs),
> >applets and programmatic objects, ASCII art, scripts that present
> >content, images used as list bullets,
> Images used as list bullets have *no* text equivalents in HTML *at
> 	list-style: image(bullet.gif)
> has no alt text or anything like it. There are ways to provide
> fallback mechanisms [list-style: image(bullet.gif) disc] but that is
> not the same as providing an alt text for the bullet, *which you
> cannot do*.
> It *is* possible to list a bunch of paragraphs with <img> elements
> that, when assembled, resemble a list, but they won't be coded as
> <ol> or <ul>.
> >spacers, graphical buttons, sounds (played with or without user
> >interaction), stand-alone audio files, audio tracks of video, and
> >video.
> These need to be reordered. "Audio tracks of video, and video" has
> never been easy to understand and is clumsy as hell. Instead, write
> all the examples in alphabetical order *as a list*. (Eat your own
> vegetarian dogfood.)
> >Benefits (informative)
> >
> >Individuals who are blind, have low vision, have cognitive
> >disabilities or have trouble reading text for any reason can have
> >the text read aloud to them. Individuals who are deaf, are hard of
> >hearing or who are having trouble understanding the audio
> >information for any reason can read the text presentation or have it
> >translated and presented as sign language.
> Well, I don't know where you're going with that last part. If you're
> imagining a video file with audio and captions, are you imagining
> some interpreter somewhere who is translating the *audio* into sign
> language? (They won't be translating the captions. Now, a
> foreign-language subtitle is something different.)
> Where is this interpreter? In the frame? Outside of the frame?
> Sitting in the room with you?
> >A bar chart compares how many widgets were sold in June, July, and
> >August. The short label says, "Graph of the numbers of widgets sold
> >in June, July, and August." The longer explanation provides the data
> >presented in the chart.
> This has always been a terrible example, one of many in WCAG that
> show that WAI members do not work in the real world.
> We use charts and graphs because it is inconvenient or impossible to
> make an issue understandable in words. Or charts and graphs are
> simply *better*. Like packing, unpacking, and repacking a suitcase,
> not everything that originates in graphical form can be re-expressed
> in words *and still be understood as well*.
> Moreover, proponents of this example have not spent enough time
> interpreting scientific charts and graphs, some of which accumulate
> hundreds or thousands of data points. Are you proposing to include
> the hundreds or thousands of data points in the longdesc?
> You need to find a better example, one *actually encountered* on a
> *real* Web site and not a half-arsed fabrication.
> >* Example 3: a short label and a longer explanation of animation.
> >An animation shows how to tie a knot. The short label says, "An
> >animation showing how to tie a square knot."
> No, that's too meta. The text equivalent should be simply "How to tie
> a square knot." I just had Jukka Korpela upbraiding me on this very
> same point. Next you're going to want simple <img> alt texts to say
> something like "Text of image of photo of representation of man
> sitting in chair" rather than just "Man sitting in chair."
> >Example 5: a label for content that cannot be described in words.
> >An audio file is embedded in a Web page. The short label says,
> >"Beethoven's 5th Symphony performed by the Chicago Symphony
> >Orchestra."
> You just *have* described it in words. *Everything* can be described
> in words. The issue is that Beethoven's _Fifth_ (write the numbers in
> words in <cite> to render symphony names) cannot be rendered or
> epitomized in or translated into words.
> >You will have successfully provided synchronized media equivalents
> >for time-dependent presentations if:
> >1. an audio description of all significant visual information in
> >scenes, actions and events is provided to the extent possible given
> >the constraints posed by the existing audio track and constraints on
> >freezing the image to insert additional auditory description.
> You don't need the bit after "extent possible."
> >[Issue: this set does not yet require provision of media-equivalents
> >for live broadcast. The reason is that it is not clear how to handle
> >problems with webcams, etc. If someone points a webcam out the
> >window, or at the coffeee pot -- do they need to hire someone to
> >provide a running commentarey? We should discuss and decide to
> "Media that update slowly or that are not intended to be followed
> continuously (e.g., Webcams)  may be summarized with simple text
> equivalents." A Webcam is merely a delivery mechanism for individual
> still images. Treat them accordingly.
> >Media equivalents present essential audio information visually
> >(captions) and essential video information auditorily (audio
> >descriptions).
> Thank you for retiring the malapropism "auditory description."
> >* captions are text equivalents of auditory information from speech,
> >sound effects, and ambient sounds that are synchronized with the
> >multimedia presentation.
> >* audio descriptions are equivalents of visual information from
> >actions, body language, graphics, and scene changes that are voiced
> >(either by a human or a speech synthesizer)
> I would like the "(either by a human or a speech synthesizer)" bit to
> disappear. Nobody is using speech synthesis for audio description
> yet, and frankly, I want to discourage the practice. It may
> eventually be necessary, but we aren't there yet. It is vapourware.
> >People without disabilities also benefit from the media equivalents.
> >People in noisy environments or with muted sound often use captions.
> >Captions are used by many to develop language and reading skills.
> >Audio descriptions also provide visual information for people who
> >are temporarily looking away from the video presentation such as
> >when following an instructional video and looking at their hands.
> BTW, WGBH has research suggesting that learning-disabled kids benefit
> in a very modest way from audio description. There's also a CSUN
> paper:
> <http://www.csun.edu/cod/conf2002/proceedings/48.htm>
> >Note:Time-dependant presentations that require dual, simultaneous
> >attention with a single sense can present significant barriers to
> >some users.
> Very, very few users!
> >Depending on the nature of the of presentation, it may be possible
> >to avoid scenarios where, for example, a deaf user would be required
> >to watch an action on the screen and read the captions at the same
> >time.
> That's not how captioning works!
> Yet again we see a lack of real-world experience. The top two
> complaints of caption-naive hearing people are:
> 1. The captions and the utterances don't match! (Even if they differ
> by a single word or a missed "um," hearing people go nuts.)
> 2. They're "distracting"! I can't follow the picture! (Research shows
> that even caption-naive people dramatically improve their ability to
> balance caption- and image-watching after only two hours of captioned
> TV.)
> This is a *nonissue* for everyone who does not have a learning
> disability (or, I suppose, a peripheral-vision defect). Multimedia
> captions *do* let you pause the video and keep the caption up (an
> improvement over TV closed captioning). It is better to emphasize
> that advantage than to come this close to requiring people to caption
> in a way that never has been done before on TV, on video, or at the
> movies. As written, *no* captioning on TV or home video or in cinemas
> would qualify.
> I don't think the authors of this draft have enough lived experience
> watching captioned shows or enough familiarity with the research.
> >Where possible, provide content so that it does not require dual,
> >simultaneous attention or so that it gives the user the ability to
> >effectively control/pause different media signals.
> Excellent.
> >* Example 1: a movie clip with audio description and captions.
> >A clip from a movie is published on a Web site. In the clip, a child
> >is trying to lure an alien to the child's bedroom by laying a trail
> >of candy. The child mumbles inaudibly to himself as he lays the
> >trail. When not watching the video, it is not obvious that he is
> >laying a trail of candy since all you hear is the mumbling. The
> >audio description that is interspersed with the child's mumbling
> >says "Charlie lays a piece of candy on each stair leading to his
> >room." The caption that appears as he mumbles is, "[inaudible
> >mumbling]."
> You might as well go see the current rerelease of _E.T._ with
> captions and descriptions and transcribe them accurately. Let's not
> kid ourselves as to what's being documented here.
> >An animation shows a clown slipping on a banana and falling down.
> >There is no audio track for this animation. No captions or audio
> >description are required. Instead, provide a text equivalent as
> >described in checkpoint 1.1.
> Actually, one would write [No audio throughout] or something similar.
> Silent films can be and are captioned. I've watched them myself.
> >Content is the information or meaning and function.
> An incomprehensible definition.
> Graphic design can be content.
<http://www.contenu.nu/article.htm?id=1040 >
> Content must be given a more ecumenical definition than this.
> >You will have successfully keyboard access to all functionality of
> >the content if:
> >1. all functions of the content can be operated from a standard
> >keyboard without requiring simultaneous activation of multiple
> >character keys.
> Inadvisable, otherwise accesskey goes out the window. Among the many
> failings of accesskey is that a, A, , , and other variants of the
> same underlying character are all *technically* different accesskeys.
> Only iCab even attempts to honour this distinction, but in any event,
> accesskey="A" is completely legal at present but would be illegal
> under this plan because you have to press Shift.
> >Individuals who are blind (and cannot use pointing devices) can have
> >access to the functionality of the product.
> Keyboard arrow keys are equivalent to a pointing device. This is not
> how screen-reader users interpret Web pages.
> >Individuals with severe physical disabilities can use speech input
> >(coupled with a keyboard emulator which injects the spoken text or
> >commands as if they were typed on the keyboard) to enter data or
> >control the device.
> Don't forget "switch access," i.e., controlling a keyboard with a
> single switch or a very small number of them.
> >Real-time events
> >
> >Competitive activity: an activity where timing is an essential part
> >of the design of the activity. Removal of the time element would
> >change the performance of the participants. None time based
> >activities might be preferred and may be required for some venues
> >but this would require a complete redesign of the activity or test
> >and would therefore fall under guidelines
> It must be pointed out that time-based activities (it's hyphenated,
> BTW) are often altered for disabled people here in the real world. It
> is quite possible to take a two-hour test in, say, four hours if your
> disability requires the extra time.
> We should at least mention the idea of accommodating the disabled
> user by increasing the time allotment. That would require a higher
> level of disability planning and awareness than we usually find, of
> course.
> >  * Example 2: a news site that is updated regularly.
> >
> >A new site causes its front page to be updated every 1/2 hour. The
> >front page contains minimal text and primarily consists of links to
> >content. A user who does not wish the page to update selects a
> >checkbox.
> Except that refreshing every 30 minutes is intrinsically accessible.
> According to the guideline, if 30 minutes is the "average" refresh
> time, then the site should suggest 300 minutes (five full hours) as
> the refresh time for the disabled visitor. Twice-an-hour refreshing
> is virtually unnoticeable. I would think a better example is, say,
> ChickClick affiliate sites that load ads in a frame and cycle through
> them every couple of minutes.
> >2. if flicker is unavoidable - user is warned of the flicker before
> >they go to the page , and a version of the content without flicker
> >is provided.
> If you can provide an unflickering page, then the flicker is not
> >This one has always generated complaints because authors don't know
> >how to measure the flicker rates. Can we suggest how they would know
> >whether their flicker falls in this range?
> GIF animation and Flash animations need a measuring stick here. Also,
> many browsers let you turn off GIF animation altogether. Isn't that
> part of the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines? At a certain point,
> users have to take responsibility for their own equipment.
> >NOTE: It is very difficult to determine what makes writing clear and
> >simple for all topics. Some content is derived from other sources
> >and is copyrighted so it cannot be altered. Some materials or topics
> >cannot be communicated accurately in simple language. Also, since
> >some people cannot understand the content no matter how simply it is
> >written, it is not possible to make any content accessible to
> >everyone. Specific objective criteria that could be applied across
> >all types of content are therefore not possible.
> Yes!
> >Checkpoint 4.2 [3.4] Supplement text with non-text content.
> >
> >NOTE: Supplementing text with non-text (e.g. graphics, sound, smell,
> >etc) is useful for all users. However there are no clear guidelines
> >as it relates to disability. Specific objective criteria that could
> >be applied across all types of content are therefore not possible.
> Yes!
> >1. Provide a definition (with the first occurance)
> Occurrence, you mean?
> >  of phrases, words, acronyms, and abbreviations specific to a
> >particular community.
> A debased term, yes? How about "readership" or "audience"?
> The problem with defining only the first use is that many people Join
> Us Late: They end up in the middle of the page. Besides, we have
> search-and-replace on our computers now (though apparently not on WAI
> computers during the WCAG 1.0 era) and can easily change all
> occurrEnces of an abbreviation or acronym in one fell swoop.
> >  2. Provide a summary for relationships that may not be obvious from
> >analyzing the structure of the table but that may be apparent in a
> >visual rendering of the table.
> We make tables because their visual rendering *is* the structure and
> clarifies itself. The problem is that tables are hard to understand
> *without* visual rendering. That's why accessibility advocates have
> been going off in (counterproductive, meaningless, outdated) high
> dudgeon against tables for years.
> Can we not rewrite reality here, please?
> >Definitions (informative)
> >
> >Content is considered complex if the relationships between pieces of
> >information are not easy to figure out.
> You're pretty much defining the term with itself here ("complex" and
> "not easy to figure out"). Also, easy for whom, and who says?
> >  If the presentation of the information is intended to highlight
> >trends or relationships between concepts, these should be explicitly
> >stated in the summary.
> No, that's why we draw graphs.
> I want WAI to get over its antipictorial bias once and for all.
> Words, though they are a primitive of the Web, are not better than
> pictures *in every case*; the converse is also true. WAI authors
> would perhaps like to eliminate graphics except inasmuch as they
> would also like to force everyone on the planet to use them.
> >Examples of complex information:
> >* data tables, [ ALWAYS?]
> >* concepts that are esoteric or difficult to understand,
> >* content that involves several layers.
> >
> >Content might be unfamiliar if you are using terms specific to a
> >particular community. For example, many of the terms used in this
> >document are specific to the disability community.
> Community, community, community. In any event, some concepts *are*
> esoteric or difficult to understand, except for those in the audience
> (the readership) who find them workaday and straightforward. A lot of
> people find accessibility esoteric and difficult to understand, but
> we on this list find it pretty easy.
> There's making the Web easier for people with learning disabilities
> to use and there's the reality that not everyone understands every
> topic, or *could ever* understand every topic. The requirement as
> written sounds like tall-poppy syndrome: Intelligent writers and
> experts are actively penalized for expressing their intelligence and
> expertise for an audience that can handle them.
> >Summarizing information that is difficult to understand helps people
> >who do not read well.
> Then how can they understand the summary?
> >  Defining key terms and specialized language will help people who
> >are not familiar with the topic. Providing the expansion of
> >abbreviations and acronyms not only helps people who are not
> >familiar with the abbreviation or acronym but can clarify which
> >meaning of an abbreviation or acronym is appropriate to use. For
> >example, the acronym "ADA" stands for both the American with
> >Disabilities Act
> That's American*s*, BTW.
> >Checkpoint 5.1 [4.2] Use technologies according to specification.
> >
> >Issue: should there be a qualification or exception for
> >backward-compatibility? If so, under what circumstances should it
> >apply? Alternatively, if an implementor decides to use invalid
> >markup for backward-compatibility reasons, shouldn't they be
> >"honest" and indicate that they haven't satisfied this checkpoint?
> <embed> vs. <object> is the canonical example here.
> >Checkpoint 5.2 [4.4] Ensure that content remains usable when
> >technologies that modify default user agent processing or behavior
> >are turned off or not supported.
> Well, what about PDF and Flash, which are variously accessible but
> whose files not necessarily loaded and displayed by default?
> It is not wrong to publish in PDF or Flash, at least from an
> accessibility perspective (with attendant provisos about what PDF and
> Flash can and cannot do). This guideline would essentially forbid
> people from publishing even fully-accessible tagged PDFs and
> annotated Flash movies.
> >In determining the extent to which older technologies should be
> >supported, keep in mind that
> >* assistive hardware and software are often slow to adapt to
> >technical advances.
> That makes it sound like "assistive hardware and software" are
> people. In reality, it took until version 4.01 of Jaws for simple
> HTML accessibility tags like longdesc to be supported. It is not the
> content author's problem that third-party vendors are too slow to
> update their products.
> >* for significant groups of users, it may not be possible to obtain
> >the latest software or the hardware required to operate it.
> That isn't a disability issue. Please don't nag about the fact that
> disabled people are poor; we know they often are. But time marches
> on. Authors should be able to use accessible authoring methods
> (longdesc, for example, or PDF or Flash), and if a person's
> out-of-date equipment cannot read the annotations, well, them's the
> breaks. WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS can't read a Web page, either.
> In general, a very strong reformulation. It can only get better. But
> what happened to Kynn's modularization idea?
> --
>      Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
>      Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
>      Weblogs and articles <http://joeclark.org/weblogs/>
>      <http://joeclark.org/writing/> | <http://fawny.org/>
Received on Tuesday, 26 March 2002 13:34:19 GMT

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