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Trying to better explain concern about mapping technology-specifics to success criteria

From: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 14:37:23 -0400
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.2.20020712135517.023e3ec0@localhost>
To: jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

Hello,

Yesterday, I had a hard time explaining an issue about mapping 
technology-specific "rules" to success criteria.  Here is an attempt to 
make it clearer.

User agent support is one aspect of the problem. However, I am primarily 
concerned that the minimum level success criteria for checkpoint 1.3 make 
all HTML structural elements equally important.

In other words, it seems that some HTML structural elements are more 
important to accessibility than others, but the minimum level success 
criteria put them all at the same importance.

The minimum level success criteria for checkpoint 1.3 are:
1. any information that is conveyed through presentation formatting is also 
provided in either text or structure.
2. the following can be derived programmatically (i.e. through AT 
compatible markup or data model) from the content without interpreting 
presentation.

     a. any hierarchical elements and relationships, such as headings, 
paragraphs and lists
     b. any non-hierarchical relationships between elements such as 
cross-references and linkages,  associations between labels and controls, 
associations between cells and their headers, etc.
     c. any emphasis


My interpretation of this puts all HTML structural elements at the same 
priority. Here are all of the structural elements (per [1] which was 
derived from the HTML 4.01 spec)
A
ABBR
ACRONYM
AREA
BLOCKQUOTE
BODY
BUTTON
CAPTION
CITE
CODE
COL
COLGROUP
DD
DFN
DIR* (deprecated)
DIV
DL
DT
EM
FIELDSET
FORM
H1-H6
HEAD
HTML
INPUT
ISINDEX* (deprecated)
KBD
LABEL
LEGEND
LI
MAP
MENU* (deprecated)
OL
OPTGROUP
OPTION
P
Q
SAMP
SELECT
SPAN
STRONG
TABLE
TBODY
TD
TEXTAREA
TFOOT
TH
THEAD
TR
UL
VAR

These seem to fall into 2 categories:

1. those elements that genuinely provide structure, are commonly used, and 
make a much larger accessibility impact when they are used.  e.g. H1-H6, 
UL, OL LI, TH, LABEL, etc.

2. those elements that are not commonly used or supported and do not 
provide a large accessibility benefit. e.g. CITE, VAR, KBD, etc.

They don't provide a sizable benefit because if you don't know that 
something is a citation by the markup hopefully you can glean that from the 
context.  Unlike headings which can be used as navigation markers as well 
as create the structure that the document is built on.

Does this make more sense now?  Can you see how a sub-priority scheme is 
almost forming from this?  Or do you think they are all equally 
important?  This might be an incorrect premise  on my part (that some are 
less important to accessibility than others).

I look forward to answering Jason's question from yesterday's call, "Is 
this an isolated instance or is it part of a more general problem?"  I 
still need to find the notes from our talk last November, Jason.

Best,
--wendy

p.s. Yesterday I mentioned an overlap between 1.3 and 3.1. This is a 
separate issue.

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/NOTE-WCAG10-HTML-TECHS-20000920/#html-index

-- 
wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
seattle, wa usa
/--
Received on Friday, 12 July 2002 14:27:22 GMT

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