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Re: 4.1 revised

From: Andi Snow-Weaver <andisnow@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 16:23:32 -0600
To: aardit@voa.gov
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org, seeman@netvision.net.il, leeroberts@roserockdesign.com
Message-ID: <OF1E6C18F8.846EB25C-ON86256C60.006A8611@boulder.ibm.com>

Avi,

As promised, here are some specific comments on your proposal for success
criteria for 4.1. This is a difficult topic to tackle and you, Lisa, and
Lee are to be commended for attempting it. I have copied the text from your
post to the mailing list and followed each item with my comments, prefaced
by AS.

>As you read below, note that Level 1 and Level 2 are written in different
formats. Which format do you prefer? The items at Level 1 are phrased as
statements. The items at Level 2 are phrased as questions.

AS: I prefer the format of level 1 because I think it is easier to convert
this format to test cases.

>You will have met Checkpoint 4.1 at the Minimum Level if you based your
answers on deliberation of each item and the reasons for any exceptions.

AS: I'm not sure what this means. It sounds like I meet the criteria if I
consider each item. If the web page doesn't meet an item, all I have to do
is explain why I chose not to meet it. So, if the web page doesn't conform
to a particular requirement but I explain why I didn't, then the web page
conforms to the checkpoint?

>Generally speaking:

AS: Remove this. At the minimum level and Level 2, we should be providing
specific, testable requirements, not general guidelines.

>1. Your site lists in metadata the cognitive skills or reading age that a
user would need to understand the important content.

AS: I have three issues with this one:
1. I disagree with any requirement for statements of conformance or support
at the minimum level.
2. Even if this is moved to level 2, it should not be required to be in
metadata. None of the conformance statements for the other checklists are
required to be in metadata.
3. Web page authors should not be required to be knowledgeable about the
cognitive skills required to read their content. The success criteria
should state explicitly what we want them to do and any conformance
statements should be related to these criteria.

>2. Page titles are accurate and unique.

AS: What do we mean by accurate and how do you test that page titles are
accurate? Requiring them to be unique within a site is okay.

>3. The  words and language structure are probably familiar to disabled
people within your intended audience. <An informative section could list
the various sorts of disabilities that might be found in example audiences.
For instance, the audience of a professional journal might include people
with learning disabilities or semantic-pragmatic disorder or first-stage
Alzheimer's.>

AS: This is too restrictive for the minimum level which should be
applicable to all sites. It is also too subjective. If we have a specific
recommendation to make about words and language structure, we should only
do so at level 3 or as an advisory recommendation.

>4. Terms that should be familiar to the intended audience are favored over
terms that are less likely to be understood.

AS: Every person who writes something is doing it to be understood and will
think that they meet this criteria. I don't see any value add to putting
this in the guidelines.

>5. Sentences are  limited to a single idea. <Informative sections could
list values specific to languages and disabilities>

AS: Does this mean you can't use compound sentences like "The dog is black
and the cat is white." or "I wanted to buy a Porsche but it was too
expensive"? This is too restrictive for the minimum level. I believe this
is more appropriate for level 3 or as an advisory recommendation.

>6. Paragraphs are limited to a single idea.

AS: This is a requirement of good writing. Editors and English teachers can
usually make this assessment but it would be difficult, if not impossible,
for most of us. I think this is too restrictive for the minimum level. It
is more appropriate for level 3 or as an advisory recommendation.

>7. Sentences are limited to lengths that disabled users within your
intended audience would probably consider reasonable.

AS: This is too subjective for the minimum level. We could recommend a
maximum, but I think it is an advisory recommendation, not a requirement
for conformance.

>8. Definitions/explanations are embedded or linked when the content
introduces new concepts or terminology.

AS: Is this "new" to the audience or "new" to the page? This sounds like
one of the fundamental principals of designing web content. I think it is
too restrictive for the minimum level and probably cannot be quantified
sufficiently to be more than an advisory recommendation.

>9. Disabled users within your audience are likely to understand any
abbreviations or acronyms.

AS: How is the author to know? Is there an objective requirement we can
articulate wrt abbreviations and acronyms? How about "All abbreviations and
acronyms are links to a glossary that defines them"? This is too
restrictive for the minimum level. Level 2 might be okay. If I have my
address on a page, do I have to make St. (Street) and TX (Texas) links?

>10. Users are able to find additional information to aid their
understanding.

AS: What specifically are we requiring here that is different from #8 and
#9?

>11. There is support to provide information in simpler forms.

AS: Does this mean the content is available to assistive technologies that
can render it in simpler forms? If so, we should figure out what those
requirements are and that should be the success criteria.

>12. Summaries are provided when these would aid understanding.

AS: Don't summaries always aid understanding for some people? We could
recommend specific cases where summaries are recommended as a Level 3
requirement or advisory recommendation.

>13. Headings and linked text are unique and make sense when read out of
context.

AS: Okay for Level 1 or 2.

>You will have met Checkpoint 4.1 at Level 2 if you based your answers on
deliberation of each item and the reasons for any exceptions.

AS: Same comment as for Level 1

>Generally speaking:

AS: Same comment as for Level 1

>1. Have those responsible for the content made an effort to learn about
ways to communicate with people with cognitive and other disabilities?

AS: What is the requirement here? Is there a certification we are requiring
of web authors?

>2. Are names and labels used consistently within a document?

AS: I'm not sure what we mean by "names and labels" in a document? Is it
terminology?

>3. Are noun phrases of more than three nouns avoided?

AS: Does this apply to languages other than English? Even for English, this
should be Level 3.

>4. Are sentence structures that increase understanding (such as active
voice in English and other languages) favored over those that reduce
understanding? <Examples in techniques>

AS: Using the word "favored" makes this too subjective. I'm not sure we can
come up with a specific recommendation (like active voice in English) that
applies across languages.

>5. Are verb tenses kept simple?

AS: I don't know what a simple verb tense is. Does it apply across
languages?

>6. Is the order of information logical?

AS: This might be an advisory recommendation but is too subjective for
success criteria.

>7. Are more-common words favored over less-common words?

AS: This might be an advisory recommendation but is too subjective for
success criteria.

>8. Are choices and options clearly explained to users?

AS: Is this a requirement for context sensitive help?

>9. Are instructions or required actions explained step-by-step?

AS: Is this a requirement that instructions be in bulleted or numbered
lists? If so, we should say that but it should be Level 3 or advisory.

>10. Is it clear to users when they are being addressed?

AS: Not sure what the requirement is here.

>11. Are language shortcuts avoided in cases where they might reduce
understanding?

AS: Not sure what the requirement is here.

>12. Are options to get more information clearly labeled?

AS: Linked text is a way to get more information. Does this require that
all links must also have a duplicate "Click here for more information" type
of link?

>13. Are disabled users within your intended audiences likely to understand
any slang or idiomatic language?

AS: How is the author to know? Either articulate a specific requirement
with regard to slang or idomatic language or remove.

>14. Are disabled users within your intended audience likely to understand
any jargon?

AS: How is the author to know? Either articulate a specific requirement
with regard to jargon or remove.

>15. Is the writing style concrete enough or abstract enough for disabled
users within the intended audience?

AS: How is the author to know? Is there something specific we can recommend
as an advisory recommendation? i.e. don't use metaphors, don't use satire,
etc.

>16. Is the content unambiguous?

AS: Not sure what the requirement is here.

>17. Is key information highlighted with proper markup?

AS: We already have a requirement for this in checkpoint 1.3

>18. Is goal-action structure used for menu prompts?

AS: I know what object-action is but not goal-action. What type of menu
prompts are we talking about?

>19. Are defaults provided, and is it easy to re-establish them?

AS: A good requirement for forms.

>20. Do sentences that explain actions and conditions list the conditions
first?

AS: Advisory Recommendation, not Level 2

>21. Would long paragraphs be easier to understand if they were rewritten
as vertical lists of items (especially in the case of instructions)?

AS: We already have something that attempts to cover instructions (Level 2
#9). Unless we have another specific scenario where we want to recommend
that bulleted or numbered lists be used, this should be an advisory
recommendation.

>22. Is a two-step "select and confirm" process used to reduce accidental
selections for critical functions?

AS: A good requirement for forms

>23. Are there clear instructions about how to modify selections in
critical functions (such as how to delete an item from a shopping cart)?

AS: We already have a requirement (Level 2 #8) that covers explaining
choices and options.

>24. Is calculation assistance provided to reduce the need to calculate?

AS: A good requirement

>25. Is the removal of information that is unhelpful to disabled users
supported?

AS: How would the author know what would be helpful?

>You will have met Checkpoint 4.1 at Level 3 if at least one of the
following is true:

>1. New material is tested with potential users for ease of accessibility.

AS: I think this is an advisory recommendation for the entire guidelines,
not a conformance requirement for any one specific checkpoint.

>2. A controlled language is used.

>3. Support for conversion into symbolic languages has been given.

AS: Can we articulate specific requirements here?

Andi
andisnow@us.ibm.com
IBM Accessibility Center
(512) 838-9903, http://www.ibm.com/able
Internal Tie Line 678-9903, http://w3.austin.ibm.com/~snsinfo
Received on Monday, 28 October 2002 17:23:14 GMT

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