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Re: Checkpoint 1.1 Re-Draft.

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2002 18:39:51 +1100
Message-ID: <15815.30151.310144.148373@jdc.local>
To: "Mirabella, Mathew J" <Mathew.Mirabella@team.telstra.com>
Cc: "'W3C-WAI-GL List'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Mirabella, Mathew J writes:
 > 
 > 
 > Checkpoint 1.1 For all non-text content, provide a text alternative for the
 > function or information the non-text content was intended to convey.

I would prefer to avoid introducing the term "text alternative" into
the guidelines, if this can be avoided, as it runs the risk of
creating confusion and is yet another term requiring definition.
 > 
 > 
 > Success Criteria
 > 
 > You will have successfully met Checkpoint 1.1 at the Minimum Level if:
 > 
 > 1.  Non-text content that can be expressed in words has a text-equivalent
 > explicitly associated with it.
 > *  The text equivalent should fulfil the same function as the author
 > intended for the non-text content (i.e. it presents all of the intended
 > information and/or achieves the same function of the non-text content).
 > 
 > 2.  Non-text content that can not be expressed in words has a descriptive
 > textual label provided as its text-alternative.
 > *  A descriptive textual label should act as a text-equivalent wherever
 > practically possible and should at least express the technical purpose or
 > meaning of the non-text content (if any), (E.g. a description of the target
 > of the link, etc.).
This is paradoxical: what it says is that content that can't be
 > expressed in words should be "described" (albeit in a label), and
 > this can easily be read as a contradiction. I would prefer the term
 > "identifying label", as in:
2. Non-text content that cannot be expressed in words has an
 > identifying label explicitly associated with it.
 > 
 > 3.  Wherever possible, text equivalents should be used rather than
 > descriptive textual labels.  I.e. descriptive textual labels should only be
 > used if the non-text content cannot be expressed in words.

This is redundant with (1) and (2). The phrase "where possible" could
be criticized on the ground that it makes the requirement
non-testable, and leaves it open for the implementor to introduce some
criterion of practical possibility other than the one we intend,
namely that the content can be expressed in words, which is exactly
what success criteria (1) and (2) provide.

My suggestion:

1.1 For all non-text content provide a text equivalent, or, if the content
cannot be expressed in words, an identifying label.

Level 1:
1. Non-text content that can be expressed in words has a text
equivalent explicitly associated with it.

2. Non-text content that cannot be expressed in words has an
   identifying label explicitly associated with it.

Any further clarification that may be needed belongs in the
informative notes following the checkpoint. The definition of "text
equivalent" remains unchanged.

This proposal will, in turn, doubtless be subject to comment.
Criticisms and alternatives are welcome.
Received on Tuesday, 5 November 2002 02:39:59 GMT

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