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RE: Definition of "content" and related terms

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Sat, 17 May 2003 11:03:48 +1000
Message-ID: <16069.35444.349056.898076@jdc.local>
To: "Charles Oppermann" <charles@coppersoftware.com>
Cc: "'Web Content Guidelines'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Charles Oppermann writes:
 > 
 > Maybe this has been covered already, but what about content developed using
 > W3C technologies (HTML, CSS, etc.) but are not referenced using a URI?
 > 
 > For example, many client applications use such technologies in their
 > presentation.  For example, Microsoft Outlook uses HTML, CSS and the DOM for
 > several features, including the Outlook Today page, and the Find and
 > Organize features.  The source for these features are embedded in the binary
 > files that are part of the application.

This and other borderline examples have indeed been discussed, but
without reaching any consensus on whether they should be covered by
WCAG at all or whether they ought to be firmly within the purview of
other software accessibility guidelines, with WCAG applicable only to
resources having a URI.

My own opinion is that the decision whether to apply WCAG to anything
that isn't directly covered by the definition of Web content, should
be left to the developer. For example, the developer of a software
application might decide that certain XML content used within that
application can best be made accessible by applying WCAG to it.

Whatever we decide to do, I think it belongs in the Scope section of
the document rather than in the definition of "content". We might also
want to add a statement to the definition of "content" asserting that
this definition is not intended to restrict the scope or applicability
of the guidelines, which it may be possible to implement in software
or other resources that don't satisfy the definition of "content".

The ultimate test, it seems to me, is whether it makes most sense to
apply WCAG, or software accessibility guidelines, in any particular case, and
this working group shouldn't curtail the flexibility of software
developers in deciding whether, if what they are creating isn't a
clear example of Web content, to apply WCAG to any part of it.
Received on Friday, 16 May 2003 21:04:03 GMT

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