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RE: On process and how to help

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 15:16:02 -0500
Message-ID: <C46A1118E0262B47BD5C202DA2490D1A02A414F1@MAIL02.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Gregg Vanderheiden" <gv@trace.wisc.edu>, "WAI-GL" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Gregg, thanks for this account of our process.

My original post about "contracted words in Hebrew" was sent in response
to something that occurred during last week's teleconference.   A
participant took an ation item to write a definition of "contracted
words," and there was a specific request that the definition take
account of such words in Hebrew.  My personal memories of Hebrew school
were hardly sufficient basis for arguing that trying to write a
definition like that would get us into trouble, so I asked a colleague
who is a Hebrew scholar and a native speaker for information and passed
her reply on to the list.

I should  have taken more care to explain the context of my message, and
I apologize for not having done so.


"Good design is accessible design."

Dr. John M. Slatin, Director 
Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin 
FAC 248C 
1 University Station G9600 
Austin, TX 78712 
ph 512-495-4288, fax 512-495-4524 
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu 
Web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility 

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Gregg Vanderheiden
Sent: Sunday, May 09, 2004 11:31 PM
To: 'WAI-GL'
Subject: On process and how to help

Regarding  contractions discussion.


This is where the process sometimes seems to get in the way.    But we
need to follow process....

The words that we currently have in the guidelines - are not necessarily
ones we want there in the long run -- or even our current thinking.
have to read the guidelines  -- and then read all of the issues and
comments in bugzilla that relate to it.  

Reacting to a single post on the list by saying that the whole topic is
cow droppings only creates confusion and heat -- not light.

When I made my comments recently I was responding to the whole
discussion of
disambiguation -- which is what we are currently looking at.   Abbvs.
Contractions, etc  are part of a larger problem that includes jargon and
other words that the user cannot figure out.      That is where the
discussion is.    This is an area that is a 'usability' problem for all
(which we do NOT attend to in our guidelines)  but also an accessibility
problem for people with cognitive, language and learning disabilities.
(also screen readers and artificial agents of all types.)

If the meaning can be derived from context automatically (and I believe
it can in most cases for Hebrew by the way) then nothing should be
required of
the author.   That is my view -- but we haven't gotten to this issue so
don't know where the group is on it yet.   And neither does anyone else
this list.  

So to say that "the group this" or "the group that" because of either a
single posting or even the current status of the wording of the
-- only shows that one doesn't understand the process.  

When we come out with 'consensus' statements -- then one can comment.
And the best way to comment is to make a suggestion for how to address
the issue
that the item was focused at.     Often the group reaches consensus on a
particular wording only because it cannot find another - and this is
than what we have.   We often have to go through several of these before
get it right.   Good suggestions are always welcome.

And we also periodically take grand looks at the scope etc of the
to see where we are.   And we look at structure and what is in or out,
what are things that we thing people really should do and what things
included for those who want to go the extra mile.   And these should not
confused either.  


 -- ------------------------------ 
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
Professor - Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 

-----Original Message-----
From: John M Slatin [mailto:john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu] 
Sent: Friday, May 07, 2004 10:58 PM
To: Gregg Vanderheiden; WAI-GL
Subject: RE: Contracted words in Hebrew

Gregg,If disambiguation is the problem we're trying to solve, that's
fine. But it won't helpsolve that problem if we describe it incorrectly,
and the term "contracted words" is not an accurate term for Hebrew words
in which vowels are indicated by diacritical marks.

Contractions in English, such as "isn't," "It's," and so forth, are
formed when *two* words are joined together and some of the letters are
delted and replaced with an apostrophe.  That's not the ame thing at all
as the case of single words in languages that use diacritics to indicate
vowels, etc.


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-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Gregg Vanderheiden
Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2004 11:49 PM
To: 'WAI-GL'
Subject: RE: Contracted words in Hebrew

Actually,  you appear to have missed both the problem and suggested
solution.  I think you are referring to older discussions.

The problem was ambiguous words.   Where, by leaving out vowels and
you ended up with written contractions that could stand for any of
several different words. (not words that have different  but unique ways
of being written). 

The solution under discussion was just to ensure that there was some
for disambiguating.  It did not specify how.   If this can be done
automatically, then there may be no requirement that this be done at all
by the author.  Thus there would be no requirement to write in "Kiddie"
language - or even to provide any markup.   But we are still exploring
- hence the conversations. 

By the way - this is also a problem with Chinese and some Japanese
systems.   Thus it is one that we were asked to consider and think of
to address.

What will end up in the final guidelines -- we do not know yet.  But we
are not taking problems off the table.  Nor making any judgments about
what the solutions strategies will be -- and what we would leave in as
suggestions for the various levels.  

If you have ideas for addressing things or observations that are not
already in Bugzilla (and therefore open issues  - not forgotten issues
or comments) please contribute.  But please don't tell people to be

(and do give some latitude for people to make mistakes or plow old
It happens.   But we try to pick up the old issues and comments when we
reviews -- and it works out in our discussions where we remind people of
past discussions and input. )

Please join us for the discussions. 

 -- ------------------------------ 
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
Professor - Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Joe Clark
Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2004 5:13 PM
Subject: Re: Contracted words in Hebrew

> Perhaps I asked her the wrong question-- did anyone have something
> else in mind in discussing contractions in Hebrew?

The intent in this patently ridiculous guideline is to force authors to
write kiddie Hebrew and Arabic (and Urdu, Pashto, Dari, and the like,
possibly even Yiddish, a more unusual case) with vowels always in place.

That isn't how we write the adult forms of those languages.

Can we drop this now?


    Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
    Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
    Expect criticism if you top-post
Received on Monday, 10 May 2004 16:16:08 UTC

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