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Re: Mock-up of merged WCAG 2.0 and XAG

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 07:51:34 +1000
Message-Id: <3EDB13B3-81CB-11D8-952E-000A958826AA@sidar.org>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
To: "Ian B. Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>, Marja-Riitta Koivunen <marja@annotea.org>

As  the current editor of the document, and having been involved in XAG 
and WCAG from their first drafts both as a W3C staff and once again now 
as an outsider, I would like to offer a few reflections:

I think it would be helpful to have a recommendation that distills what 
accessibility groups including the WCAG and PF groups have learned 
about how to make formats that support accessible content. I am not 
sure that merging this work with the WCAG work would get us to WCAG 2.0 
faster.

There are some outstanding issues in WCAG 2.0 that would need to be 
resolved if these two were to be merged. While they are separated, the 
question of what is really the responsibility of the author, and what 
is the responsibility of the user agent, has a low impact on XAG. 
Similarly, XAG currently has a single level conformance scheme. It is 
clearly designed to direct the author of a schema in the way they work, 
in a way that does not suggest it would be easy to merge with the 
current WCAG conformance approaches.

On the other hand, there has been no charter, and so no real work on 
XAG, for some time. It is currently lacking in techniques which would 
allow some reasonable testability, and despite some work that has been 
done on automatic testing, XAG seems likely to be reliant on 
substantial human judgement for a while yet.

I think Ian is correct that being able to say "use accessibility 
features available", "use an accessible format" and "use the semantics 
of a format according to specification", rather than trying to list 
lots of requirements is a step forward. In order to produce something 
useful, at least developing that to a comprehensive set of techniques 
for HTML, and preferably for half a dozen formats, is important. 
Otherwise people are left with some nice principles but insufficient 
guidance. SMIL, SVG, MathML, PDF, Flash would be the sort of list that 
Sidar would like to see.

Incorporating the XAG work has the benefit that WCAG is actually 
chartered, and has the right to publish W3C working drafts, whereas 
since PF has not been in that situation for a while I have not written 
a new draft. It has the drawback that there is some substantial work to 
be done, and the PF group has developed some understanding about what 
that work involves and the techniques and approaches available. But 
then the current proposal for a charter for PF [pfc] suggests maybe 
making XAG a note - that is, something of less status than a normative 
document.

Where do we want to go with this?

cheers

Chaals

[pfc] http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/charter200402.html

On 28 Mar 2004, at 02:22, Marja-Riitta Koivunen wrote:

>
> I agree with Ian. These need to be at the same level. If the languages 
> and data formats do not provide support for storing the information 
> needed later when developing content it is hard to make the content 
> accessible.
>
> Marja
>
> At 09:27 AM 3/27/2004 -0500, Ian B. Jacobs wrote:
>> On Sat, 2004-03-27 at 03:51, Roberto Scano - IWA/HWG wrote:
>> > XAG could become a Techniques Document for WCAG 2.0....
>> > Like HTML, CSS, etc. techniques.
>> > What do you think about this proposal?
>>
>> I think XAG requirements deserve to be at the same level
>> as WCAG requirements.
>>
>> In the proposal linked below, the basic idea is that
>> WCAG 2.0 would say "To build accessible content, you start
>> with a format that supports accessibility." What defines
>> "an accessible format"? Another series of requirements that
>> are already well-known to the WAI Community:
>>
>>   * if the format supports audio, it must also support
>>     the ability to associate a synchronized transcript.
>>   * if the format supports images, it must also support
>>     text equivalents,
>>
>> And so forth. These are some of the XAG requirements today.
>> They themselves have techniques associated with them:
>>
>>  * What's a good way to allow authors to provide alternatives?
>>    The "alt" approach of HTML or the "switch" element of SMIL?
>>    What are the advantages of each approach?
>>
>>  _ Ian
>>
>> > > [2] http://www.w3.org/2003/11/12-ij-wcag20.html
>>
>> --
>> Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
>> Tel:                     +1 718 260-9447
>
>
--
Charles McCathieNevile                          Fundación Sidar
charles@sidar.org                                http://www.sidar.org
Received on Monday, 29 March 2004 16:54:24 UTC

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