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RE: General Techniques...

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 09:13:28 -0600
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B7ADDCE@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "John M Slatin" <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>, "Alistair Garrison" <alistair.garrison@accessinmind.com>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
An addendum to my intial response to Alistair's suggestion that we
consider scrapping the General Techniques as a standalone document and
integrating the content of general techniques into each of the
technology-specific techniques documents:
We might consider standing the suggestion on its head.  In other words,
the technology-specific documents would go away as standalone document,
and instead the technology-specific techniques would be integrated into
the general.  I don't mean that the user would then see *all* techniques
for *all* possible technologies-- that way madness lies.  But the
filtering mechanism that Ben and Alistair and David, etc., have been
working on for the Checklists (the one Ben discussed at yesterday's
call) could also be used to generate a Techniques document customized to
the current needs of the current user.
 
That is, the user would start by indicating what s/he was trying to do,
on what scale (individual page, entire site, etc.), using what
technologies (XHTML, Javascript, MathML, CSS for example). Once the user
pushed the View My Techniques button, a view containing the relevant
techniques, both general and technology-specific, would be delivered.
 
This *could* conceivably work.  Unlike the General Techniques as it
stands now, the technology-specific Techniques documents are already
written as collections of individual techniques-- they're atomistic
already, and each technique is written without reference to the others
(even though they're gathered under larger headings like Links or
Navigation Support, etc., etc.
 
Wendy has been working on a prototype that might lend itself to this.
It's not quite ready for viewing yet, but soon will be, I think.
 
John
 
 

"Good design is accessible design." 
John Slatin, Ph.D.
Director, Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin
FAC 248C
1 University Station G9600
Austin, TX 78712
ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu
web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility/
<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 John M Slatin
	Sent: Friday, February 11, 2005 8:59 am
	To: Alistair Garrison; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
	Subject: RE: General Techniques...
	
	
	Alistair wrote:
	<blockquote>
	To my mind, I still believe it might be far less confusing to
the reader if the guidance provided through the General techniques
document was written directly
	into each technology specific techniques document (i.e. HTML,
CSS, etc...) as specific techniques, examples and tests - removing, the
need for the General
	Techniques document entirely.
	 
	This might also help to straighten them out, getting the
techniques where they belong.
	 
	 
	</blockquote>
	 
	I wonder if we could accomplish something along the lines of
what Alistair proposes by pulling material from the general techs source
xml into the technology-specific techniques documents on the fly.  In
other words, there could be multiple views: a user could opt to read the
General Techniques as if it were a document in its own right, more or
less as it's being constructed now (though with clearer structures,
mgreater consistency than is currently present, etc., etc.-- all the
things we've been starting to talk through).  Another  user (or the same
user on a different afternoon<grin>) could choose to go directly to the
HTML or SVG document, and could then see both the general techniques and
the technology-specific content.
	It seems to me that we might run into difficulty with this
approach in some contexts.  For example, I'm not sure how well this
approach would work for CSS and scripting techniques, because the
assumption is that both of those technologies are always used together
with other technologies, whether XHTML or something else.
	 
	Another difficulty would be that each general technique would
have to make sense both as a standalone text *and* in multiple contexts.
(Sort of like what we require for link text and section titles-- they
have to work "when read by themselves or as a group" <grin>).  That kind
of writing can be demanding at sentence- or phrase-level (as in link
text and section titles).  It's extraordinarily difficult for longer
materials, especially when they would have to work in so many different
contexts.
	 
	The closest model I can think of is Marvin Minsky's  book
_Society of Mind_ (1986), which consists of a number of separate essays,
each contained on a single (oversized) page, that can be read as a
linear sequence or as  a set of possible combinations.  It's a
theoreticaldescription *and* a performative demonstration of the
connectionist model of mind.  It's brilliant, and took him years to
write.  The essays work in these multiple permutations because they're
all written by Minsky, who thus has control over all the connective
tissue.
	 
	This is not to say that we shouldn't try for it, but it's not a
straightforward thing as far as I can tell.
	 
	John"Good design is accessible design." 
	John Slatin, Ph.D.
	Director, Accessibility Institute
	University of Texas at Austin
	FAC 248C
	1 University Station G9600
	Austin, TX 78712
	ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524
	email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu
	web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility/
<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 Alistair Garrison
		Sent: Friday, February 11, 2005 3:47 am
		To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
		Subject: RE: General Techniques...
		
		

		Dear All, 

		 

		I agree...

		 

		To my mind, I still believe it might be far less
confusing to the reader if the guidance provided through the General
techniques document was written directly into each technology specific
techniques document (i.e. HTML, CSS, etc...) as specific techniques,
examples and tests - removing, the need for the General Techniques
document entirely.

		 

		This might also help to straighten them out, getting the
techniques where they belong.

		 

		Alistair 

		 

		 

		
________________________________


		From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org
[mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Gregg Vanderheiden
		Sent: 10 February 2005 18:20
		To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
		Subject: RE: General Techniques...

		 

		This is a problem.  And we do need to straighten them
out. 

		 

		Also we could have a link that would patch the general
on the specific.  But they are organized differently and I don't think
we  can shuffle them together.  And I don't think we should maintain
them already shuffled or the text will vary from one to another over
time. 

		 

		We are working on getting the techniques where they
belong. They currently are mixed up. 

		 

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

		
________________________________


		From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org
[mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Alistair Garrison
		Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2005 10:24 AM
		To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
		Subject: General Techniques...

		 

		Dear All, 

		 

		Over the past weeks I have been undertaking an
end-to-end analysis of the WCAG 2.0 Guidelines and Techniques (as far as
reasonably possible).

		 

		The issue I come across most is the fact Technology
Specific techniques and General techniques don't seem to line up -
leaving me confused about what I need to do for conformance to WCAG 2.0.
You can find technology specific techniques which go too far and specify
things which should be left to the General techniques i.e. specified
values for alt text; or General techniques which are over-extended to
talk about technology specific things i.e. captions, mathematical
expressions, video.     

		 

		Again, I state that this is causing me a great deal of
confusion, and I'm sure others are finding (or will find) the same
thing.

		 

		To my mind, it might be far less confusing to the reader
if the guidance provided through the General techniques document was
written directly into each technology specific techniques document (i.e.
HTML, CSS, etc...) as specific techniques, examples and tests -
removing, the need for the General Techniques document entirely.

		 

		I would be very interested to hear the thoughts and
comments of others on this matter.

		 

		Alistair 

		 

		Alistair Garrison 

		Managing Director 

		Accessinmind Limited UK Filial

		 

		Tel.: 0046 8 44 65 287
		Website: http://www.accessinmind.com
		 
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Received on Friday, 11 February 2005 15:13:30 GMT

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