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Re: Key results and recommendations from Face to Face

From: Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 14:09:04 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <002201c52fa9$7d81bc40$4502010a@K2>

Dear WCAG WG,

Please allow me to contribute some thoughts in the hope they may be
useful during your decision making:


On Wednesday, March 23, 2005 at 04:18, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:
> 1) Can't use UAAG as Baseline

I agree. It also brings up dependency issues which may have benefits for
the adoption of UAAG but may get very tricky to handle in the future.


> 2)  WCAG not set any explicit baseline

This concerns me, I think this puts a lot of burden on "authors" who may
not have the necessary skills to make a baseline assumption. Please see
some more comments on this issue below.


> 3) WCAG written as functional outcomes and not assume user tools and
technologies

I agree. I also think that proving WCAG 2.0 works on different tools and
technologies could be part of the implementations that get it to
Recommendation stage. For example, if you can show that the Guidelines
can be implemented using a couple of technologies such as HTML 4.01,
XHTML 1.1, and CSS 2; and that these implementations work on a variety
of tools and platforms; then I think this proves the objective of the
Guidelines.


> 4) With regard to baseline and techniques:
> 
> 1.	Techniques can not be more restrictive than guidelines otherwise

> techniques become normative.  [and Techniques should never be
normative.] 

Yes! (to both)


> 2.	Techniques documents may provide multiple techniques and those
techniques 
> may differ based on user agent assumptions. For example, we could have
2 
> techniques: 1. how to make scripts accessible for user agents and
assist. 
> tech that support scripts 2.  how to write content in such a way that
if 
> scripts are turned off the content degrades gracefully (i.e., still
usable 
> w/out scripting).  however, these two techniques are not mutually
exclusive 
> and one or the other is used depending on what technology choices are
made. 

If you will (need to) provide multiple techniques anyway, why not define
a default for "authors" who can not (for several reasons) make
assumptions on their audience? Let's stick to the scripting example:

Because you do not define a baseline, you need to define conformance to
the Guidelines under the assumption that user agents and assistive
technologies support scripting; as well as for the opposite assumption.
Correct?

Since you already (implicitly) define conformance to both assumptions
anyway, why not define that (for example) "scripts turned off" is the
default unless "authors" can safely assume a different audience?

The reason for my proposal is that I believe it would be very difficult
to fully shift the burden of "until user agents" onto to the "authors"
and essentially require them to know this information in order for them
to be able to use the Guidelines. Just to clarify, I do assume that
"authors" should have some expertise in order to properly implement
accessible Web sites but I do not expect them to be able to define a
baseline unless you provide them with solid guidance on how to do so
(i.e. guidelines).


> 5) Tests not set baseline

Agree very much.


Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Regards,
  Shadi


---                                                    --- 
Shadi Abou-Zahra,  Web Accessibility Specialist for Europe 
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C),        http://www.w3.org/ 
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), http://www.w3.org/WAI/ 
Evaluation and Repair Tools WG,  http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/ 
2004, Route des Lucioles - 06560 Sophia-Antipolis - France 
Voice: +33(0)4 92 38 50 64        Fax: +33(0)4 92 38 78 22 
Received on Wednesday, 23 March 2005 13:09:05 GMT

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