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RE: Key results and recommendations from Face to Face

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 15:03:53 -0600
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B7ADFC5@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Al Gilman" <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Al Gilman wrote:
<blockquote>
In one model of progress, practices evolve from experimental techniques
to known-good techniques to normative techniques to hard technology
(embedded in and enforced by the technology platform). Normative
techniques are an essential stage in the life-cycle of technological
practice.
</blockquote>

I can well believe that this is the case when *technology* is the
expected outcome. By "*technology*" here I mean such things as user
agents, authoring tools, markup languages, etc. But we are writing Web
*Content* Accessibility Guidelines, so I need some help understanding
how this logic works for *content*.

Thanks!
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/


 



-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Al Gilman
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2005 2:44 pm
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: Re: Key results and recommendations from Face to Face



These sound scary.

At least, at a preliminary discussion of this direction in PF, serious
reservations were expressed.

A few, not exhaustive or definitive examples inline below.

Al

>From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
>Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2005 21:18:13 -0600
>To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
>Message-Id: <20050323051833.95C3960C14B@m18.spamarrest.com>
>
>
>
>At the WCAG Face to Face in Los Angeles March 21, 2005 the working 
>group made very good progress on our key questions regarding baseline 
>and structure.
>
>
>
>On structure we reached agreement on an overall structure  - and are 
>now putting it together in a form that is easy to review.  We will 
>submit this to the list as soon as we can get it pulled together with 
>some examples. Basically it is not terribly different than what we have

>but straightens things out and makes the roles of the various documents

>clearer.
>
>
>
>On baseline we reached consensus on the items listed below.  The 
>consensus was unanimous with the following people in attendance: Jenae 
>Andershonis, Mike Barta, Doyle Burnett, Ben Caldwell, Wendy Chisholm, 
>Michael Cooper, Becky Gibson, David MacDonald, Loretta Guarino Reid, 
>John Slatin, Andi Snow-Weaver, Makoto Ueki, Gregg Vanderheiden, 
>Takayuki Watanabe
>
>
>
>These are submitted to the list for review.
>
>We will accept comments from the list - and then consider the following

>items for formal adoption with revisions to accommodate list comments.
>
>This review for adoption will take place at the working group 
>teleconference on March 31st  2005 .
>
>
>There were 5 consensus (unanimous) items from the meeting.
>
>
>1) Can't use UAAG as Baseline
>
>
>It was concluded that UAAG 1.0 does not resolve the baseline issue 
>because it does not resolve key questions like whether script support 
>is provided.
>
>We will therefore not be relying on UAAG as a baseline.

Just because UAAG 1.0 doesn't answer all questions doesn't
mean it shouldn't be a key source in profiling User Agent expectations.

>2)  WCAG not set any explicit baseline

The pace of change in browser functionality has slowed radically since
1997 when the WAI was launched.

Who will do this?  Should we enlist DLNA?

>WCAG will not set an explicit baseline; instead, external decision 
>makers will make baseline assumptions or requirements. These include 
>[but are not limited to] governments, customers, companies, managers, 
>and authors.
>
>
>3) WCAG written as functional outcomes and not assume user tools and 
>technologies
>
>
>WCAG will not explicitly state what technologies are supported or what 
>tools users will have at their disposal. WCAG criteria should be 
>written as functional outcomes (see clarification #1) and therefore 
>should not be specific to any technologies such as scripting, css, etc.

A plan more in line with the W3C culture would be:

WCAG requirements should be identified at
the functional outcomes level.  The W3C standard way
to publish this is a Requirements Document which has the
status of a Working Group Note.

In addition, requirements should be identified in
bindings to a variety of widely-used Web technologies.
These can and perhaps should be normative.

At the very least, they should be no less authoritative
than the more abstract requirements.

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

Cannot follow the logic, here.  Normative is not equal to restrictive.

The UAAG has provided a fine example of declaring *sufficient*
techniques which are then normative, but not restrictive.

For example:
http://www.w3.org/TR/UAAG10/guidelines.html#tech-conditional-content

>  [and Techniques should never be normative.]

Normative techniques would seem to be necessary to synchronize practice
between authoring tools and user tools. Take the example Jon Gunderson
is pushing us to answer: "How does the AT or UA know from the markup
that something is a navbar?" (so that go-to and escape-from methods can
be furnished for this object)" Authors won't do what the browsers and AT
don't support, and vice versa. Agreements in the form of consensus
conventions are the W3C way out of this chicken-and-egg dilemma. How do
you justify the above statement? It seems straight backwards.

If the techniques are not normative, how will anybody on one side of the
equation believe that the other side will fulfil the contract?

In one model of progress, practices evolve from experimental techniques
to known-good techniques to normative techniques to hard technology
(embedded in and enforced by the technology platform). Normative
techniques are an essential stage in the life-cycle of technological
practice.

>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.
>
>5) Tests not set baseline

Without agreed methods of observing the de-jure normative functional
outcomes, will not the guidelines be unenforceably vague?

>
>Tests will not set a baseline.  Multiple tests may be provided to 
>correspond to multiple techniques.
>
>
>Clarifications:
>
>
>1.	Scripting is used as an example because that has come up often.
>These assumptions also apply to plug-ins, etc.
>2.	Functional outcomes  - may require tweaks of existing guidelines
or
>success criteria
>3.	Conformance claims are not addressed by the resolutions from 21
>March 2005. This requires future work.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>Action and timeline items from Face to Face:
>
>
>Before 24 March telecon
>
>
>*	Each person think about consequences from resolutions from 21
March
>2005
>
>
>At 24 March telecon
>
>
>*	Discuss consequences from resolutions of 21 March 2005
>*	Discuss long-term plan
>
>
>By 28 March
>
>
>*	Mike [Gregg, Michael, John] - Impact assessment per guideline
and
>success criteria
>*	Michael [Becky, Ben] - Impact assessment for techniques (classes
of
>techniques: conformance, informative, additional)
>
>
>At 31 March telecon
>
>
>*	Consider for adoption resolutions from 21 March 2005

Adopting the above stated level of abstraction is dubious in the absence
of a fully fleshed out proposal about the profilable conformance
assessment scheme.

Al

>
>*	Impact assessment per guideline and success criteria
>*	Impact assessment for techniques (classes of techniques:
>conformance, informative, additional)
>*	Status reports on Guideline 4.2 proposal and conformance claim
>assessment/proposal
>
>
>By 4 April
>
>
>*	Wendy [Ben, Mike] - Proposal to discuss/solve conformance claims
>(impact assessment)
>*	Loretta [Mike, David, Andi] - Revisit guideline 4.2 issue
summary
>and generate new proposal for Guideline 4.2
>
>
>At 7 April telecon
>
>
>*	Proposal for Guideline 4.2 (from LGR, MLB, DMD, ASW)
>*	Conformance claim assessment/proposal
>
>
>By 11 April
>
>
>*	John [Ben, Michael, Wendy, Gregg, David, Becky] User analysis
for
>structure and structure proposal/prototype for 1.1, 1.3, 2.4, 3.1, and 
>new 4.2
>
>
>14 April telecon
>
>
>*	Discussion of structure prototype
>
>
>By September - be stable enough for WAB Cluster work to move forward on

>evaluation suite.  Minimum: Candidate Recommendation?? (check timeline)
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>Gregg
>
>------------------------
>
>Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
>Professor - Depts of Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
>Director - Trace R & D Center
>University of Wisconsin-Madison
>< <http://trace.wisc.edu/> http://trace.wisc.edu/> FAX 608/262-8848
>For a list of our list discussions http://trace.wisc.edu/lists/
>
>  <http://trace.wisc.edu:8080/mailman/listinfo/>
>
>
>
>
>
>Received on Wednesday, 23 March 2005 05:18:46 GMT
>
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