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RE: Key results and recommendations from Face to Face

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 18:47:22 -0600
To: <jasonw@ariel.its.unimelb.edu.au>, "'John M Slatin'" <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Cc: "'Al Gilman'" <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20050325004727.0A8CB1CC3D4@m14.spamarrest.com>

Pretty good Jason,  except where you made the leap to "if there is no
standard than whatever techniques says is de facto standard".  This is not
true.  If there is no standard and supported manner then there is none --
and you can't comply with that technology.  Not being in the techniques doc
however does not mean it doesn't exist.   And a technique that is in the
techniques doc that is not labeled as standard and supported is also not
sufficient.   If a technique is in the techniques doc as a standard and
supported technique and it is not - then the techniques doc is in error but
still the technique does not satisfy the guidelines.

The only way to satisfy the guidelines or their success criteria is to
satisfy the success criteria.   The techniques docs just document known ways
to do that (and the GUIDE doc also helps you understand the SC.)   But
things can satisfy the SC that are NOT in the techniques doc.  And there
will be techniques in the techniques doc that do not satisfy the SC.

So the GUIDE and techniques docs remain informative - and not normative. 


 -- ------------------------------ 
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 Jason White
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2005 6:33 PM
To: John M Slatin
Cc: Al Gilman; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: RE: Key results and recommendations from Face to Face

John M Slatin writes:
 > Thanks, Al.  This is a beautiful exposition and it helps me very much.
 > There is nothing in WCAG 2.0 as vague as "structure your content." We
 > are striving for success criteria that are written as testable
 > assertions about content in its encoded form, and to provide sufficient
 > and testable techniques for encoding that content.

True, but here's the issue. Gregg quite ingeniously suggested
tightening the success criteria to demand that structure, text
equivalents, lexicographical information and other aspects of the
content required by the guidelines should be encoded in a "standard
and supported manner". The idea was that what "standard and supported"
meant could be construed as an empirical question to which the
techniques documents would provide answers for each format or
language. "Standard and supported" would then be defined in terms of
conformance to technical specifications, and the adoption of practices
supported "in the field" (Gregg's words, if I recall correctly),
either by implementations or as suggested by documents such as WCAG

Another way of interpreting the proposal, however, would be to argue
that it effectively makes the techniques normative: where there is no
established practice or implementation experience that settles what
"standard and supported" amounts to, the techniques would become de
facto authoritative. This could be seen as crossing the demarcational
line between informative and normative by effectively requiring the
techniques documents to be followed in order to satisfy the
"standard and supported" requirement.

The proposal thus transforms the problem to that of providing
sufficiently applicable and testable criteria for determining whether
a particular technique for applying a success criterion using a given
technology is "standard and supported"; and I think the question is
still open whether this can be made workable.
Received on Friday, 25 March 2005 00:47:34 UTC

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