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RE: Key results and recommendations from Face to Face

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.its.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2005 19:50:14 +1100
Message-ID: <16963.53446.434484.709144@jdc.local>
To: "Gregg Vanderheiden" <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Cc: "'John M Slatin'" <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>, "'Al Gilman'" <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Gregg Vanderheiden writes:
 > 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.

In the original post I was trying to clarify what I believed to be one
of the central issues Al raised. Suppose a format specification
provides features that allow a certain requirement to be met in
several different ways. That is, there are various distinct usage
practices that would satisfy the WCAG success criterion. To support
accessibility, content developers and software implementors need to
know which to support.

The most likely outcome is that the techniques documents would fill
the void left by the absence of, or inconsistencies among, usage
practices with respect to the success criterion. In substance, the
techniques documents would be legislating by specifying one or more of
the alternative solutions allowed by the format specification; and
this is what would give rise to the accusation I mentioned of
conferring a de facto authoritative status on the techniques.

One answer might be to adopt a technique development process whereby
proposed techniques are implemented first, tested for efficacy, and
only then integrated into a document; the techniques documents might
then be truly statements of empirical fact rather than disguised
norms.
Received on Friday, 25 March 2005 08:52:22 GMT

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