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RE: Key results and recommendations from Face to Face

From: Neil Whiteley <neil.whiteley@tag2.net>
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2005 12:33:19 -0000
To: <jasonw@ariel.its.unimelb.edu.au>
Cc: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <!~!UENERkVCMDkAAQACAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABgAAAAAAAAAIDllaWVPlkuX1m7OekKwzMKDAAAQAAAAUNvp+R8KlUqdQXzH319llwEAAAAA@tag2.net>

Jason wrote:
>
> Again, it would have to be decided what the minimum
> necessary level of implementation was, bringing us back to the
> difficult question of user agent support.

The technology baseline is impossible to define in a normative way. There
are just too many variables. All that you can do is decide upon (in a "pin
the tail on a donkey" kind of way) and state the baseline used in compiling
the guidelines.

Ultimately, the overall responsibility for baseline assumptions will have to
be shared with authors and publishers. It's the authors and publishers that
will know their target audience and decide which technologies they are going
to use.

In a corporate intranet environment, the audience is known. The available
technology is known. The baseline can be set without making too many
assumptions but policy and financial constraints may mean that the baseline
is below WCAG published baseline. Margin for error is low.

In the environment of the Web, assumptions have to be made which will vary
dependent upon target audience. Here, authors will need to adjust their
baseline assumptions above or below WCAG published baseline. In practice,
assumptions will mostly be made based on access logs, dubious published data
and the grapevine. Authors will adjust their baselines to satisfy client
requirements (specific technologies i.e. Flash) and financial constraints.
Margin for error is high.

Without "until user agents ..." or now more accurately "until your target
audience technology baseline can be assumed to meet or exceed the WCAG 2.0
published baseline ..." and appropriate repair techniques, the question is
really:
How do authors identify the level at which they have set their baseline?
Moreover, how do they claim compliance if their baseline is below WCAG
published baseline? Is it possible to test varying baselines?

I'm sure this doesn't help at all.

Regards,

Neil Whiteley
Tag2

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of Jason White
Sent: 26 March 2005 07:56
To: John M Slatin
Cc: Gregg Vanderheiden; Al Gilman; 
Subject: RE: Key results and recommendations from Face to Face


John M Slatin writes:
 > 
 > Perhaps "conventional" or "typical" would be better terms to use for
 > that first sense of the word "standard."  For example, it has become
 > "conventional" to use the link text "More ..." for a link to the
 > continuation of a news item.  By contrast, the HTML standard (in this
 > case a specification) requires that the link text is enclosed within an
 > anchor element.

John's choice of terminology is excellent. It also avoids the
objection that W3C Recommendations are, stricto sensu, not standards.
Perhaps we define "conventional and supported manner" to mean:

1. A manner prescribed in a technical specification defining the
   technologies used to implement the content.

2. A manner which has become customary within the community of Web
   content developers at large, or among specialists in the design of
   accessible content.

"Supported" would have to be defined in terms of implementation by
user agents or other applicable tools (e.g., content validation and
testing software). Again, it would have to be decided what the minimum
necessary level of implementation was, bringing us back to the
difficult question of user agent support.
Received on Saturday, 26 March 2005 12:33:53 GMT

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