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Re: Issue #9 - RE: Summary of discussion related to baseline and techniques

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.its.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 15:43:18 +1000 (EST)
To: Neil Whiteley <neil.whiteley@tag2.net>
cc: wendy@w3.org, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0503311526580.20824@ariel.its.unimelb.edu.au>

On Thu, 31 Mar 2005, Neil Whiteley wrote:

> Whatever the outcome of the current discussions on baseline, the following
> statement is probably true:
> "The act of developing a technique that enables an author to satisfy a SC,
> inherently involves making at least one UA assumption".

Arguably this is not true of at least some of the general techniques. For
example a technique on writing style assumes only that the text can be
presented to a user, which I suppose could be called a UA assumption,
albeit a very minimal one that anything which counts as a UA for the
relevant content format would have to satisfy.

> In an ideal world that assumption would be the same for all techniques i.e.
> "The set of target UAs are assumed to conform to UAAG 1.0 level A". However,
> even in our ideal world, UAAG 1.0 P1 checkpoints provide users with the
> ability to alter UA state i.e. JavaScript on/off, CSS on/off etc. Therefore,
> additional assumptions must also be made regarding UA state as well as the
> set of target UAs. "Bang", goes our ideal world.

Actually, some have been arguing that the above is not an apt description
of the ideal world with respect to techniques. Rather, it has been
proposed that alternative techniques should be offered, corresponding to
different UA assumptions, but that the latter should be clearly specified
in the techniques to enable content developers to choose those which
suit the assumptions under which they decide to operate for the purposes
of a particular project.

While I think the UA requirements presupposed by techniques should be
documented where relevant, it would be tedious and unnecessary to do this
everywhere. Many techniques, for example, assume only that the
programming, markup or style language in which they are written has been
implemented according to specification with regard to the pertinent
language constructs, and that it is being processed by the user agent
(i.e., it is supported and active). Other techniques, however, make more
specific assumptions, and it is these which warrant explicit mention in
WCAG documents.
Received on Thursday, 31 March 2005 05:43:28 UTC

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