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Summary of baseline proposals since 23 March

From: Wendy Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 15:13:08 -0500
Message-ID: <424C59D4.3010307@w3.org>
To: wai-gl <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Along with a variety of issues raised about the proposed resolutions 
about setting a baseline (or not), there were at least 6 proposals. 
There is overlap between some of them, i.e., I don't think they are all 
mutually exclusive. 

 This is a quick and incomplete summary. I wanted to get something out 
before the meeting (sorry for the short notice).  If you felt you sent a 
proposal but it is not in this list, please respond to the message on 
the list so that we string them all together.

There is no preference in the order.  This is the order in which they 
appear in the threads of conversations as captured in my notes at [1].

1. Baseline based on knowledge and assumptions one can make about the 

   1. The one assumption that everyone should make is that people with
      disabilities are in the audience.
   2. If a decision maker (a government, a customer, a company, a
      manager, or an author) *can* make further assumptions about the
      audience (either because they are a government that gives tools to
      its citizens or a company that sells an enterprise application
      that requires specific technology), then an alternative is not
      needed (for technology that might turned off or not supported).
   3. If a decision maker *can not* make further assumptions about the
      audience (because the decision maker is publishing to the whole
      Web or doesn't have control over user tools), then the content is
      functional when technologies are turned off or not supported *or*
      an alternative must be provided.


   1. Concern that if one can not make assumptions, would be limited to
      HTML and HTTP
   2. Concern that authors would not be encouraged to innovate or use
      accessibility features of new technologies
   3. Assumption that the author's choice is tied to availability. Claim
      that it is only tied to availability if audience is unknown. If
      know audience, it is not tied to availability.

2. No baseline set in WCAG 2.0; materials provided to help authors make 
a decision


   1. How much information would be provided?
   2. Who would provide it?
   3. How does this effect fragmentation/harmonization?

3. UAAG-related

If there is a UAAG-conformant implementation of the technology, then 
content written in reliance on that technology should be regarded as 
accessible so long as it meets the WCAG success criteria. If there is 
not a UAAG-conformant implementation of the technology, but the content 
makes use of repair strategies which adequately compensate for the 
requirements of UAAG that aren't supported by at least one 
implementation, then likewise the content should be considered 
conformant, provided it meets the success criteria.


   1. UAAG 1.0 says, "Toggle scripts: Allow configuration not to execute
      any executable content (e.g., scripts and applets)."  Does
      scripting fall into UAAG (and an alternative needs to be provided
      when the user turns scripts off) or does it fall into repair

4. Non-normative changing baseline in techniques


   1. What do conformance claims look like?
   2. How do we describe conformance in WCAG 2.0?

5. Non-normative changing baseline in the "Guide"
This baseline would be for World Wide Web use, i.e., public sites with 
an international or unspecified audience, and would be the one we 
strongly *recommend* authors use unless they have specific reasons they 
can use a higher baseline. This way, we can provide a recommendation 
that is not normative but we strongly expect authors to follow, and is 
current to the technology of the day. [clarification: The WCAG group 
should provide a _recommended_ baseline in a non-normative document. But 
it is only a recommendation, not binding on conformance, and authors can 
(and sometimes, should) use a different baseline.]


   1. What do conformance claims look like?
   2. How do we describe conformance in WCAG 2.0?
   3. Effect on fragmentation/harmonization?

6. Authors specify own baseline based on the standard and supported 
technologies used in the content


   1. Define "standard and supported."
   2. How large of a loophole is this?

[1] Notes and issues at: 


wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
Received on Thursday, 31 March 2005 20:13:15 UTC

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