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Re: Words in place of optional

From: Wendy Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 12:32:15 -0400
Message-Id: <6.1.2.0.2.20050727121517.04165120@localhost>
To: lisa@ubaccess.com, wai-gl <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

At 12:11 PM 7/27/2005, Lisa Seeman wrote:

>I am a bit concerned with using the word optional for techniques that do 
>not map to  success criteria.
>
>Some techniques are less important and hence can be marked as optional. 
>However a lot of important techniques for the accessibility of the content 
>do not map to success criteria  because they are hard to test etc...
>
>I think labeling them optional makes important techniques sound 
>unimportant . I would prefer a term such as preferred , encouraged or 
>advanced techniques.

I understand your concern, however, *everything* is important for 
accessibility - this is why we've defined the levels as we have. We have 
specifically chosen not to reuse the priority definitions from WCAG 1.0 
because they ranked checkpoints in terms of "importance."

The proposal discussed in today's techniques teleconference was that some 
techniques are sufficient to meet success criteria - meaning that if you 
follow this technique it should be enough to meet a success 
criterion.  Other techniques are "optional" because following them is not 
sufficient for meeting conformance.  If you choose to implement an optional 
technique it is because you want to do something extra and that it will not 
likely effect conformance.  It is not a matter of importance. We are trying 
to clearly indicate what is sufficient to conform to the guidelines.

I can hear you saying, "well if it's extra and not required for conformance 
it's not important."  Unfortunately, some people will interpret it that 
way, but the only way to overcome that is to put everything at level 1 and 
now I can hear a whole host of other voices saying, "no."  So, we must find 
a compromise.  I believe that today's proposal is the closest we will get. 
If you have another proposal that addresses these issues, I'm happy to 
listen, but over the last 7 years I haven't heard anything better.

Best,
--w 
Received on Wednesday, 27 July 2005 16:32:29 GMT

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