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RE: Definition of "technology": proposed modification

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 12:07:06 -0600
To: "'Tim Boland'" <frederick.boland@nist.gov>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00ea01c6325a$a20eeb50$ee8cfea9@NC6000BAK>
Thanks Tim


-          yes- all the definitions are being changed into ISO format.  (a
phrase that can substitute for the word). 

o       I am in the process of doing that now

-           Your notes below are helpful to this

-          With regard to linking to definitions - we only do that if we
feel that the common definition for the term is not sufficient.   To meet
our own guidelines however we will need to provide some method for
identifying specific definitions of words used in an unusual or restricted





 -- ------------------------------ 
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
Professor - Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 
The Player for my DSS sound file is at http://tinyurl.com/dho6b




From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of Tim Boland
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2006 7:58 AM
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: Re: Definition of "technology": proposed modification

For proposed definition of technology, do we want to say "functionality
composed of markup language(s), programming language(s), style sheet(s),
data format(s), or API(s)", since we have a singular term "technology" with
plurals (example: markup languages, etc.) in the definition, so need to
specify how plurals are combined if necessary to satisfy definition of
singular term (that is, a technology could be composed of one or more items
from the given list) .  

Then, do we want to link to/definitions for what specifically constitutes a
markup language, programming language, etc.?   I notice that none of these
items is currently defined in the WCAG2.0 Glossary [1], but there may be
links to definitions elsewhere. For example, CSS2.1 [2] defines a "style
sheet" as:

"A set of statements that specify presentation of a document.
Style sheets may have three different origins: author, user, and user agent.
The interaction of these sources is described in the section on cascading
and inheritance. "

Such definitions may be useful in consideration of specifically what a
technology is for purposes of future WCAG2.0 conformance in terms of

 QUESTION: Is this list of items denoted by "markup language(s), programming
language(s), etc" a "closed set"?   In other words, would there ever be some
other additional (different) kind of item in the future that might qualify
for inclusion in the list?  Do we want to restrict "technology" to just
those five items mentioned, or do we want to allow the possibility of future
inclusions, by saying "functionality composed of (for example) markup
language(s), ..etc.)?

SIDE OBSERVATION:  I notice that some of the definitions in [1] are complete
sentences, and others are merely clauses (not complete sentences). 
For example, the definition of "feature" is a complete sentence, whereas
"function" is defined as a clause (not a complete sentence).   Should we,
for consistency's sake, have definitions be in one or the other formats?
Should all definitions have a common template for expression of the
definition, for uniformity of expression?

Thanks and best wishes
Tim Boland NIST

[1]: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/appendixA.html
[2]: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/conform.html

At 10:59 AM 2/13/2006 -0600, you wrote:

Here's a proposal to update our definition of "technology." This is not
covered by last week's survey on Glossary Issues.

Technology means a data format, programming or markup language, protocol
or API.

markup languages, programming languages, style sheets, data formats, or

- delete the phrase "technology means a"; this makes the definition
conform to ISO format.
- Add "style sheets" to the list of things included in the definition;
this corrects an oversight
- Remove "protocol" from the list
- Change singular nouns to plural form
- Reorders the list of things included in the definition so that "markup
languages" appear first.


"Good design is accessible design." 
John Slatin, Ph.D.
Director, Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin
FAC 248C
1 University Station G9600
Austin, TX 78712
ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu
web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility/

Received on Wednesday, 15 February 2006 18:07:22 UTC

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