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SC 2.4.4 and 2.4.8

From: Loretta Guarino Reid <lguarino@adobe.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2006 19:14:06 -0700
Message-ID: <EDC8DDD212FEB34C884CBB0EE8EC2D9101D912C8@namailgen.corp.adobe.com>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

I'd like to get more feedback on SC 2.4.4 and SC 2.4.8 before drafting
another proposal. Based on today's discussion, I see several options for
these SC. 

We need to word SC 2.4.4 so that 
* the SC is suitably technology independent, 
* there is high inter-rater reliability in determining which other text
on the page can be combined with the link text to determine its purpose.
* there is enough clarity that User Agent developers could implement
support for indicating when different contexts are available for a link
and for providing a way of retrieving the context.

I'm assuming that for HTML, we agree that the only acceptable context
that can be added to the link text is
* title attribute
* enclosing sentence
* enclosing paragraph
* enclosing list item
* enclosing table cell, plus the headers for that table cell

(Note that this excludes "preceding heading element".)

I also assume that the "link text" for an image is its alt attribute.

SC 2.4.4, Option A: The purpose of each link can be determined from the
link text, the link's supplemental and alternative text, and the text of
any enclosing sentence, paragraph, data table cell with its associated
headers, or list item.

SC 2.4.4, Option B: The purpose of each link can be determined from the
link text and its context.

SC 2.4.4, Option C: The purpose of each link can be determined from the
link text and its immediate context.

SC 2.4.4, Option D: The purpose of each link can be determined from the
link text and its programmatically determined context.

For Options B, C and D, do we need a glossary definition for "context",
"immediate context" or "programmatically determined context"? (I think
so, but it is open for discussion.)

Some dictionary definitions for context are:
* The part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or
passage and determines its meaning
* the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event,
situation, etc; a setting
* The parts of a written or spoken statement that precede or follow a
specific word or passage, usually influencing its meaning or effect
* discourse that surrounds a language unit and helps to determine its
interpretation
* That which surrounds, and gives meaning to, something else

The challenge is to define context without making the definition depend
upon "that which gives meaning", since then the SC would be impossible
to fail. 

I worry that if we can't define what qualifies as context clearly
enough, this SC isn't viable. "Programmatically determined" attempts to
tap into the need for user agent support. However, we know that current
user agent support for context is pretty poor, and if we rely on that as
our definition of context, the difference between 2.4.4 and 2.4.8 may
not be worth the confusion introduced by having two different SC. 


For SC 2.4.8, the issue is whether content other than the link text can
be considered in determining the purpose of the link, e.g., title
attributes. (Option B corresponds to what a user would get in a list of
links for the Web unit.)

SC 2.4.8, Option A: The purpose of each link can be determined by the
user from link text, including supplemental and alternative text.

SC 2.4.8, Option B: The purpose of each link can be determined by the
user from link text.

Loretta Guarino Reid
lguarino@adobe.com
Adobe Systems, Acrobat Engineering 
Received on Friday, 8 September 2006 02:14:26 GMT

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