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RE: URL for the New Format for the UA guidelines

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <po@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 21:31:26 -0500
To: "UA WAI UserAgent (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Cc: "JonGunderson (E-mail)" <jongund@uiuc.edu>
Message-ID: <000501bd8c3c$36dfb980$d5b65c90@vanderheiden>
First, Congratulations.   Very NICE set of guidelines.

Here are some edits (below).

 I have also marked them in a word file which had the edit
tracking turned on which is attached so that you can see the
edits in context if you wish.    They are also marked in the word
file with two vertical line characters   ||  to make them easy to
find with a search command.

 [ I have not listed the spelling, missed words or phrasing
suggestions in this email body though they are marked in the word
file.   the items listed below are just items that may affect


This document provides guidelines to browser (also called "user
agent") designers on how to make their products more

User agents is a broader classification than browsers...  so you
might change it to say:

This document provides guidelines to browser designers (and to
user agent designers in general) on how to make their products
more accessible.....

It currently reads:
[Priority 1]
This guideline must be implemented by a browser, or one or more
groups of users will find it impossible to access information on
the ||a WWW|| page. This guideline will significantly improve
access to WWW pages designed without accessibility considerations

it seems to me that these guidelines improve access for all pages
even if they were designed for access.  I would therefore drop
the phrase " designed without accessibility considerations" from
priority 1 and 2

IN 3.1 ITEM 8
you might add

"and allow users to share effective profiles with each other"

to the end so that it reads.

..... This is very useful in public access computer environments
where several people use the same computer. User profiles allow
for convenient customization and allow users to share effective
profiles with each other.

IN 3.2   (and elsewhere)

it now says
"If none of these attributes is specified, the name of the file
designated by the "src" attribute should be used as the
alternative text. "

In a number of places like this it is suggested that file names
be inserted or displayed instead of alt text.   I don't think
this is a good idea.  It will cause people who look at pages to
think that this is a what should be put into alt text.  (they
don't look at source code for pages… just learn from what they
see).  I am not sure that it is very helpful and I think it
clutters up the page.  But mostly I think it will be the most
common alt text seen (or believed to be seen) and will both set a
bad example and cause people to think poorly of alt text.    The
name of the file can be ascertained by looking at the status bar
when the focus is on the element.   (or it should be).    I would
suggest we not fill in alt text with file names either at the
browser or at the author tool stage of the process.

another example of filenames being used is in 3.2  ITEM 2

" In the element has no content, the name of the file designated
by the OBJECT's "data" attribute should be used as the
alternative text. "

and another example is in 3.4 ITEM 1 Paragraph 2

"As before, the innermost text of the OBJECT is considered its
alternative text. If the element has no content, the name of the
file designated by the OBJECT's "data" attribute should be used
as the alternative text. "

IN 3.2 ITEM 1  3rd paragraph
it says
" Text should be wrapped so the user doesn't need to do a
vertical scroll to read the description."

   I think that  should be HORIZONTAL SCROLL

You might want to add an ITEM 5 to  3.2

Priority 3
When a hard coded D link is present, the browser might provide a
USER SETTING which would suppress the display of the D link for
those users who would not like to see the D links on the page
during their normal viewing.

3.3    ITEM 2

Add to the end of it
"If ShowSounds is turned on at the system level - this flag
within the browser should read as "true" or "on".

3.5 ITEM 3 reads
Provide a "serialized" view of tables. The first line of the
table provides the size and name of a table. Then, for each cell,
render the row and column coordinates of the cell followed by the
cell's contents. If row and column heading information has been
specified in the table (TH element) it should be used in the row
and column coordinate information.

I suggest adding the following to the end

"If not then the first column should (at the user's request) be
used for row coordinates (titles) and the first row should be
used for column coordinates (titles). "

This would take a huge burden off of authors for marking up
simple tables.

4.1  items 1 and 2

Are these supposed to be linked???    It is not clear.   if they
are linked i would end the first one with three dots ... and
start then next one with three dots ... to so that it is clear
that one is an extension of the other.

These also are hard to read and understand.  You might think
about rewriting this one.   Everything else is much clearer.

5.1 item 1

currently reads
Allow the user to use key board commands to sequentially move
between every frame, link, IMG elements with the "longdesc"
attribute set (only when images are turned off?), and form

I suggest changing it to:
Allow the user to use key board commands to sequentially move
between every frame, link, IMG element (if it is a link or has a
LONGDESC attribute) and form control.

add   "based on Titles (H1, H2, H3).  "
to the end of sentence 1.

Also you should explain what is meant by "compatible with
third-party assistive technology."

the last sentence should be
..."either keyboard or pointing input"
shouldn't  it?

5.3 ITEM 1
change "name" to "text or alt text"  or (title?) at the end of
"Users should be able to search for (and shift the focus to) a
link or control by its position or by its text or alt text (or

5.3 ITEM 3
This is a priority 1 item which is listed AFTER a prioriy 2 item.
First time i saw this.   I think you might want to keep your
number one priority items first in each category.

5.5 ITEM 2
I think you need a reference to where they can find information
on how to do this.

"Provide a means for third-party assistive technologies to
identify the focus."

5.6 ITEM 2   and 5.7 ITEM 1

Are these really prioriy ONE?

"Allow the user to use the keyboard to create a list of elements
and their associated dynamic HTML events, and to select and
execute an event on the list."


"Allow the user to use the keyboard to create a history of
visited documents, and to select and visit a document on the

7.1 ITEM 6, 7, and 8

These are listed as being priority one... so you might want to
move them up ahead of the priority twos

The other edits are just editorial and are in the word doc.

Nice work.


Received on Saturday, 30 May 1998 23:05:54 UTC

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