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Re: Accessibility and Conformance, etc.

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 19:40:46 -0400
Message-ID: <39A1BDFE.5322BBE2@w3.org>
To: Eric Hansen <ehansen7@hotmail.com>
CC: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Eric Hansen wrote:
> To: UA List
> From: Eric Hansen
> Subject: Accessibility and Conformance, etc.


Eric and I just finished a conversation about his proposals and
I would like to summarize what I believe to be our agreement about
the proposals. I am snipping all of the suggestions where we agreed to
no change in the document.

(Eric, please correct my assertions where they are flawed.)

> Suggestion 1. Focus more specifically on "general-purpose graphical desktop
> browsers that provide multimedia presentation capabilities".

We agreed that not only should the document focus on general purpose
user agents, that it is very unlikely that assistive technology
will be interested in making conformance claims. Here is the question:
if you are a component that is part of a conformance claim, do you have
to satisfy all of the requirements of the document? In the simplest
the answer is yes: you have to allow the user keyboard access to
functionalities, content that is handled by the component has to be
through the DOM, the user interface needs to be controllable through an
API, the user must be able to control styles, the documentation must
conform to WCAG, etc. [There may be some checkpoints that wouldn't apply
to individual components but only to the entirety of the subject of the
claim. Which checkpoints are these?]

This means that an assistive technology that would be part of a claim
would have to implement the DOM, etc. and this is not what we intend
with this document. We don't prevent that, but the document is clearly
not meant to make these requirements on assistive technologies.

Proposed: Just make this clear in the abstract, the introduction,
and in section 3 on conformance. Say clearly that these guidelines
are not meant for evaluations of assistive technologies.

> Suggestion 3. Acknowledge the necessity for composite user agents.

Done in the 18 August draft, section 3.2

> Suggestion 4. Define the terms 'prime user agent' and 'supplementary user
> agent'.

Proposed: Rather than doing this, it should be made clear (e.g., at the
beginning of section 2 or in each checkpoint, whichever is lighter) that

a) the subject of each checkpoint is the subject of the claim
b) the subject of the claim may be a composite.
   ACTION IJ: Fix section 3.5, which talks about N subjects rather than
   N components of "the subject of the claim".

In short, there is no distinction necessary between primary and
supplementary user agent.

> Suggestion 5. Allow few if any inapplicable checkpoints.

Proposed: Instead, put back text from earlier versions of the document:

   'As the number of applicable checkpoints decreases for a piece
    of software, the likelihood increases that the guidelines are 
    not an accurate gauge of the accessibility of that piece of

And perhaps add some commentary about how readers should pay attention
to the number of inapplicable checkpoints when comparing user agents.
> Suggestion 9. Require conformance claims to indicate the identity of the
> claimant.

 - Recommend (but don't require) that the claimant include
   information about the identity of the claimant (e.g,. vendor name,
   organization name, URI, etc.)
> Suggestion 11. Require that if two or more components of a claim are the
> same component, a rationale for this must be included.

Proposed: Rather, recommend that for each component of the subject of
claim, that the claimant indicate which checkpoints the component helps
to satisfy.

> Suggestion 12. Reexamine situations in which the language of "applicability"
> occurs within checkpoints.

To be addressed separately.
> Suggestion 15. Explain what we think are appropriate uses of the ratings.
> For example, is it appropriate to use such ratings as sole criteria in
> buying decisions? Even more modestly, are the ratings appropriately used in
> representing the accessibility factor in buying decisions.

Propsoed: Add this to the FAQ.


 - Ian

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Monday, 21 August 2000 19:40:55 UTC

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