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Belated last call comments from HTML WG

From: Steven Pemberton <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 02:08:34 +0100
Message-ID: <00fe01c05420$bcda8ca0$0300a8c0@steven>
To: <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Our apologies for not making the deadline.

Steven Pemberton
for the HTML WG

Guideline 1. (Typos) "Th User"; "Text messages are generally accessible as
text may be used ..."; "Developers should not, for example, pre-rasterize
text or since doing so may prevent assistive technologies from being able to
render the text as speech or braille."

8.4 "This checkpoint does not require that the outline view be navigable,
but this is recommended; " Is this a 'should'/priority 2? Does following or
not following this recommendation affect the A/AA/AAA rating?

3.1 Please link the first use of the word 'subject' here to its definition.

- if you are going to normatively reference RFC 2119, the words
"should", "may", and "must" MUST be uppercase

- 3.5. instead of "scripts or applets", how about "scripts, or other
executable content"?  applets and scripts are not the only form of

General impression:
This document is in general too vague in the requirements for the different
user agents (browser, plug-ins, accessibility application, content
provider). In addition, there is no clear indication as which  "user agent"
is responsibility for satisfying each requirement. In reading sections 1 &
2, it is extremely confusing as to which "agent" is responsible for what
action/behavior. It would be of great benefit, and would aid in clear
definition of responsibility, if the authors would differentiate by:

* content provider
* operating system
* browser
* plug-ins
* accessibility application

As it stands now, it is unclear as to areas of responsibility, which will
result in lack of non-conformance by possibly all of the above. As a
developer of a browser application, I would presume that either the plug-in,
the accessibility application, the content provider or the operating system
software should be providing most, if not all, of the requirements.

At this juncture, I would suspect that there will be less adoption of this
specification then is desired. As mentioned above, clear, concise
requirements must be given. If the requirements were stated in such a
fashion that providing a mechanism to access the necessary data, would also
aid is quicker adoption of the specification. For example, if the
specification stated that the browser infrastructure must support a
mechanism to allow the user to set 'whatever,' then the browser vendors
could provide the underlying support and then different chromes could be
provided based on the need of the user. Not all users will need or want the
overhead (application size, footprint, etc.) needed to provide all of the

Other items that came to mind just in the course of reading the document:

What disabilities? Are they talking about physical and mental?
The document continually referred to prefs that should be set, but state in
the beginning that the application should work on default settings -- but
what disability should the default be defaulted to? Which doesn't seem
correct does it? So, the default install is what then?
How are files such as PDF to be handled? The data is read-only, so how could
that be interpreted?
More specific input:

first list
   list item (1)
       what does "process some types" mean, this is unclear
   list item (2)
       this is clearly beyond any user agent and is more the responsibility
of the content provider

second list
   list item (1)

pre-processing knowledge is beyond the scope of the browser, interpretation
of internet connectivity, bandwidth, etc. is unrealistic

section 1.2, 4th para, note

forcing the usage of a particular plug-in, or secondary application should
not be the role of the browser. Users have specific likes and dislikes in
regards to software applications. Platforms also play a major role in
determining what secondary applications can be used. It would seem more
appropriate that the request be that the user agent provide a mechanism in
which the user may easily utilize applications of choice and that the user
agents provide a "seamless" integration.

Accessibility needs that are out of scope
first list
   list item (4)
       ... interface accessibility". -- the period (.) should be within the
3rd para
       suggest how users agent ...  -- should be "suggest how user agent

Guideline 1
General comments:

operating systems must provide a mechanism to accomplish much of this
how should applets, object and images be treated

section 1.3

is platform specific operations more important than cross-platform
consistency? It seems that consistency would be of greater importance,
especially if the user utilizes multiple platforms, thus increasing
confusion to the user

Guideline 2
para 1

how would user agents, i.e. the browser, provide different content modes?
Shouldn't this be provided by the content provider?

section 2.2

is the expectation that functions such as redirects also be included in this
requirement? What if the timer is server based?

section 2.5

this is too vague and needs further explanation

section 2.7

is BDO also included in this? What about charset selection? What about
entity usage?

Guideline 3

General comment: interpretation of imagemap coordinates in a visual manner
would be overly taxing for the user agent, the source is known and could be
easily extracted for interpretation, hence displaying a list of pointers,
but not interpreting via the layout. That approach seems to be more easily

In addition, it seems that "preprocessing" of a page will result in resource
constraints and will increase the time to load a page. Is timing not an
issue for rendering information?

Guideline 4
2nd para

this seems to be more content provider requirements

section 4.6

this is specific to plug-in or accessibility application, where such
requirements are listed, it will assist in alleviating confusion if the
specification pointed to a specific "user agent" -- otherwise it is unclear
as to which software should be responsible.

section 4.10

this seems specific to the OS

Guideline 5

General comments:

what is meant by timely? What is timely to me, may be unacceptable to
someone else. Be specific, give a time range that is deemed acceptable.
as mentioned above, is platform specific behavior more important than
consistency across platforms for the user?
much of the information listed as requirements is unclear as to which
application or category (browser, plug-in, accessibility application,
content provider) is responsible.

sections 5.1 & 5.2, Note

These specifications are defined the ... -- should be "These specifications
are defined within the ..."

section 5.7

is this section referring to viewing the page or editing the page? Why would
a user need to access the CSS when viewing a document?

Guideline 7

para #1

by visual orientation or by structural orientation? Visual orientation will
be costly in processing the data based on resolution, window size, etc.

para #2

how should line numbering be accomplished on wrapped content? The numbering
will be altered based on resolution, window size, etc. Consistently could
not be achieved.

para #4

via what mechanism? Should this be based on element? What about incorrectly
coded data? What about body element text? What about context sensitive data?

section 7.1

What about contextual data such as mouse over data? The user experience
could get out of sync with the page. How should this be addressed?

section 7.5, Note

is this referring to the content in focus, or the page?

Guideline 8
first list
   list item (2)

this is content provider issue

sections 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.9

sections 8.3, 8.4 and 8.9 are content provider issues, section 8.5 is
partially content provider issues

section 8.6, Note

This checkpoints refers ... -- should be "This checkpoint refers ... "

Guideline 9
section 9.2

each platform has different conventions, resulting in confusion to the user,
when or if they utilize multiple platforms

section 9.3

single key? based on the context of the focus, this could drastically affect
the document, I would suspect that the author is indicating the usage of the
function keys, however, it is unclear.

I will continue to review section 3 -- Conformance -- and will send my input
to you

Received on Tuesday, 21 November 2000 20:08:25 GMT

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