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(Action) Issue 389: Request for clarification about conformance comments

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 06 Jan 2001 14:22:12 -0500
Message-ID: <3A577064.C551FB3F@w3.org>
To: greglo@microsoft.com, timla@microsoft.com, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
To: Greg Lowney


The User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group
is still processing comments raised during the last
call review of the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
(including your comments [1]). I would like to ask for additional
information on one of the issues you raised (our issue 389 [2]).
I have replied to your observations below and welcome your
additional comments/clarifications.

You wrote [1]:

 As has been suggested before, I think a good steps would 

   1) clearly label techniques as minimal requirements vs.
      recommendations vs. examples; 

   2) clearly indicate when user agents need to implement 
      all of the requirements, any one of the requirements, 
      or select between groups of requirements that need 
      to be implemented together; 

   3) clearly prioritize optional steps;

   4) and give examples of how a person would evaluate a   
      product for compliance.

I've numbered your points for reference. I would note that we
have published a new draft (29 Dec 2000 [3]) that incorporates
some of your suggestions and comments. (I will send you a full
account of how we addressed your issues once we've finished 
processing the full issues list.)

1) The Guidelines has been designed so that *all* of the
   requirements are in the checkpoints. Everything else is 
   informative. Section 2 of the document states, in explaining
   how the guidelines are structured, that informative notes
   follow the checkpoints:

   "These notes do not state requirements that must be 
    satisfied as part of conformance; they are informative 
    only. They are meant to clarify the scope of the checkpoint 
    through further description, examples, cross references, 
    and commentary."

    Furthermore, in the section on "Related Resources", the relation
    to the Techniques document is explained:

   "The techniques provided in "Techniques for User Agent 
    Accessibility Guidelines 1.0" are informative examples only, 
    and other strategies may be used or required to satisfy the 
    checkpoints. The Techniques document is expected to be 
    updated more frequently than the current guidelines."

    In short, because this document does not refer to a single 
    technology, the techniques are not normative. 

    I agree with you that in the Techniques document, we can
    do more work to distinguish examples, rationale, real-life
    implementations, references to other resources, etc. However,
    while this will promote usability of the document, it does not
    have any impact on conformance to the guidelines.

2) Section 3 on Conformance [5] explains that:

   "By default, a user agent must satisfy all of the checkpoints 
    in this document in order to conform. A claimant may reduce
    the scope of a claim, which means that the subject is not 
    required to satisfy some checkpoints in order to conform.
    Claimants must only reduce the scope of a claim through three 
    mechanisms defined in this section of the document:
    conformance levels, content type labels, and input modality 
    labels. A well-formed claim indicates how the scope has
    been reduced."

    (Note: input modality labels were introduced as a result of
     another suggestion by you; refer to our issue 390 [6] -
     the all-or-nothing approach has been softened.)
3) The document uses the standard terminology: must, should, may
   to indicate "required", "recommended", and "optional". However, 
   there is another layer of priorities (P1, P2, P3) as well. 
   Thus, everything in a P2 checkpoint is required (if you wish to
   conform Level Double-A.) Anything in the note that follows a
   checkpoint is either recommended or optional (and thus the terms
   "should" and "may" are used there).

4) We have some sample evaluations [7] listed on the Web site.
   The UAWG has not developed techniques for helping people 
   evaluate user agents for conformance. I think this would be
   useful, but I don't think that we should hold up the document
   for this. The Authoring Tool Working Group is developing
   "Techniques for Evaluating Authoring Tool Accessibility" [8]
   and we will surely base our own efforts on theirs.
Thank you,

 - Ian

For record keeping:
 - This email is per an action item at the 28 Nov 2000 teleconf [9]
   about issue 389.
[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2000OctDec/0310.html
[2] http://server.rehab.uiuc.edu/ua-issues/issues-linear-lc2.html#389
[3] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/WD-UAAG10-20001229
[4] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/WD-UAAG10-20001229/#Guidelines
[5] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/WD-UAAG10-20001229/#Conformance
[6] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2000OctDec/0310
[7] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/Evaluations.html
[8] http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/ATAG10-EVAL
[9] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2000OctDec/0354
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Saturday, 6 January 2001 14:22:15 UTC

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