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Issue 435: Proposal to address non-normative nature of checkpoint groupings

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2001 17:37:25 -0500
Message-ID: <3A96E625.D1C04F46@w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Hello,

When we discussed issue 435 [1], a question arose about the normative
status of the "checkpoint group labels". There are four such labels in
our document:

 - Checkpoints for content accessibility
 - Checkpoints for user interface accessibility
 - Checkpoints for communication with other software
 - Checkpoints for accessible documentation

These labels were initially included in the document for
organizational purposes only, to address issue 121 [2]. However, they
have since become "normative." The following statement in section 3.4
of the 26 Jan 2001 Guidelines [3] ties the labels to conformance:

   "Each checkpoint requirement must be satisfied by making
   information or functionalities available through the user interface
   of the subject of the claim unless the checkpoint explicitly states
   that the requirement must be met by making information available
   through an application programming interface (API). These API
   checkpoints are labeled "checkpoints for communication with other
   software."

The problem is that it's no so clear cut. Some checkpoints include
some requirements that aren't labeled "for communication with other
software" but don't involve the user interface at all (e.g., the
documentation requirements of Guideline 10).

One might think that ideally, each checkpoint should be sufficient to
stand on its own, so this type of general statement would not be
necessary. But some checkpoints depend on the requirements made by
other checkpoints in order to be complete. For example, every time we
say "allow configuration", we don't say "allow configuration through
an accessible user interface that may be operated through the
keyboard" because checkpoint 1.1 ensures that the UI must be operable
through the keyboard.

I think we need to replace the paragraph in question with one that:

 a) Makes clear that the groupings aren't normative at all
 b) Makes clear that requirements related to user interaction must
    be satisfied through the user interface. This may be
    "self-evident", but I don't think it hurts to remind people,
    notably for some cases where they may not have thought of it.

Proposed replacement paragraph:

<NEW>
  "The user agent must satisfy all requirements involving user
  interaction (both user input and output to the user) through the
  user interface.  This includes requirements that directly refer to
  to user control, configuration, etc. but also requirements that
  indirectly involve the user interface (e.g., system conventions
  pertaining to the user interface). The following checkpoint grouping
  labels are not normative and are for organizational purposes only:

    - Checkpoints for content accessibility
    - Checkpoints for user interface accessibility
    - Checkpoints for communication with other software
    - Checkpoints for accessible documentation"
</NEW>

 - Ian

[1] http://server.rehab.uiuc.edu/ua-issues/issues-linear-lc2.html#435
[2] http://server.rehab.uiuc.edu/ua-issues/issues-linear.html#121
[3] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/WD-UAAG10-20010126/#claim-validation

-- 
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Friday, 23 February 2001 17:37:29 GMT

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