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Re: [PROPOSAL] Checkpoint 4.1Configure text size.

From: gregory j. rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 18:36:25 -0400 (EDT)
To: Jon Gunderson <jongund@uiuc.edu>
cc: "Ian B. Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>, Tantek Celik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.BSI.3.95.1010711162754.27655B-100000@ns.hicom.net>
aloha, jon!

responses in GJR below...

JRG: I agree we should not reopen old issues lightly, but we have a concern 
raised by a developer who has made an extensive review of the document and 
was not satisfied with our response.  I think his stated goals are the same 
as the working group goals, to define a range of values for font size that 
are usable by people with visual impairments, but don't require features 
that are not useful.

GJR: while i respect and appreciate the amount of time that tantek has
devoted to reviewing UAAG, i do think that we have canvassed the community
sufficiently in response to the issues raised by tantek in relation to
checkpoint 4.1, and received input that supports staying with the current
wording of checkpoint 4.1...  therefore, i would suggest that tantek be
encouraged to lodge a minority opinion if he feels that his issues haven't
been sufficiently addressed...  that's what other members of the WG have
been instructed to do under similar circumstances, and i believe it to be
the most appropriate remedy here... 

while i agree that it is incumbent upon the WG to consider carefully
feedback from developers, when it has done so, as it has in this case,
then the appropriate course for a developer to take if he feels that his
opinion hasn't received sufficient consideration, or if he believes the
decision of the WG to be erroneous, is to lodge a minority opinion... 
yes, i realize that the last thing anyone in the WG wants are more
minority opinions, but if tantek fails to convince the WG that a change
needs to be effected, then a minority opinion is the vehicle through which
his objections/concerns should be carried forward -- unless, of course, he
decides that he can live with the current 4.1

this has been the process the WG has followed in response to issues raised
by developers in the past, such as when phill jenkins articulated IBM's
objection to the WG's decision to accord the checkpoint currently known as
12.1, which requires at least Double-A compliance to WCAG1 for at least
one version of the UA's documentation, a priority 1 level...  it's also
the process that non-developers (such as myself and harvey bingham)  have
been instructed to follow when we have raised both technical and
non-technical issues, but failed to convince the WG of the "correctness" 
of our concerns, arguments, and/or interpretation of data or
intent/verbiage...  so -- since there isn't a "critical mass", or even a
vocal minority, within the WG calling for a change to the wording of UAAG
checkpoint 4.1, despite your, ian, and tantek's intriguing exchange of
emessages -- why not simply ask for resolution at the next telecon, as has
been done in the past? 

JRG: Our current requirements clearly require font sizes that are not
useful for accessibility for many operating environments, at least at a P1
level.  I think that when a developer makes the effort that Tantek has
made to help the group clarify this issue it is important for the group to
reconsider its previous resolutions.  We want developers focusing their
resources on creating features that really help people with disabilities
and not adding features that do not clearly benefit people with
disabilities, but help them satisfy the guidelines. 
GJR: 1. our current requirement for 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3 is to make available
to the user the full range of values available for all supported fonts for
a discrete set of font characteristics (size, color, and family), full

2. i reject the argument that the current 4.1 will either break UAAG or
undermine its integrity or that what checkpoint 4.1 requires is so onerous
a burden that it will cause UA developers to drop other P1 requirements --
if that is truly the case, then i would submit that responsibility for
failing to meet all priority 1 checkpoints lies squarely on the heads of
UA developers and not at the feet of UAAG; i also reject the "too many P1
checkpoints" argument -- the number of priority 1 checkpoints in UAAG is
nothing more than a reflection of the abysmal track record of UA
developers vis a vis accessibility and interoperability

3. the requirement of the checkpoint is to allow the user access to the
full range of font sizes, which means that this is a "first, do no harm"
checkpoint, not a restrictive or proscriptive checkpoint...  in fact, the
point of checkpoints 4.1 through 4.3 is to prevent UA developers from: 

(a) curtailing a user's ability to effect system-wide settings (such as
"high contrast", "easy viewing" or "large font" OS settings); and

(b) imposing arbitrary restrictions on the user's ability to choose from
the full range of font characteristics -- as defined by UAAG (font size,
font family, font color) -- for all supported font

as well as to prevent usurpation of the cascade order set forth in CSS2,
where the user, and not the page's author, has final control over the
presentation/styling which is to be applied to web content...

4. if the prospect of having to satisfy "so many" priority one checkpoints
makes developers quake, i would ask them to consider whether the resultant
"pain" and "discomfort" even approaches an infinitesimal fraction of the
real pain experienced by the millions of users who have been, and continue
to be, prevented from accessing web content due to the barriers that each
P1 checkpoint is intended to eradicate...

finally, the focus of our guidelines are individual users, not individual
developers or the entities they represent -- remove the "user" from "user
agent" and what is left?  quite simply, nothing...  and yet, this
checkpoint, like 4.2 and 4.3, is not about user control alone -- it also
addresses interaction between the UA and the underlying operating
environment, and codifies a cascade order for the rendering of
VisualText...  it also quite clearly underscores the importance of
respecting OS settings...  so, if the UA doesn't interfere with the user's
ability to choose from among the full range of font sizes, font families,
and colors offered by the operating environment, as well as offering an
easily initiated mechanism for allowing a user to define global overrides
for the three font characteristics/properties specifically identified by
UAAG, wherein lies the burden? 

  BIGOT, n.  One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an 
  opinion that you do not entertain.               -- Ambrose Bierce
                Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
  Camera Obscura:           http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
  VICUG NYC:          http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/index.html
  Read 'Em & Speak:   http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/books/index.html
Received on Wednesday, 11 July 2001 18:36:41 UTC

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