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XML Guidelines comments

From: Madeleine Rothberg <madeleine_rothberg@wgbh.org>
Date: 21 Dec 2001 12:06:33 -0500
Message-ID: <-1203186105madeleine_rothberg@wgbh.org>
To: <wai-tech-comments@w3.org>
The following comments on the W3C's XML Accessibility Guidelines 
Working Draft 29 August 2001 are from Mike Pettit of the Accessibility 
Working Group at the IMS Global Learning Consortium. Any reply can
be sent to Madeleine Rothberg for forwarding to the group's private
email forum.

While these comments on the draft are long overdue, I hope they will
still be useful to you.

These comments attempt to apply the W3C's XML Accessibility Guidelines
to IMS's specifications, as well as to evaluate the document itself.

First off, there are bits that are good about the document, and these
bits are already incorporated into most IMS specs:
Section 2.2 -Separate presentation properties using stylesheet ...
Section 2.4 - Define element types that allow classification and grouping
Section 2.5 - Provide for a full containment model with chunks of
reasonable size.

Good ideas, but we need to more carefully look at them to see how to make
a recommendation:
Section 1.2 - Define flexible associations, where a given kind of
relationship can link to or from objects of varying types.
Section 2.1 - Ensure all semantics are captured in markup in a
repurposable form.
Section 2.6 - Define element types that identify important text content.
--- This last one means re-looking at each specification's semantics and
binding with the capabilities of XML Schema in mind.  This is due to the
fact that much of the semantics of the existing specs were done from an
'XML' frame of mind instead of a purely data frame of mind.

The no-kidding but it bears repeating award goes to:
Section 2.9 - Reuse accessible modules from schemata as originally
specified/intended.

Section 3 is not directly impacting the specs at a cursory glance.  It
deals with presentation and flexibility in web-applications and other
user interfaces.  The current IMS specs *may* at times hinder flexibility
in these areas (for example, the full breadth and depth of the meta-data
spec), but a more careful look would have to be taken before suggesting
any changes.

Section 4:
Some checkpoints seem a bit obvious (4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4) while others are
a bit simple and could benefit from more extensive examples that get at
the real heart of why the suggestions are being made and why they are
worth the trouble (4.8, 4.9, 4.10).

I hope this feedback is useful to you. If a future version of the document
is made available for comment, we may be able to organize a more detailed 
response.

Madeleine Rothberg
for the IMS Accessibility Working Group
madeleine_rothberg@wgbh.org
Received on Friday, 21 December 2001 12:07:04 GMT

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