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Re: Classification of AT in ATAG2

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2003 08:15:28 +1100
Cc: WAI-XTech <wai-xtech@w3.org>, Matthew Smith <matt@kbc.net.au>
To: gdeering@acslink.net.au
Message-Id: <79ACA670-2DB1-11D8-9344-000A958826AA@sidar.org>

Le Sunday, 14 Dec 2003, à 01:55 Australia/Melbourne, Geoff Deering a 
écrit :

> Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>> I think this is really an issue for the ATAG group, so I will bounce 
>> my response to them.
> I was not allowed access to the ATAG list even though I eventually 
> said I would agree to the charter (do the work necessary to address 
> these issues), so I was given access to this list as the appropriate 
> one and told to post it here.

Not my department, so I can't really comment on how the group is run. 
But this seems strange - the group is required, like all w3c working 
groups, to respond to public comments, and the address they provide for 
making them is the authoring tools list.

>> I think the guidelines are pretty clear that a collection of web 
>> forms are covered as an authoring tool, and that they should conform. 
>> Of course many of the simpler systems, that literally just use a 
>> textarea, are not going to be able to conform, just as any tool which 
>> is poorly designed and has very limited capability will not conform. >> (
> Are you saying that a collection of web forms should and can conform 
> to all these guidelines?

More or less. Actually there needs to be more than a handful of forms, 
but a system where that is the interaction model can and should 
conform. There are people out there doing this already.

>> Note pad or emacs would be relatively easy tools to build as 
>> conformant, ut neither of them do as available...)
> Are you saying that a product like Notepad, or something similar could 
> be made to conform to ATAG2 guidelines without inherently changing the 
> application into something to far beyond what it inherently is?

Notepad is  inherently not an editing program that provides any 
guidance for the user. Emacs is, but doesn't have particular stuff for 
accessible web content as far as I know. In each case the interfaces 
would need to be extended ot cover the requirements of being helpful 
for users doing a specific task, but the basic nature of the 
interaction doesn't need to be changed.

>> Anyway, I have gone through and listed ways I think such systems can 
>> conform to each checkpoint from the latest internal draft (october).
> If you are saying explicitly that these other tools "conform to each 
> checkpoint (all)" I beg to differ and am willing to expand on my 
> points to show my case, which is why I raise this issue.

No, as far as I know the developers of Authoring Tools haven't managed 
to produce a triple-A ATAG conformant tool in the nearly 4 years since 
this became a recommendation. I am saying that there are not inherent 
barriers (beyond that fact that a fair bit of work is required) to 
making conformant tools.

>> Assumptions: I have in mind tools like WikiWiki, or MkDoc (two very 
>> different types of tool, but both using basic web forms as the 
>> interface). These keep a local copy of the document they are dealing 
>> with, and they rely on some kind of server side processing (in order 
>> to comply with accessibility guidelines for their environment they do 
>> not rely on Javascript, although they could use it to speed up some 
>> processes for some users).
> There are two areas here, the direct interface to the wiki and the 
> wiki backend, and this is why I am concerned, there seems to be a 
> falling down of technical clarity and distinction that I feel is very 
> important to clarify.

A wiki (authoring/editing) interface with no back end (or vice versa) 
isn't any kind of tool, it's a mockup. So although knowing what the two 
pieces are is important, but the system works because it has both 
parts. You could make a set of webforms that generate content based on 
javascript, but they would fail because they don't meet applicable 
accessibility guidelines for the interface. (Shame - foaf-a-matic, a 
nice authoring tool for RDF, fails on these grounds).



Charles McCathieNevile                          Fundación Sidar
charles@sidar.org                                http://www.sidar.org
Received on Saturday, 13 December 2003 16:19:37 UTC

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