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[CSS21] Inaccessible Index a violation of WCAG/Proposed Repair Technique ignored

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2007 19:58:47 +0000
To: wai-xtech@w3.org, wai-liaison@w3.org
Message-Id: <20071228195657.M69470@hicom.net>

aloha, again!

in response to Al's CR comments filed with www-style on the CR 
draft of CSS 2.1 pertaining to the inaccessibility of the CSS 2.1
index, which is archived at:


an issue (Issue #21) has been created at:


however, the issue as logged with the "Resolution" being "assumed 
editorial", and the post which points to the CSS 2.1 issues list
does NOT include the proposed PF solution to the inaccessibility of 
the CSS 2.1 index:

A sufficient (and highly recommended) repair technique for this problem
can be found in the Techniques document for WCAG 2.0:


which details a repair technique which enables a user to contextualize
and fully understand the meaning and target of repetitive hyperlink
test.  The result would be individualized index items, rather than merely
a repetitious and uninformative listing of links by section/chapter
number ONLY, thus making it possible for the non-visual user to utilize
the index.  This repair technique also has the advantage of
individualizing each hyperlink when the document's hyperlinks are listed
in a list of links, or when one is aurally or tactilely experiencing the

i believe that this is a highly sufficient repair technique, and do not 
understand why our explicit request and recommended repair has been 
completely ignored...

the WAI has offered a solution, and we should, and MUST, insist that WCAG 
2.0 Technique C7, cited above, should be effected in the CSS 2.1 index -- 
the use of "title" in this case is a non-starter, as the "title" element 
is not readily available to the average user of assistive technology 
(most commercial screen readers, for example, only offer a toggle-choice:

1. use hyperlink text
2. use title defined for hyperlink
3. use longest

choosing options 2 or 3 can lead to serious disconnect between what should
be presented as hyperlink text and what has been added by an author, via 
the "title" element for contextual reasons, as in the following example:

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, 2.0 is also available as a <a 
href="wcag20.zip" title="download the zip archive of WCAG 2.0 as hypertext
(size: 2MB)">zip archive</a>.

yes, i cited a pretty tame example, but the information an author wishes 
to pass to a user about the purpose and specifics of the linked file 
would be lost if a user only had a choice between the hyperlink text and 
the "title" defined for the link...

i do NOT think that the PFWG or the WAI in general need point the editors 
of the CSS 2.1 CR draft to an "accessible index" as per their request:


as (A) W3C publications are supposed to be WCAG compliant, despite past 
failures of individual technical recommendations to meet WCAG success 
criteria, and (B) we have suggested an eminently implementable mechanism 
whereby the inaccessibility of the index can be corrected...

is this something that the WAI needs to liaise with the communications 
team at W3C to effect/enforce?

You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of
focus.                                           -- Mark Twain
Gregory J. Rosmaita: oedipus@hicom.net
   Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/
          Oedipus' Online Complex: http://my.opera.com/oedipus
Received on Friday, 28 December 2007 19:59:20 UTC

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