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Re: New Telcon Time: Vote!

From: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 06 Mar 2009 15:54:34 -0500
Message-ID: <49B18D8A.2010800@w3.org>
To: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>
CC: SVG IG List <public-svg-ig@w3.org>, janina@rednote.net, www-archive@w3.org
Hi, Gregory-

Sorry about that!

Honestly, I don't hack HTML much, and most of the accessibility stuff I
focus on is SVG... I'm frankly stunned that a data table that is
properly marked up with column and row headers is not able to be tabbed
to and navigated around.  But I do confirm that this doesn't seem to be
possible (using Firefox, at least).

FYI, the table represents what should be a pretty straightforward
7-by-24 data grid, with days of the week along the top, and hours of
each day (starting with midnight) along the y-axis.  Each day/time
defaults to "impossible", which seems a bit negative but is probably
realistic, given everyone's hectic schedules and our world-wide

I'm reading up on how to make tables accessible, and will hack Cameron's
code to make it more friendly.  Ideally, as you navigate around the
grid, it should say the weekday and the hour for each cell, then the
current setting for that cell; that's what I'll aim for, though I don't
yet know how to do it (again, I'm really surprised this doesn't just
fall out of the table model!).  The same model should apply to its output.

I will also add code to the script so that you can mark each cell as it
has the focus, regardless of what "marker" you have active; that way,
you won't have to break out of your navigation context to change
"markers"  (where markers are the ratings from "impossible" to "best").
 With the time/day cell in focus, you can simply hit the appropriate key
to mark that time/day as "Impossible", "Bad", "Acceptable", "Good", or
"Best").  One question about this: the initial letters of each rating
("i", "b", "a", "g", "b") are problematic, because "b" is duplicated,
and they are hard to remember anyway... how about ratings from 1 to 5
(the classic Likert Scale), where 1 sucks, and 5 rocks?

As far as the usability of the WBS system meeting planner, I agree that
Cameron's planner tool is not equally accessible (yet), because the WBS
system was very hard for everyone to use, and all but impossible for me
to interpret the results, so it did equalize the overall experience,
much like in Vonnegut's short story, Harrison Bergeron.  Since nobody
could use it, it was just as good for non-sighted users as for sighted
ones.  I have higher aims at usability and accessibility in my
modification of Cameron's planner.

But you didn't need to pull out the umbrageous WCAG 2.0 stick to beat me
with...  simply pointing out that it wasn't accessible would have
sufficed.  Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained
by stupidity (or ignorance).  We're all overstretched, and sometimes we
make mistakes.

If you have any pragmatic examples of accessible table designs that you
think might help, or suggestions as to how to improve the interface,
feel free to let me know.


Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote (on 3/6/09 2:12 PM):
> aloha, doug!
> how exactly is a non-mouse user supposed to "paint" his or her 
> preferences on the timetable?
> there is no way for me to get to the timetable via the keyboard and 
> "paint" my times -- in fact, i don't even know what the word "paint" 
> means in this context...  what is the keyboard stroke mouseless 
> alternative to "painting" with the mouse?
> doug wrote:
>> The SVG WG has been using this tool, and its visual output is 
>> much easier to interpret than our last attempt at selecting a 
>> telcon time, and a lot more fun.
> to which i reply:
> it's NO fun for me because i cannot process its visual output, so i 
> take issue with the claim that it is much easier to interpret than 
> the last attempt at selecting a time via w3c's wbs system...  i also
> take umbrage at the use of tools in w3c fora that do NOT comply with 
> WCAG 2.0, and thus preclude some users from using them
> can you fix this modality specific "task" to make it device 
> independent?
> thank you, gregory
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> CONSERVATIVE, n.  A statesman who is enamored of existing evils,
> as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them 
> with others.         -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
>              Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
>   Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------- Original Message -----------
> From: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
> To: SVG IG List <public-svg-ig@w3.org>
> Sent: Fri, 06 Mar 2009 00:03:23 -0500
> Subject: New Telcon Time: Vote!
>> Hi, SVG IG-
>> Spring has sprung!  The grass is riz!
>> I wonders when the telcon is?
>> Using Cameron McCormack's phabulous patent-pending phone-conf 
>> planning app, let's all decide together:  
> http://www.schepers.cc/w3c/svg/ig/
>> Here are the instructions:
>>   * click on the "someone else" link, and enter your initials in 
>> the popup  * select a time category from the right-hand (or left-
>> hand, if you speak arabic) toolbar (choose from such classic 
>> favorites as "Impossible", "Bad", "Acceptable", "Good", "Best")  
>> * "paint" your schedule onto the time-canvas by holding down the 
>> mouse while mousing over the times  * in the text input at the 
>> bottom, enter your time-zone offset from UTC (remembering that 
>> the US changes next week, and the EU 3 weeks later)
>> The SVG WG has been using this tool, and its visual output is 
>> much easier to interpret than our last attempt at selecting a 
>> telcon time, and a lot more fun.
>> Please fill this out at your earliest possible convenience, so 
>> we can start the new telcon times for the next SVG IG telcon.
>> Thanks-
>> -Doug Schepers
>> W3C Team Contact, SVG and WebApps WGs, SVG IG co-monkey
> ------- End of Original Message -------
Received on Friday, 6 March 2009 20:54:51 UTC

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