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Note at end of sufficient techniques for 3.3.2 is ambiguous

From: <noreply@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 16:41:11 +0000
To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1OvYZD-00020E-2j@lowblow.w3.org>

Name: David MacDonald
Email: david@eramp.com
Affiliation: WCAG team member
Document: UW
Item Number: Understanding Success Criterion 3.3.2
Part of Item: Sufficient Techniques
Comment Type: technical
Summary of Issue: Note at end of sufficient techniques for 3.3.2 is ambiguous
Comment (Including rationale for any proposed change):
The Bovernment of Canada has pointed out an ambiguous note: read our correspondence below

From: Pirthipal.Singh@tbs-sct.gc.ca [mailto:Pirthipal.Singh@tbs-sct.gc.ca] 
Sent: September-14-10 10:19 AM
To: David@eramp.com
Subject: Quick Question

Hi David
Hope things are going well. 
We have a question – In success criteria 3.3.2 (http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/NOTE-UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20-20081211/minimize-error-cues.html), there is an ambiguous note at the end of sufficient techniques which states
“Note: The techniques at the end of the above list should be considered "last resort" and only used when the other techniques cannot be applied to the page. The earlier techniques are preferred because they increase accessibility to a wider user group.”
The use of the terms “last resort” and “techniques at the end of the above list” are causing confusion. For example, are techniques 4+5 fine or does one follows sufficient techniques from the top (and only use latter ones if the earlier ones cannot be met).
Would you be able to clarify? 
P.S. My recommendation would be not to put in ambiguous terms like that for sufficient techniques. If a sufficient technique is not considered sufficient, it should not be in the sufficient techniques.
Pirthipal Singh
Team Leader - Web Standards Office | Chef d'equipe - Bureau de normes web
Information Technology Division |  Division de la technologie de l'information
Chief Information Officer Branch | Direction du dirigeant principal de l'information
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat | Secrétariat du Conseil du Trésor du Canada
Ottawa, Canada K1A 0R5
Telephone | Téléphone 613-948-1888 / Facsimile | Télécopieur 613-946-9342 / Teletypewriter | Téléimprimeur 613-957-9090
Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada 
Hi Pirth

You are probably right... I actually don’t remember when that got added ... 

 I think they are talking about these two techniques in the note:
•	H65: Using the title attribute to identify form controls when the label element cannot be used (HTML) 
•	G167: Using an adjacent button to label the purpose of a field

The Title attribute has flakey support in User agents... It’s not really the author’s fault... but JAWS does allow the user to set the Title attribute for different settings ... although most blind people don’t know that and it’s also not the best behaviour anyway... so that’s why I think they added the note but let the techniques stand. For G167, screen readers are pretty smart about looking around a field for something that might be a label so it would probably read ok, but again it’s not really a programmatic association. Giving advice like this is pretty ambiguous.  The note telegraphs that the committee was not thinking that the techniques were going to become mandatory...

I’ll add your comments, and suggest the techniques be demoted to advisory.

David MacDonald

Proposed Change:
Change H65 and G167 to advisory techniques for 3.3.2

And review H71 (using fieldset) to consider whether it should be sufficient or advisory
Received on Tuesday, 14 September 2010 16:41:12 UTC

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