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Comments on Aug 18 working draft, AU guidelines

From: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 10:14:13 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-au@w3.org
Comments on the Aug 18 draft
<http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/WAI-AUTOOLS-19990818/> follow, through Guideline
4. Some of these are brief because of time constraints.


- Judy


Abstract, 2p: "It is equally important that all people... It is therefore
of critical importance ..." This sounds like banging on a drum. This is a
spec, the contents of it should stand on their own merits. UI accessibility
info for authoring tools is included in the document; that therefore means
it's important. Toning this down a bit would probably give it more
strength; right now it comes across as methinks-thou-dost-protest-too-much,
which makes it look more questionable.

Abstract, 2p: "Adoption of these guidelines will result..." Given that we
can't precisely predict the future, how about "will contribute to the

Status, 1p: needs draft replacement text, bracketed off until it goes
active, for the last call review statement.

Introduction, 1p: "understand, and thereby reduce, accessibility barriers
to the creation of Web content." What are accessibility barriers? A barrier
is a barrier. I think what's meant is barriers to the creation of
accessible Web content. That would include barriers in the tool itself.

Introduction, tools list: I find this confusing. SMIL auth packages are
included in the first bullet, but then tools that produce multimedia for
the Web are listed separately. With word processors and desktop publishing
packages you might want to include presentation software, spreadsheets,
etc. For "on-the-fly conversion" you might want to include "database
generation" or "Web content generated from databases" since some people
miss the point of "on-the-fly conversion" and ask us why we aren't
addressing database-generated pages in these guidelines.

Intro, 3p: "For detailed info... about the production of accessible content
this doc... relies on..." more precisely, about _what constitutes
accessible content_ 

Intro, 3p: "It does design issues directly related to..." ??? It does
_address_ issues directly related to. The subsequent list (automation,
accessibility checking, etc.) needs an editing run for readability.

Intro 3p: "directly related to accessible authoring tools" ...to
accessibility of authoring tools

Intro 4p: Needs proofreading, and the final sentence needs an editing pass
for readability. Would also be useful to explain that the techniques are
informative only.

How the guidelines are organized, p1: This is confusing and inaccurate. The
guidelines in this document don't state general principles of accessible
design, they state general principles for development of accessible
authoring tools that produce accessible content. How about "The guidelines
in this document state general principles for development of...?" 

Checkpoint priorities, 1p: "There are four goals" -- of what? unclear. Of
this document? Then it's confusing to list it here, as the first item under
"checkpoint priorities," unless given more context. Maybe this belongs
somewhere else? As for the actual statements of goals, "The authoring tools
is accessible" doesn't sound like a goal, but "make the authoring tool
accessible" would, or "provide guidance to make the authoring tool
accessible" or "ensure that the authoring tool is accessible," etc. 

Guideline 1, 1p: "The authoring tool is a software program with standard
user interface elements..." Not sure what this means, nor how standard some
au tool interfaces are.

Guideline 1, 3p: The examples given do not present a cross-disability
perspective. This is a problem. Also, the mention of specific blocks of
"text," to the exclusion of mention of other media objects, seems narrow.

1.6: Needs to be made clearer how this item relates to accessibility.

GL2: "use W3C recommendations" maybe clearer to say "generate markup that
conforms to W3C Recommendations." Also, do you really mean the term
"standard" here? W3C Recommendations are not formal standards, in the ISO
sense. I think you mean specification.

GL2, 2.2: "Ensure that content is created in accordance with..." Do you
mean "Ensure that markup is generated in accordance with a published..."
That is very different, and actually possible. 

2.3. "Ensure that document markup language used enables..." I think this is
"generated" not "used."

GL3, 1p: "...these problems are likely to remain..." Unclear. Might as well
be specific about what you mean.

GL4, 3p: "professionally written" is a term that would offend some Web
authors who have self-studied. I suggest either clarifying its usage, or
replacing it.

GL4, 4p: "This will lead to an increase in the average quality of ...."
This sounds more like a promotional claim rather than part of a specification.

4.2 "...for an object whose function is known with certainity" -- what does
that mean?

Judy Brewer    jbrewer@w3.org    +1.617.258.9741    http://www.w3.org/WAI
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) International Program Office
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/LCS Room NE43-355, 545 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA,  02139,  USA
Received on Wednesday, 25 August 1999 10:15:24 UTC

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