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Some comments on AU techniques

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 16:59:54 -0400
Message-ID: <37DEB74A.1B1CFECA@w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-au@w3.org
Hello,

I haven't finished reading the AU techniques document 
that's part of last call [1] but I wanted to send 
these comments anyway. I will reserve most editorial comments
for another review.

1) The document contains very little in the way of
   explanatory prose. This means that I think it will
   not help a reader unless that reader is a very
   informed developer. I think that this draft contains
   sufficient information for the Guidelines to become
   a Recommendation, but I think the Techniques document
   needs to be restructured with more prose, more
   explanations, and more rationale. 

2) Under checkpoint 1.1:
   a) Bullet 1: Provide options for accessibility 
   information such as equivalent alternatives to be 
   included whenever an object is added to a document. 

   I think the case of alternative text should be singled
   out. I think "such as" weakens a technique
   since the reader has no other place to turn at this point.
   There should be concrete examples in place of generalities.

  b) Bullets 3 and 4 refer to WCAG 1.0 Guidelines and Techniques.
     However, these are covered by checkpoint 1.2, so I suggest
     moving these techniques to checkpoint 1.2

  c) I think techniques for W3C languages should be listed 
     clearly, as in:

     * Accessibility of HTML
     * Accessibility of CSS
     
     * Accessibility of SMIL
     etc.
    
     The current wording obscures this.

3) Under checkpoint 1.2

   There should be no techniques in this checkpoint other than
   references to WCAG 1.0. I feel quite strongly about this
   since attempts to include information will necessarily be
   incomplete and risk deviating from WCAG 1.0. If the working
   group has suggested techniques, those should be sent
   to WCAG.

4) Under checkpoint 1.3

   a) Template is undefined in the checkpoint text.
   b) Please refer to "navigation mechanisms" instead
      of "navigation schemata" for consistency with
      other WAI Guidelines.

5) Under checkpoint 1.4

   a) The second bullet talks about using "title" for
      descriptions of images. This is not recommended by WCAG.
   b) Fifth bullet: WYSIWYG is undefined.

6) Under checkpoint 2.1

   a) (editorial) Text in the first bullet is repeated.

7) Under checkpoint 2.2

  a) I think the checkpoint should read:
     "Ensure that generated markup conforms to a published
      specification."

  b) I don't understand the third bullet. It may mean:
     "Use schemas to describe transformations from one
      markup language to another." This may also be done
      with the XSL Transformation language.

8) Under checkpoint 2.3

  a) I don't understand the example about frames in the
     first bullet. It's not clear whether it means "Don't
     create a frame document with NOFRAMES" or 
     "Don't use a DTD for frames without NOFRAMES".

  b) The third bullet should qualify that the statement
     applies to the time of publication of the AU Techniques
     Document.

9) Under checkpoint 3.1

  a) What is the rationale of the second bullet on uppercase letters?

  b) Fifth bullet: say "natural language"
  
10) Under checkpoint 3.2

  a) In first bullet, say "alternative equivalents" instead of
     "alternative information".

  b) In the second bullet, say "image" instead of IMG and refer   
     to a text equivalent instead of alt text.

11) Under checkpoint 3.3

  a) The second bullet on clip art long descriptions needs more
     explanation.

  b) In third bullet, refer to captions, not "video description files".

  c) In fifth bullet, there is reference to pre-written descriptions
     that will circulate on the Web. The same was said of shared
     style sheets and I don't think in reality that that is the case.
     I don't have any data to back up that statement, however.

12) Under checkpoint 3.4

  a) The first bullet is too detailed and difficult to understand
     in its current wording.

  b) In the fourth bullet, there is reference to "alternative
     information mechanism" followed by the acronym "ACM". How
     do the two relate? Should it be AIM?

 - Ian
Received on Tuesday, 14 September 1999 17:00:07 UTC

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