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Re: Proposed Text for Section 1.3 (was Re: Meeting tomorrow)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 23:24:33 -0500 (EST)
To: Bruce_Roberts@lotus.com
cc: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>, w3c-wai-au@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.9911242229110.11307-100000@tux.w3.org>
Fulfilling the action item Ian and I took from the meeting, I have a 
suggestion to do three things:

One is to link to the conformance reviews we have done (and do some more of
them), in the conformance section of the document, in place of the current
examples (incidentally, I am curious as to whether we should be producing a
logo or not. I am inclined not to, but I would like to hear if people think
it is useful). 

The second is to try and give a general idea of the "state of the art" on
that page - both in terms of the best there is and some idea of how
accessible the average tool is. 

The third is to add something like the following language to the introduction
of the guidelines, in the same paragraph as we explain the techniques:

Since this document is intended to be a stable set of guidelines, and we
expect the accessibility of tools to change over the life of the document,
the working group has a page which describes the conformance of various tools
at XXX.

This approach relies on some periodic testing of tools, or on developers
testing and providing the results, which means a commitment of resources.

More general thoughts:

I think it is not appropriate for an international organisation to write
standards around a particular understanding of a small piece of US law - at
the end of the day it is the responsibility of anyone doing purchasing, from
a little school in Greenland to the United Nations, to determine what best
meets their needs and frame their policy accordingly. If we can give them
concrete information such as the conformance evaluations they will be better
able to do that, but sweeping statements that the guidelines are not
appropriate for use by regulatory bodies risk being misunderstood as a
statement that the guidelines do not describe what is needed to make a tool
meet the goals which are set out in our current priority section, and
explained in our introduction. As I said in the meeting today, there is a
world of difference between a responsible and intelligent reference to the
guidelines and an ill-considered use of them, but the Working Group is not
making the decision to reference - we are chartered to produce a
specification which enables responsible and intelligent use.

I think the key is to provide the starting point in a way that means we
provide as much information as possible, while recogninsing that the working
grup is not a policy-making body.

Charles McCN

On Thu, 25 Nov 1999 Bruce_Roberts@lotus.com wrote:

       My understanding from Phill Jenkins and Judy Brewer is that a U.S.
  government section 508 working group is planning on requiring web tools to
  be level AA compliant according to this ATAG document to be approved for
  purchase when under U.S. government contract.  This will go into effect
  sometime in 2000.  I believe (someone correct if I'm wrong, please) that
  there won't be many, or possibly any non-trivial tools available by then at
  that level of compliance.  Judy Brewer originally suggested this caveat as
  a way to make clear that the ATAG document is meant to be used to compare
  authoring tools, not as a way to "rule out" tools from purchase.
       I'm sure my wording is not the best, but can be used as a starting
  -- Bruce
  "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net> on 11/24/99 12:30:19 PM
  To:   Bruce_Roberts@lotus.com
  cc:   Authoring Tools Guidelines List <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
  Subject:  Proposed Text for Section 1.3 (was Re: Meeting tomorrow)
  aloha, bruce!
  could you please clarify your request,
  1) Add text to section 1.3 that states something like:  "this document is
  meant to provide direction for tool vendors and, given the state of
  authoring tools currently, should not be used by regulatory bodies to
  specify conformance levels until appropriate".
  why do you consider this caveat necessary?  what is to be gained by its
  insertion into ATAG?
  why should ATAG be tied to such a time-dependency, when its contents have
  been carefully crafted so as to be as time-independent as possible?
  why is it quote inappropriate unquote?  when will it become quote
  appropriate unquote for a regulatory body to specify conformance levels
  based on the ATAG?
  good luck with the move -- i know from recent personal experience how
  trying a move can be!
  He that lives on Hope, dies farting
       -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1763
  Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
     WebMaster and Minister of Propaganda, VICUG NYC

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Wednesday, 24 November 1999 23:24:38 UTC

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