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Re: Agenda item #2: revisiting ATAG FAQ

From: Harvey Bingham <hbingham@acm.org>
Date: Sat, 04 Dec 1999 02:36:05 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>, w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
At 1999-12-03 04:35-0500, Judy Brewer wrote:
Here are some thoughts on the FAQ.

>For agenda item #2, here is an updated list of FAQ questions associated
>with the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines.
>Please look over the list; we'll discuss several of the questions on the
>EOWG call today.
>**NOTE: This list does not represent a finished document, nor does it
>indicate whether the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines will be
>released as a W3C Recommendation.**
>1. What is an authoring tool?
>2. Why are these guidelines necessary?
>3. Will there be a demand for authoring tools that implement these guidelines?

     Will government pressures help persuade suppliers of authoring tools?

>4. How soon will there be tools available that implement these guidelines?


>5. What is in these guidelines?
>6. Who has been involved in developing these guidelines?

     Who will step up to admitting they support them?

>7. What is the difference between these guidelines and other Web
>accessibility guidelines?

---- Nature of conformant tools ----

>8. Are there different levels of conformance?

>9. How would conformant tools support the creation of accessible Web content?

     Much existing HTML is not well-formed in the XML sense. Many
     authoring tools that have an HTML output choice make no effort to
     check for presence of attributes that are there to enhance

     As many current browsers accept ill-formed documents and present
     them by default, without regard to their accessibility, there has
     been little incentive to fix their inaccessibility.

     Can a conformant authoring tool accept invalid or non-well-formed
     documents? True XML documents must be well-formed, and if there is
     a referenced DTD, also valid to it. XML parsers should bounce badly
     marked up documents.

     Can an authoring tool repair such badly marked-up documents?
     [TIDY attempts to develop well-formed HTML, where a DTD is available.]
     Any tool working on an existing ill-formed document without a DTD will
     not know which elements need empty end-tags, or where missing end-tags
     (or start-tags)
     need to go, so cannot make it valid without major assumptions like
         "any unrecognized tag is by default empty."
         "develop list of start-tag and end-tag. Any with no end-tag found
          are presumed empty. Any with some end-tags found, put in others
          in similar places."
     Few of these will be perfect. An adjusted document can be made well-formed
     only with low confidence.

     Can it augment the non-accessible versions from commercial
     authoring tools?

>10. How would someone know if a tool that they want to use supports these

      None do at this time.

>11. Will people with disabilities be able to use conformant tools?

      Reference the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines.

>12. Do authors have to use conformant tools to create accessible Web pages?

      No, but as apps move to XML or XHTML, they will have to be well-formed
      and preferably valid as well.

>13. What are the best tools available now for creation of accessible Web

---- developer ----

>14. If a developer wanted to assess their current tool, where would they

      Can we include some product reviews?

>15. Are the checkpoints prioritized in some way, so a developer will know
>what features are most important?
>16. What kind of reference material is available for tool developers who
>want to implement these guidelines?

      See the User Agent techniques note.

>17. Are there any open-source materials or reference implementations

>18. Will conformant tools...
>         18a. be easy or hard to use?
>         18b. allow people to create interesting Web pages?
>         18c. fully automate the creation of accessible content?

             Most unlikely. [Bobby makes the author make many
             manual judgements]

>         18d. produce content that works across different kinds of browsers?

             Many accessibility solutions apply to the different kinds
             of delivery devices.

>         18e. explain how to do things like caption audio or describe video?

             Special tools to attach these text streams. ?Does SMIL Boston
             address these?

>         18f. provide some way to verify accessibility of Web pages?

             If an XML application has some required attributes needed
             for accessibility, their presence can be verified automatically.

>19. Would a user of a conformant tool...
>         19a. be able to turn off the prompts, alerts, checking, etc., if 
> he or
>            she didn't want to use them?

             A decision by author as to when to validate is appropriate.
             The conformance needs to be checked before releasing a document.

>         19b. have to know much HTML to make accessible Web pages?

             No, though it helps, particularly with strict HTML 4.01 or XHTML,
             since there are some required accessibility attributes.

>         19c. have to convert their existing code?

             Hard to adjust code, scripts, applets.
             Hard to adjust style mechanisms unless authoring tool gives
             handle on CSS/XSL.

        19d. have to convert their existing documents?

             A conversion filter can adjust for some deficiencies, and may
             put place-holders in that a proper authoring tool can call
             to the author's attention.

>20. Will W3C's own tools conform to these guidelines?
>21. What other resources are available to support accessibility of the Web?
>22. How does one learn more about the Web Accessibility Initiative?
>23. What is the role of the W3C in Web accessibility?
>- Judy
> >Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 15:06:05 -0500
> >To: w3c-wai-eo
> >From: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
> >Subject: Agenda item #1: any EOWG comments on UAGL?
> >Cc: ij, jongund@uiuc.edu
> >
> >EOWG:
> >
> >If you want to get going on the first part of the EOWG agenda for
>tomorrow/Dec 3rd, it is to provide EOWG comments on the User Agent
>Accessibility Guidelines
><http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/WD-WAI-USERAGENT-19991105>, which are just
>closing Last Call.
> >
> >Here's how this works:
> >
> >EOWG has a dependency with the User Agent Guidelines WG, namely that we'll
>be obligated to help promote awareness & implementation of their
>guidelines, along with other WAI resources. So this means that we need to,
>as a group, consider if there are any comments/concerns that EOWG has about
>the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines. It could be things like,
> >- is the purpose clear?
> >- does the introductory matter explain the context of disability
>requirements adequately & appropriately for the purpose of that document?
> >- will developers or other users of the document need additional kinds of
>supporting resources to make best use of the document?
> >- Etc.
> >So, even if you've read the UAGL before, please read it again, from an
>education/outreach perspective.
> >
> >Timeline-wise, we're doing this under an extension. Last Call officially
>closed on Wednesday, Dec 1. I notified UAWG folks that we'd give them
>comments tomorrow, after our meeting. We'll need to batch all comments at
>that point; they have to be in as early as possible tomorrow.
> >
> >So any comments you have from the EOWG perspective, send to w3c-wai-eo for
>discussion, then we'll batch them.
> >
> >Thanks,
> >
> >- Judy
> >
> >>Resent-Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 13:20:29 -0500 (EST)
> >>X-Sender: jbrewer@localhost
> >>X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Pro Version 3.0.5 (32)
> >>Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 13:19:09 -0500
> >>To: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
> >>From: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
> >>Subject: Reminder, EOWG meeting tomorrow, Dec 3 1999
> >>Resent-From: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
> >>X-Mailing-List: <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org> archive/latest/1076
> >>X-Loop: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
> >>Sender: w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org
> >>Resent-Sender: w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org
> >>
> >>EOWG:
> >>
> >>Reminder, we are meeting tomorrow:
> >>
> >>- Friday December 3, 1999
> >>- phone 1 617 252 1038
> >>- time 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 US Eastern Time
> >>
> >>Agenda to follow.
> >>
> >>Please note minutes from last meeting are available at
> >><http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/1999/1112-EOWG-min.html>
> >>
> >>Regards,
> >>
> >>- Judy
> >>----------
> >>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
> >>
>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 Saturday, 4 December 1999 02:36:17 UTC

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