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[DRAFT for Rapid Review] EOWG Comments on WCAG 2.0 "About Baseline" info page

From: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 05 May 2006 18:51:34 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: EOWG <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>

Dear EOWG Participants:

In our teleconference today we came up with the following five comments on 
the "About Baseline" document. Instead of our usual practice of 
accumulating several meetings' worth of comments before sending them over 
to the WCAG WG, we will be sending this first batch of comments next week 
due to the timeline of the review already underway.

Please review these draft comments by COB (close of business) Tuesday, 9 
May, and reply back to the EOWG list if you do *not* agree with any of the 

Following our discussion today, I edited the following statements slightly 
for clarity. I've also changed the order of the comments around so they 
make more sense as a sequence.

Thank you,

- Judy

[Remember, the following is a DRAFT for EOWG review first!]

EOWG reviewed the baseline document http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/baseline/ 
on 5 May 2006. Most of us had at least some difficulty understanding it, 
and when we compared our resulting understandings of the baseline concept, 
there were considerable differences in what we understood from the 
document. We therefore recommend the following revisions to "About 
Baseline..." at your ealiest opportunity, even while WCAG 2.0 is in Last Call.

We feel that these changes would not change the normative understanding of 
conformance, but that they would make the concept of baseline easier to 
understand while WCAG 2.0 is under review, and thus help ensure more useful 
review comments on WCAG 2.0. Thank you for your consideration of these 

1. Re-structure the document so that there is:
- a short first section which gives you the basics of what baseline is, 
without any background or examples;
- then an explanation of essential things needed to implement the baseline 
concept, including examples;
- and finally a section such as an appendix that might be set up like a 
Q/A, and would include other things that people may be wondering about such 
as why UAAG wasn't used as the baseline, and selected other important 
material from the background.

2. Shorten the entire "about baseline" document by as much as half, in 
order to greatly increase the chance that this material will be read and 
used. This shortening could be achieved by a combination of the 
restructuring suggestions in several of our comments here, plus a 
substantial rewriting of the text to focus less on discussion of rationales 
and approaches, and more on concise practical information that instructs 
the reader how to apply the baseline concept to their use of WCAG 2.0.

3. Take the concepts from the first three paragraphs of the "What is a 
baseline" section; simplify them (try just one or two short, simple 
paragraphs); and make them an introduction to put at the very beginning of 
the "About Baseline" document. If this can be done in a way that includes 
simple statements about what baseline is (for instance, in a bulleted list, 
or something equally terse and clear), then also add a brief statement that 
baseline is not browser or assistive technology specifications. But don't 
add a statement about what it isn't unless the introduction already 
includes a clear statement of what it is.

4. Add a prominent link from the introduction of the baseline section to 
the conformance section of WCAG 2.0, and remove redundant info about 
conformance from the baseline document itself. (Note that, for now, we are 
not recommending the removal of information about baseline from the 
conformance section of WCAG 2.0.)

5. Rename the "Background" section of "About baseline..." to something such 
as "Why baseline is needed" or "Why baseline is useful"; then shorten it by 
about 2/3 and change the perspective from "this is what the WG did" to 
"this is why baseline is needed, and what it gets you."


Judy Brewer    +1.617.258.9741    http://www.w3.org/WAI
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/CSAIL Building 32-G530
32 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA,  02139,  USA
Received on Friday, 5 May 2006 22:58:10 UTC

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