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

From: Liam McGee <liam.mcgee@communis.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 08 May 2006 14:12:26 +0100
Message-ID: <445F43BA.9010302@communis.co.uk>
To: EOWG <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>

Hello all. Sorry I've not managed to contribute yet, hopefully I won't 
be going over ground you covered on Friday.

I still had to read paragraph 4 several times ("A key element in this 
model is the ability..."). I kept conflating 'technologies' and 
'assistive technologies', entirely wrongly, but can't think of a way of 
choosing a different word apart from being more specific and saying 'web 
content technologies' instead of 'technologies'. Which feels too wordy, 
not to mention still repeating the word 'technologies', albeit in a 
clarified context. Other option is to drop the reference to assistive 
technologies, as it's implied in any case.

So I've removed everything from para 4 that seemed redundant and 
expanded on things that worried me and came up with the following:

Assuming a single set of web content technologies (overtly or through 
success criteria) for WCAG 2.0 conformance would limit the ability of 
Web content that is accessible in the future, using future content 
technologies, to claim conformance. Instead, a WCAG 2.0 conformance 
claim will be made at a stated date against a defined set of web content 
technologies that are assumed to be enabled and working in user agents. 
This defined set of web content technologies is known as the 'baseline'.

Firstly, does that read better?

Secondly, this feels like we can now proudly support developing content 
for some groups of disabled users that excludes other users (disabled or 
no) because they don't have the right technology. I know it happens 
already, but that doesn't mean I've got to like the fact that we seem to 
be giving in on the idea of Accessibility as Design for All.

Just because we fall short of the target doesn't mean we should move the 

The following gives me some comfort:
"Note that baselines are not specified in terms of specific user agents 
but rather in terms of the Web content technologies that are supported 
and enabled in those user agents (including assistive technologies)"

But it's buried pretty deep and chimes oddly with 'This content was 
tested using the following user agents and assistive technologies...', 
which is, let's face it, a list of specific user agents in your 
conformance claim (and technically you're only saying you tested on 
those platforms, not that it works on them, so what is it doing in a 
conformance claim?).

However, I guess we're tasked with clearly explaining the decisions 
made, not with making the decisions, so I'll shut up now :-)

Regards to all


Liam McGee, Managing Director, Communis Ltd
www.communis.co.uk      +44 (0)1373 836 476
Received on Monday, 8 May 2006 13:12:42 UTC

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