Draft Minutes Dec 10 1998 meeting

Draft minutes,

WAI ER IG  December 10 1998

Please send additions, corrections to Len Kasday  kasday@acm.org
(who will not have email available till 12/16)


David Clark
Daniel Dardailler
Al Gilman
Leonard Kasday (chair & scribe)
Marja-Riitta Koivunen
William Loughborough
Chris Ridpath
Michael Vorburger


ALL: post references for high level "match and mold" tools that could be
used to implement high level input of rules; or give design ideas for same.

Daniel: will check on authoring tool project by intern of  Michael Pieper.


Will be a WAI-ER-WG meeting, Wednesday December 16.  As usual, WAI-ER-IG
folks are invited.

Summary of discussion follows, under headings of major topics.
I rearranged by topic instead of giving pure chronological order.

This was offshoot of initial discussion of Altifier (Semester project of
Michael Vorburger; see below). 

RDF, a generalization of PICS,  could be used for Altifier Output.  RDF
specifies a schema: a logical relations, e.g. alternative text for an
image, and the syntax of the relation. e.g. the ALT attribute, and a value,
e.g. "Home.".  

The information could reside in the web page in HTML, in the header
provided by the servers serving up the page, or on a third party bureau.
So a site that draws from many internal sources, like the web site of a
commercial company, could have a single group assigned to create the
accessibility information, without the involvement of the individual
contributors.  Or, third party "volunteers" or hired companies could offer

The result could be implemented by 
- a proxy server that puts the accessibility info into the web page on the fly
- a system that edits the web pages
- a user agent capability to use the accessibility info.


Status: Semester project. Semester terminates January.  So far, spec, start
of C code.  Will have three modules

Scanner - parses out filenames and images
Guesser/Heuristics - inserts ALT
Module that inserts ALT into page

First step: Scanner and manual inserter running in command mode. Expected
in January.
Heuristics may not be done by end of semester in February.

This assumes one ALT text per image.  However, theoretically at least,
could be more.  E.g. magnifier that could be actual magnfiying glass in
optics store or symbol for search.  Or Mailbox that could be "mail to john
smith" on one page and "mail to Mary Jones" on another.

Guess module is function with
First argument, struct with local info: file URL, current ALT if any, URL
of link
Second optional argument, struct with more global info, e.g. titles of
referred to pages

Suggestion: pattern recognition to e.g. identify bullets. 

Question raised: is effort required by this additional logic of sufficient
value to user to be worth it?  For example, if image is repeated, blind
user might be able to deduce it's bullet anyway.  However, user still has
to listen to the image all those times.  Also, might help the less
experienced user.  Need test.  Test on paper?  


Chris Ridpath, ATRC.  A set of dialog boxes implementing the accessibility
guidelines, available as modules for authoring tools.

 Will include alt text registry for images used on a site, to suggest ALT
text for images already in registry.  This registry will share common file
format with Altifier.ompt

User Interface concern was expressed:
Must keep user in control to avoid frustration. If too frustrated, user
will turn off prompt altogether.  Don't force user to take action right
way.  For example, like in Word, where misspelled words are simply
underlined so that they can be corrected later, instead of stopping right
there. but don't have to do at that moment  can correct later  worried that
prompt so much it gets turned off.

Suggestion: To further allow user to postpone action, could have feature in
which ALT text appears on web page on or next to image.  There's already a
prototype tool listed on the tool page that does this, plus gives form
fields to change text.

Control over rules was suggested.  E.g. when converting to text-only, give
control of whether radio buttons are converted.

Request was made to give user, e.g. Webmaster, ability to add rules.
Preferably using high level language.  Is XSL suitable?  Perhaps not.  Not
yet in any available tools.  Not in HotMeTaL.

*** Action item for all: post URL's for suitable high level "match and
mold" tools.

Perhaps this will go into version 2.

Existing editors being evaluated at ATRC. 

Discussion of how A prompt is included in editors:  If developer already
has a dialog to add a tag, there's no way to combine that dialog with the A
prompt dialog.  However, there are function calls which return flags which
developer can use to control extra fields in existing dialog box.

*** Action item for Daniel: Check on authoring environment being developed
by student of  Michael 

CSS2 will also be able to have ALT text and image appear simultaneously.


1. Use proxy server.
2. Pass URL to CGI gateway which then redisplays page... and recursively
transforms all links so they go through gateway as well.  Bobby and Lynxme
do this.
3. Use local proxy on client browser's computer (Netscape Navigator
provides interface  *** Daniel will post URL.  
4. Filter Plugin.  Internet Exporer has plugin; example of use on Microsoft
Power Toys page; Mark Novak at Trace using it; interface is DOM.


Will be "WG" meeting.  

Plan to discuss tools to evaluate state of web.  
What tools are being used to create sites?
Coordinate with web characterization group in w3c... perhaps more of an EO
task though

Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Universal Design Engineer, Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Adjunct Professor, Electrical Engineering
Temple University

Ritter Hall Annex, Room 423, Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215} 204-2247 (voice)
(800) 750-7428 (TTY)

Received on Sunday, 13 December 1998 21:23:48 UTC