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Re: Fw: Checkpoint 3.3

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 21:30:20 -0400 (EDT)
To: thatch@us.ibm.com
cc: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.9907192048280.31236-100000@tux.w3.org>
I agree with both Rob and Jim, and I think Jason does too, that the
guidelines specify requirements.

In fact they are a technical cativity of the Web Accessibility and their goal
is to capture the requirements for the design of web content which is
accessible. The group has elected to do that in such a way as to give
seveeral levels of priority for requirements, which makes these guidelines
perhaps the most comprehensive such document currently available. I disagree
with the examples Jim has chosen - there is cler and direct benefit for a
large part of the web audience if tables are not used for layout control. It
is to be expected that on the finer points of precisely how important
everything is there will be some disagreement - this is why we work through
the consensus process we use.

As an editor of the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines, currently in
working draft (not now an 'early draft' but a relatively mature and
resaonably stable working draft, which is still quite a way from
the status of W3C Recommendation, of course) I too am concerned that we
need appropriate input from developers and implementors, as well as users who
are going to have to live with whatever is implemented.

My personal feeling is that all three guidelines groups in fact have a
reasonable balance, if not an always ideal one. At the end of the day what is
required to know if something works or not is to do it. I hope that in the
light of experience it will be possible to revise guidelines documents where
appropriate, and I think if we know we will be able to do that it should be
clearly stated. I do not think that adopting a set of guidelines "blindly" is
a good idea, but somebody has to be first to do things in the "real world",
there will never be the development experience needed to refine the process.
(In authoring tools we are attempting to get as much experience as possible
while producing the draft, but we also face the problem that we cannot afford
to hold off forever simply because we don't have exhaustive experience - that
is an impossibility).

just my 2 centimes worth

Charles McCN

On Mon, 19 Jul 1999 thatch@us.ibm.com wrote:
[among other things]
  I see this problem in IBM. We would like to be Double-A conformance but we
  cannot "require" of Web development, additional the work effort and time with no
  clear and direct benefit. There is clear and direct benefit from alt-text and
  from not using server-side maps. For example again, there is no significant
  direct benefit in not using tables for formatting.
  I agree with Rob; we must look at the guidelines as requirements. People will
  use them as requirements.  EITAAC, the states and large companies will look to
  W3C and the Web Accessibility Initiative for the expertise in what to do to make
  the web accessible.  Those making the laws or company rules may not have that
  expertise and will assume that thorough and balanced discussion would yield the
  best guidance. I worry as I listen to the discussion here and other lists, that
  the balance is lacking. The Web professionals, the tool and agent developers
  just do not have/take the time to participate.
Received on Monday, 19 July 1999 21:30:46 UTC

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