Re: clear & simple

I  think we are basically in agreement here. But I take issue with the idea
that it is ok to make it hard to read because we worked hard on it. It is
fine to me that some things are complex, and require thought to understand
them. That does not excuse us from trying to express them in clear terms that
allow anyone who can do the mental gymnastics with the concepts to get to the
right result.

I agree that the task of making simplified guides, of making specific
guidelines for specific instances (a publisher of information, an
implementation plan, etc) is outside our resources and scope, although we
should endeavour to track at least what is done in EO in that area.


On Thu, 14 Sep 2000, William Loughborough wrote:

  CMcCN:: "W3C Technical Reports such as the Guidelines have to meet a 
  certain standard as specifications, and that means they need to make 
  certain things (like what is normative and what is informative) clear."
  WL: Yes,   we need a normative document but IMO it needs to be almost 
  hidden away.
  The only argument about this is that Gregg, who originally proposed what I 
  (albeit in somewhat "elitist" mode) called on to be hidden away: the 
  "normative document" that Jason is working so hard on (as are we all), at 
  the last telecon said that events had overtaken us - I think meaning that 
  comments of the kind that complain about the arcane nature of arcane 
  documents being off-putting required us to make the document itself 
  simplisticer. I still don't believe that.
  I think that the *NORMATIVE* (there!) version *must* be formal, etc. In the 
  terms of an old programmer's badge "Good Programmers Don't Document - It 
  Was Hard to Write, It Should Be Hard to Read!" Now for academicians and 
  others familiar with the forms/norms and conventions of this sort of 
  undertaking it is NOT hard to read - no more so than a logic diagram to 
  logicians or the Xs and Os used by coaches/players, etc.
  Further I think that this should be our central concern, particularly as we 
  strive to achieve greater generality/abstraction.
  The "popularization" of the content of the Content Guidelines might not 
  even be within our scope (or abilities?).
  I think I'm proposing that such efforts as my "Guideline Guide" properly 
  reside elsewhere and that EOWG should have the deliverable of making the 
  normative informative. Going any further than the Techniques document is 
  IMO more than we should be doing. That piece is actually central to the 
  issue of making the dark things clear and in fact won't need very much 
  change as WCAG 2 emerges.
  I may also be proposing that the Techniques (somewhat abstract) be parent 
  to the Examples which are a growing collection of actual code samples, etc. 
  - a section for any technology that might be being used by designers/authors.
  The Guidelines should have our attention The Techniques and Examples need 
  our participation as well. I am not at all convinced that we should even 
  address style/context of their presentation so long as we follow our own 
  sanction to write them as clearly as the Techniques document has been written.
  Full Stop!

Charles McCathieNevile    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative            
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
September - November 2000: 
W3C INRIA, 2004 Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France

Received on Thursday, 14 September 2000 10:06:01 UTC