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Concise meeting summary

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 18:24:55 +1000
Message-ID: <16022.31703.366784.831804@jdc.local>
To: Web Content Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Summary of action items and resolutions:

Wendy: to prepare a revised draft of the Charter for next week's
meeting, incorporating comments from today's teleconference and
clarifying the relationship with the W3C's Quality Assurance activity.

Resolved: to discuss the Charter at next week's meeting with the
intention of thereafter submitting it for consideration by the W3C.

Gregg: to post revised definitions of the proposed conformance levels,
integrating comments from today's discussion.
Note: this action item has been completed

During the meeting, the concept of a conformance level was clarified
amid a discussion of whether the definitions should be treated as
grouping requirements according to categories, or levels. It was
emphasized that developers might legitimately implement all of
level/category 1, then parts of level/category 3 in order to design
specialised content to serve the needs of specific audiences.

It was recognized that confusion had resulted from the identification
level 1 with the notion of compatibility with assistive technologies,
which is not the central or distinguishing concept underlying the
definition. For clarification of this point and more precise wording,
see the revised definitions posted by Gregg. There remains the
question of whether, with these clarifications in place, the proposed
definitions might serve to limit the accessibility of content
conforming to the proposed minimum level, by users who don't interact
with the Web via assistive technologies. Two solutions to this
potential shortcoming were proposed:

(1) transcoding technologies, demonstrated powerfully by Lisa's
ongoing work in applying this technology to the implementation of Web
Accessibility guidelines, notably WCAG

(2) Recognition that "level 1" strategies provide interoperability
    with widely available user agents and other software, not just
    assistive technologies;

It was also recognized that issues of conformance need to be examined
in light of the allocation of requirements among the three proposed
levels, and that a full restructuring proposal in accord with the
suggested definitions remains to be written.

The concern was also reiterated that if, at a minimum level, WCAG were
to impose substantive constraints on authorial expression and presentational
style, this would preclude, or at least severely limit, the broad
adoption and implementation of the guidelines.

It was further remarked that what can be made "invisible" in
author-supplied presentations depends on the technologies which are
being employed, and this needs to be taken into account.

As not all semantic annotations that may be associated with Web content can
reasonably be supplied by all developers, it was suggested that an
element of reasonableness ought to be included in the definition of
the minimum level. On the other hand, WCAG requirements serve as the
basis for the development of authoring tools and other software, and,
it was argued, should thus not be restricted to recommending practices
that are supported by currently available authoring environments.

The exact details of the conformance scheme were not discussed, nor
was the task of actually working out the details of the proposal with
respect to guidelines, checkpoints and success criteria.
Received on Friday, 11 April 2003 04:25:03 UTC

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