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Best Practices vs. Techniques

From: David MacDonald <befree@magma.ca>
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2003 17:17:28 -0400
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c336a8$30c490e0$52a51a40@david>
Best Practices vs. Techniques


I think the Best Practices in the guidelines and the Techniques document
are handled well.  They are distinct in there tone.  Perhaps one could
argue that the following is technology specific and therefore not a best
practice but I think it is OK in the document:


Best Practice for Checkpoint 1.6

1.      when text content is presented over a background image or
pattern, the text is easily readable when the page is viewed in 256


The only other questions that arose in my mind was when we mention
examples in the definitions (which is not my mandate for this action
item) I think the little bit of overhang into techniques is appropriate
in the context used.


Below is Michael's definition of the distinction between best practices
and techniques.  I agree with it.


David MacDonald





Access Empowers People...

       ...Barriers Disable Them


         <http://www.eramp.com/> www.eramp.com



Hi David - here's my thoughts on the difference between Best Practices



Techniques are technology-specific (with the exception of Core
techniques) interpretations of the guidelines. As such, they have to
relate to the guidelines - for every technique there must be a guideline
(or actually, Success Criterion). The reverse is also true - for a site
using a given technology to be able to claim full guideline conformance,
there must be a technique for every guideline. So every Success
Criterion must be "techniquable". Techniques also must be reliably


Best Practices also provide interpretative support for the guidelines.
But they do not relate to specific technologies and do not have
testability requirements. In many cases, they describe more the process
you go through in fulfilling the guidelines than create specifications
for the Web content. In their interpretive role Best Practices may
influence how we create Techniques, but we will not create Techniques to
fulfill Best Practices - regardless of whether the BP is testable.


The greatest area of potential overlap and confusion is with the Core
Techniques, or whatever they got renamed as. Those are Techniques, as in
concrete things you do, but don't relate to specific technologies.
Examples might be a Technique for creating good text descriptions of
elements. This might include requirements for length, information about
what gets represented in the description, etc. A BP about this would
simply say "text descriptions are brief and meaningful". So the
distinction there is one of generality - which is unfortunately good for
coming up with a definition.


These are more rambling thoughts than I thought I'd have but let's see
how they sit with you...




Michael Cooper

Accessibility Project Manager


1 Hines Rd

Kanata, ON  K2K 3C7


+1 613 599 3888 x4019








Received on Thursday, 19 June 2003 17:17:39 UTC

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