RE: WCAG 1.0 - Errata Update Needed...


Interesting combination of questions. I'm going to give a quick initial 
answer here, but it could be worth the WCAG WG looking at more carefully. 
In particular it is helpful to review the entire section 7.6 of the 
recently updated W3C Process document that deals with modification of a W3C 

Alistair's question seems to be requesting an update of the documented 
errata. I believe that updating errata is usually a simple process -- for 
those things that fall into an easily-agreed upon category of "errata." The 
general example that Alistair gives -- updating the errata to reflect 
changes in changes in guidance incorporated into current drafts of WCAG 
2.0, but not yet reviewed by W3C Membership -- is not typically what errata 
updates have been used for, though changes that meet the criteria specified 
in Section 7.6.2 of the Process document could be possible. The specific 
example that Alistair gives -- a potential change in the hertz range for 
flashes that is considered unacceptable -- would be worth examining from 
the perspective of those criteria. However, one would need clear 
information on how widely accepted the new range is, and possibly other 
information, if you wanted to be sure it didn't slide over into the 
category of something needing additional review.

You seem to be asking a different question than Alistair, about an 
amendment to WCAG 1.0 itself, using the documented errata, and possibly 
also using some draft WCAG 2.0 provisions. Since the W3C Process for 
incorporating errata has recently been changed, it should probably be 
looked at anew with regard to some of the documented errata in WCAG 1.0. So 
far in each discussion that I've heard on the topic of potential errata 
roll-ins to WCAG 1.0, and/or development of a transition version of WCAG 
1.x, I've heard no two people agree on what "obviously" should be included 
in an amended version. Perhaps I have missed a comprimise proposal backed 
by WG consensus. It can be very hard to distinguish what is errata, minor 
change, or substantial change; and therefore correspondingly difficult to 
judge which items need which level of review and approval without careful 
scrutiny and discussion. Debating which items fall into which categories 
can burn considerable amounts of Working Group time while it is making good 
progress towards a WCAG 2.0 Recommendation. Please note that the 
preparations needed to meet the review requirements described under 7.6.3 
"Call for Review of an Edited Recommendation" and 7.6.4 "Call for Review of 
Proposed Corrections" are not trivial, and can potentially also burn 
considerable amounts of Working Group time. Very likely almost all draft 
WCAG 2.0 provisions would need review by the W3C Membership before being 
incorporated into a transition version. This doesn't mean that an amended 
version is not a good proposition; just that the likely benefits must be 
weighed carefully against the costs of delays in progress towards WCAG 2.0.

You also ask to open a discussion about harmonization and transition. I 
think that this is a good idea, and something that the Education and 
Outreach Working Group (EOWG) can help with. EOWG has been working on a 
draft document called "Why Standards Harmonization is Essential to Web 
Accessibility" and hopes to circulate a draft for comment outside of EOWG 
shortly. Some of the intent behind that document is to support a transition 
from WCAG 1.0 to WCAG 2.0. In addition we had some joint discussion on 
transition planning in March 2003 between WCAG WG and EOWG, and EOWG is 
hoping that we can have more of the same at a joint meeting at the W3C 
Technical Plenary in March 2004. We should probably have a joint 
teleconference sometime before then, since transition planning seems to be 
an urgent item on the agendas of both WCAG WG and EOWG.

- Judy

At 03:24 PM 11/27/2003 -0600, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:

>This is a good and interesting point.
>It would be good to migrate 1.0 toward 2.0 to make later transition 
>easier.  However, I don't think we can revise 1.0 using the errata 
>mechanism.  I think that can only be used for real mistakes.
>Judy?   Is this correct?  Or can we use this to amend the old guidelines?
>In either case we need to open a discussion on how to assist in 
>harmonization and transition.
>  -- ------------------------------
>Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
>Professor - Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
>Director - Trace R & D Center
>University of Wisconsin-Madison
>-----Original Message-----
>From: [] On 
>Behalf Of Alistair Garrison
>Sent: Monday, November 24, 2003 10:15 AM
>To:; Jason White; Gregg Vanderheiden; Judy Brewer
>Subject: WCAG 1.0 - Errata Update Needed...
>Dear Jason, Gregg, WAI Content Guidelines Working Group,
>I would like to ask if the Errata for WCAG 1.0 
>could be updated to reflect the changes in guidance so far incorporated 
>into WCAG 2.0 (for example, the fact that the flash rate considered 
>unacceptable for content has changed from a range of 4 to 59 hertz  to a 
>new range of 3 to 49 hertz).
>I am asking this as the Chair person of the EuroAccessibility Consortium's 
>Task Force 3 who's task is to produce a harmonised European approach to 
>evaluating the accessibility of Web content.
>In order to be as flexible in our approach as possible we are looking to 
>take into account the changes in guidance being suggested in Version 2 of 
>the guidelines, but have the issue that if we do incorporate these changes 
>our approach would then be in breach of the guidance given in WCAG 1.0.
>We would very much like to see this matter resolved quickly, and would 
>state again that an updated Errata would be most beneficial as everyone 
>could work with the new material in WCAG 2.0 on the official basis that 
>WAI considers it to be an errata to WCAG 1.0.
>Very Best Regards
>Alistair Garrison
>Chair - Task Force 3
>Tel: +44 (0)207 2522746
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Judy Brewer    +1.617.258.9741
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/LCS Room NE43-355, 200 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA,  02139,  USA

Received on Friday, 28 November 2003 01:08:29 UTC