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Thinking aloud...Definitions (pre-Guideline 1.1 summary)

From: Wendy Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 12:08:54 -0400
Message-ID: <42667E96.8020909@w3.org>
To: wai-gl <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Note: These are "pre-proposals" and issues that I'd like feedback on 
before continuing with my issue summary and proposals for Guideline 1.1 
- I want to gauge people's reactions to a few ideas before doing more 
work. Guideline 1.1 is dependent on definitions that are in flux, 
therefore, I've  included draft definitions to tease out assumptions and 
implications.  I'm looking for feedback so that I can generate 
proposals.  To start, I am focusing only on Guideline 1.1, Level 1, SC 1 
"For all non-text content that is functional, such as graphical links or 
buttons, text alternatives serve the same purpose as the non-text content."


   1. No definitions for content or explicitly associated
   2. Proposed definitions for text, unicode seem fairly
      uncontroversial, need to discuss/close [see below]
   3. Definition of "functionality" includes "convey information" and we
      separate "provide function" from "convey information" in Guideline
      1.1 Level 1 Success Criteria 1 and 2.  Therefore, either the SC
      need to change or the definition of functionality needs to change.
   4. Non-text content definition has not been solidified (previous
      proposals were controversial - partly because baseline wasn't
      ironed out). Historically, we have shied away from including
      widgets in the definition of non-text content to avoid Guideline
      1.1 requiring text alternatives for all widgets (i.e., to avoid
      noscript for every script).  However, I'd like to investigate the
      idea of "widgets" as non-text content and how that relates to new
      approaches with Guideline 4.2 and baseline.

Draft definitions (not quite proposals):

    * text - A sequence of characters. Characters are those included in
      the Unicode character set. Refer to Characters (in Extensible
      Markup Language (XML) 1.1) for more information about the accepted
      character range.
    * Unicode - Unicode is a universal character set that defines all
      the characters needed for writing the majority of living languages
      in use on computers. For more information refer to the Unicode
      Consortium or to Tutorial: Character sets & encodings in XHTML,
      HTML and CSS produced by the W3C Internationalization Working
      Group.  [Additional clarification that gets a bit "success
      criteria-ish": This does not mean that all documents should be
      encoded in Unicode. It means that documents should only contain
      characters defined by Unicode. Any encoding may be used for your
      document as long as it is properly declared and is a subset of the
      Unicode repertoire.]
    * content -  Information that forms Web sites and Web applications:
      the code and markup that define the structure, presentation, and
      interaction, as well as text, images, and sounds that convey
      information to the end-user.  based on definition in "Essential
      Components of Web Accessibility" 
    * functional - performing or able to perform an action in response
      to user input. [based on Merriam Webster's Medical Dictionary entry]
    * non-text content - content that is not represented by a Unicode
      character or sequence of Unicode characters
          o functional non-text content - content (information including
            markup, code, images, etc) that is capable of performing an
            action in response to user input and is not represented by a
            Unicode character or sequence of Unicode characters.

If these terms are defined in these ways (or something similar) then  
non-text content includes:

   1. "widgets" that are created by attaching an event handler to an image
   2. groups of widgets that form a Web application or a flash application.

For example, the flickr "organize" application (see attached screen 
shot, description below).  If the author chooses a baseline that does 
not rely on flash, he or she will need to provide a label for the flash 
object (e.g., "Organize photos") as well as provide a non-flash 
alternative that allows the user to browse all photos, browse by date, 
view sets of photos, create a new set, view groups, and search for 
photos by tags (i.e., all of the functionality available via the flash 
app).  If the author chooses a baseline that relies on flash, he or she 
will need to provide a label for the flash object (e.g., "Organize 
photos") as well as ensure that all of the internal flash objects are 
accessible. These include:  browse tab, search tab, timeline object, 
create new set button, etc. In other words, each of the internal objects 
should be labeled according to guideline 1.1 and are keyboard accessible 
according to guideline 2.1.  [tee-hee - recursion.] 

If Guideline 1.1 Level 1 SC 1 were reworded, "For all non-text content 
that is functional, text alternatives identify the non-text content in 
such a way that the label may serve the same purpose as the non-text 
content.  If the non-text content is a collection of non-text content, 
each of the internal objects (or groups of objects) are also labeled 
(within reason)."  "within reason" is not testable, but I use it to 
clarify that if you have an SVG image that is a collection of arcs, you 
don't need to label every arc, only the whole. However, if you have a 
flash application you label the app as well as each widget within it. 
Perhaps a better clarification is to label all functional elements 
within a functional element (at least for this criterion and then deal 
with "convey information" in success criterion #2). While this wording 
is rough, I think this approach allows us to address  some of the issues 
we have with Guideline 4.2 and accessibility of web apps (versus user 
agents) and gives us the appropriate "wiggle room" for authors to choose 
different baselines and sets of techniques. 


Description of the attached screen shot:
A screen shot of flickr's "Organize" application in a Firefox window.  
This description is only of the contents of the firefox viewport and not 
of the firefox UI.
 From top to bottom, left to right of the viewport:
Photos: [link] Yours, [link] Upload, [link] Organize, [link] Your 
Contacts', [link] Everyone's
Flickr logo
The "organize" application has two frames each with 2 tabs across the 
top.  The left frame has Browse and Search tabs.  Browse is active, 
Search is inactive. The right frame has "Your sets" and "Your groups" 
tabs.  "Your sets" is active.
Within the Search frame is a button, "Load all photos." Below that is an 
large area with the text, "If you'd like to load all your photos, you 
can do that with the link below. Or, you can load photos from a specific 
date range using the date selector widget even further below. Or, you 
can search for photos by clicking the "search" tab above."  followed by 
the link "Load all your photos."  Below that is the "date selector 
widget" which is a timeline that starts with 12/20/04 and goes to 
4/19/05 in weekly increments.  There are yellow bars below some of the 
dates - a longer bar indicates a larger number of photos published on 
that day. Below that are 2 checkboxes: [unchecked] Use date taken 
instead of posted and [checked] Do the zoom thing on thumbnails.
Within the "your sets" frame is the text "1 set [link] reorder them" and 
a thumbnail labeled "moc moc (6 photos)."  At the bottom of the frame is 
"1 set [link] reorder them" and a "create new set" button.

wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative

(image/jpeg attachment: flickr-screenshot.JPG)

Received on Wednesday, 20 April 2005 16:09:06 UTC

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