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Re: working definition of baseline

From: <lguarino@adobe.com>
Date: Fri, 06 May 2005 12:27:03 -0700
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-id: <19807d192bdf.192bdf19807d@adobe.com>

What are we trying to communicate here:

1. WCAG needs authors to use technologies for which accessible user 
agents are available to the users. We refer to such a set of 
technologies as a baseline (and we need a better word than baseline 
for such a set of technologies).

2. Because the properties of user agents change over time, and because 
the set of user agents available to users differs for different 
populations of users, WCAG cannot define the baseline in the normative 
part of the guidelines.

3. A baseline can be defined for a given population of users at a 
given point in time, that is, it is possible to analyze the 
accessibility properties of user agents and to assess what user agents 
should be available to a set of users and come up with the list of 
technologies supported by accessible user agents. 

4. A WCAG conformance claim is always relative to an identified 
baseline. Implicit in that claim is the assumption that the identified 
baseline correctly reflects the audience of the web content at the 
time of the claim, that is, that the analysis of user agents in step 3 
was correct at the time of the claim.

5. An author can use technologies outside the identified baseline as 
long as the use of those technologies degrades gracefully to the 
baseline with no loss of information or functionality.

Is this correct? Have I misunderstood something or missed something 
that needs to be communicated to readers of WCAG?

Received on Friday, 6 May 2005 19:27:18 UTC

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