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New Guidelines

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <po@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 17:31:50 -0600
Message-ID: <01BCEBA3.092D6DA0.po@trace.wisc.edu>
To: "'IG - WAI Interest Group List'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
The Guidelines Group members - you can skip this message.  You've seen all this information already.

Dear Interest Group members:

At the last meeting, we were able to get through about half of the old 
guidelines, making recommendations and suggestions.  Another chunk of work 
was delegated to the Tables Group, and some parts we just didn't get to.
There's also been a tremendous amount of traffic on the various listserves 
on different ideas.  At the last meeting, we also decided to restructure 
the guidelines.
As a result, I was left with a lot of ideas and some directions, but only 
about a third of the definite decisions.  I was uncomfortable in putting 
together guidelines that would go out as being the WAI guidelines, so we 
decided here to put together one last set of Trace Center guidelines, which 
the WAI committee could use as a base for its work.  That version is 
Version 8.0, and is being submitted to the Working Group as a point to 
begin its efforts on developing the first official WAI guidelines.

1)	We took all of the recommendations from the last WAI meeting, and 
incorporated them.  These included the rewordings, the specific new items, 
the relative ranking, the decision to include but separate the 
recommendations for page authors, browser developers, and screen reader 
developers, etc.

2)	We conducted a sweep of the web, identifying large numbers of 
guidelines, which we pored over to make sure that we captured as many 
issues and ideas as possible.  (These guidelines are listed in the 

3)	We adopted the four-plus-one-level approach that I proposed at the 
meeting, and that we voted to try.  In this version, we have the Level 4 
guidelines as well as several of the Level 3 Quicksheets and Checklists, 
all in rough draft form.

4)	We completely restructured the Level 4 guidelines so that they were in 
the same basic structural format as HTML 4.0.  The thought here was that 
this would both facilitate review and transfer of ideas by or to the HTML 
4.0 group, and help us to make sure that we have in fact covered all of the 
different issues that might arise.  We think this is a helpful way to look 
at it, but the group can judge.

5)	We tried some formatting tricks to try to make the guidelines easier to 
look at and review, both visually and using screen readers.  (For example, 
we used 1, 2, 3, or 4 asterisk icon to make it easy to visually pick out the 
most important items.  However, screen readers don't usually read three of 
any character, so we changed asterisks to images and used "one star," "two 
star," "three star," and "four star" as the alt text.  This both solves the 
screen reader problem and makes it a lot easier for screen readers to read 
items - e.g., they hear "four star, add alt text to all images" instead of 
"asterisk asterisk asterisk asterisk, add alt text to all images.")

6)	We also tried to capture as much of the discussion on the HC and IG 
listserves as possible, although some items are still not resolved 
sufficiently to capture them in the guidelines.

The current draft can be found at

The guidelines group is reviewing and making changes 

We have incorporated all those we could - but some have just come in and we are still working.

Will try to update again before Monday but Hey it's the weekend so don't expect too much.

See you all Monday. 

Gregg Vanderheiden
Co-editor (with Wendy Chisholm) of the Trace Center Web Guidelines
And (future) editor (actually scribe and compiler) for the
WAI Guidelines Working Group

Received on Friday, 7 November 1997 18:39:21 UTC

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