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Re: Success criteria speak for themselves

From: Ramón Corominas <listas@ramoncorominas.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 23:04:21 +0100
Message-ID: <5303D8E5.30502@ramoncorominas.com>
CC: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Hi, Wayne and all,

In reality, a program can determine that the content of the <span> is 
different from the other words in the paragraph, which is more or less 
the same information that the sighted user receives. The only visual 
information about that word is that it is italicized, so human 
inteligence is needed also to deduce that the italics mean "definition".

Therefore, a <span> is probably more "equivalent" in terms of conveying 
"the same information". Or, if you prefer, a simple <i> (at least in 
HTML 4.01, since the new definition in HTML5 does not relate to "italics").

Of course, good semantics could be better, but I don't see this really 
failing SC 1.3.1.

Regards,
Ramón.

Wayne wrote:

> Below is from my presentation on Fri. March 21 at 8AM at the CSUN 
> Conference.  It challenges the current narrow interpretation of SC 1.3.1 
> by the WCAG WG.  A few years back WCAG WG made the incorrect 
> interpretation that 1.3.1 did not apply to the text level semantics that 
> conveyed important relationships visually but not semantically.  Here is 
> a counter example to their interpretation.  The WCAG WG perhaps did not 
> mean this interpretation when they wrote the criterion, but that doesn't 
> change its correctness.
> 
>  Example (HTML) —
>  This example compares coding a relationship using a meaningful element 
> like <dfn> to define a term versus using the semantically void element 
> <span> with inline style to define the same term.   Consider the 
> following sentence: The hypotenuse of a right triangle is the side 
> opposite the right angle. Two HTML encodings of this sentence are given 
> below.
> 
>  <p>The <dfn>hypotenuse</dfn> of a right triangle is the side opposite 
> the right angle. </p>
>  <p> The <span style=”font-style: italic;”>hypotenuse</span> of a right 
> triangle is the side opposite the right angle.</p>
>  
> In this example hypotenuse is the word being defined. It is embedded 
> within the defining text. The two entities are related by the following 
> relationship rule: The meaning of the word being defined is precisely 
> what is being stated in the defining text. Let us call this relationship 
> the definition relationship. The first encoding identifies the 
> definition relationship between the word, hypotenuse, and the defining 
> text by bracketing the defined word within the HTML code 
> <dfn>hypotenuse</dfn>.  The <dfn> element has one meaning; it brackets a 
> word being defined.
> 
> The second HTML encoding simply italicizes the word hypotenuse using the 
> HTML code <span style=”font-style: italic;”>hypotenuse</span>. It relies 
> on human intelligence and fully sighted human vision to conclude that an 
> italicized word within the context of a defining sentence identifies a 
> definition relationship.  The fact that the particular italicized word 
> represents a defined term within a definition relationship could not be 
> determined by a program, because the program would have to understand 
> English to determine that the author had defined a term. This is beyond 
> the scope of computer programs.
>  Success Criterion (SC) 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships) of Guideline 1.3 
> applies to these examples. It requires that relationships that are 
> expressed using presentation can also be programmatically determined.  
> In the first encoding the defined term could be detected by a program 
> because it was bracketed by, the HTML tags, “<dfn>…</dfn>.”  One could 
> easily assign an italic style to the <dfn> element so the running text 
> of the sentence has normal style and the defined word is italicized. 
> Fully sighted visual readers could have their familiar reading 
> experience for a definition relationship, and a program could determine 
> the same relationship.  In the second encoding a fully sighted visual 
> reader can perceive the definition relationship from the presentation, 
> but no computer program can determine the relationship.
>  The first encoding passes SC 1.3.1 and the second fails.  This follows 
> directly from the precise wording of SC 1.3.1 and the meaning of 
> relationship and programmatically determined.

-- 
Ramón Corominas
Accessibility specialist
Technosite - Fundación ONCE
E: rcorominas@technosite.es
T: @ramoncorominas
P: +34 91 121 0330
W: http://technosite.es
Received on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 22:05:09 UTC

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