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Re: comments on section 4, ensuring that product documentation is available....

From: mark novak <menovak@facstaff.wisc.edu>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 10:05:13 -0500
Message-Id: <v03007805b2f9b75c28ce@[]>
To: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org, ewers@trace.wisc.edu

>In the discussion at the December Face-to-face meeting these exact
>arguements were presented in defence of documentation accessibility issue
>being a priority 1.  I don't know of anybody in the working group that
>doesn't think that accessible documentation is not important.  The
>consensus of the group on level 2 was based on based on the following idea.
>If a company was chosing between making the documentation more accessible
>and adding improved keyboard support, what would you want the developer to
>do?  If both are priority 1 then to the developer they are equally
>important.  So we want to limit the priority 1 to items that are most
>critical for implementations.  In most cases the user can still use the
>user agent even if the documentation is not completely accessible.
>Remember a priority 2 still indicates very difficult, while priority 1
>means impossible.
>The issue is closed and can only be reopened if new information is provided
>to the group on why the status should be changed.  You can review the
>discussion of the the F2F meeting at:

thanks for the URL to the f2f notes, I've now had a chance to go back
and review some of the history, that certainly helps.

in short:

at the risk of being a pest, I'm going to suggest that this "issue" is not
closed and that this topic be re-opened for discussion?  While I didn't
have access to the "document" used for discussion at the f2f meeting, I am
concerned that most of that discussion seems to have centered around
3.4 "providing documentation about accessibility features" ,  which is
considerably different than 4.1.2, "ensuring that product documentation
is available in at least one accessible, open standard format
(e.g., HTML, XML, ASCIII)."

Therefore, I'd like to make the following proposal:

Reword Guideline 4.1.2 as follows:

Ensure that accessible product documentation is available (or
available upon request ?).

I'd also propose that this become a priority #1 item.

Then, in the techniques document, I think the technique for providing
this guideline should state something like (or whatever best words this):

Accessible documentation may take an electronic format (ASCII, HTML, etc.),
Braille, audio tape, large print, etc. ... and must be available upon user

- with the key issue being, the user having access to whatever form best suites
their needs when/if they request it.

While not my first choice in solving this problem, I think this method
still conveys the importance and responsibility to the UA developer for
accessible documentation as requested, but should not take away from their
(time and development team effort) to also create the best and most
accessible UA,
which meets as many priority #1 items as they can.

thoughts ?


>>The rationale is that even if the documentation is not accessible, somebody
>>culd still use the user agent.  In general Priority 1 is reserved for the
>>checkpoints that make it impossible for people to do without the feature.
>>Priority level 2 still indicates that it is very difficult if it is not
>>We are trying to limit and focus the priority 1 to the items that are most
>>essential for implementation.

>>>At 02:00 PM 2/18/99 -0500, mark novak wrote:
>>>[ February 10th version ]
>>>along with Kitch's comments, I was wondering why 4.1.2, Ensure that product
>>>documentation is available in at least one accessible, open standard
>>>format (e.g., HTML, XML, ASCII)., was not a priority 1?   Just seems a bit
>>>strange that so much effort is going into improving the UA, yet  "at least
>>>accessible form of the documentation is only a "should" (priority 2
Received on Wednesday, 24 February 1999 11:57:16 UTC

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