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Re: 11.1 versus 11.2

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 10:47:33 -0400
Message-ID: <37C55385.F6D78B4A@w3.org>
To: Kitch Barnicle <kab42@columbia.edu>
CC: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Kitch Barnicle wrote:
> What is the difference between checkpoint 11.1 and 11.2, which are both under
> the guideline "User agents should support applicable W3C technologies and in
> particular the accessibility features defined for the technology."
> 11.1 Implement the accessibility features defined for supported technologies.
> [Priority 1]
>  11.2 Support appropriate W3C Recommendations. [Priority 2] For instance, for
> document markup, support HTML and XML; for style sheets, support CSS; for
> mathematics, support MathML; for multimedia, support SMIL, etc.

Hi Kitch,

The differences are the following:

1) 11.1 refers to any technologies, not just W3C technologies. This
   would make the either the Guideline too specific (since it
   mentions W3C) or the checkpoint too general (and it should be
   limited to W3C specs). 

2) 11.1 refers to support for accessibility features, 11.2 refers to
   support for standards. If you can't do all of a standard (Priority 2)
   then be sure to do the accessibility parts (Priority 1).

There's an emphasis on W3C specs for reasons enumerated
in the rationale paragraph:
   > * W3C technologies include "built-in" accessibility features. 
   > * W3C specifications undergo early review to ensure that 
       accessibility issues are considered during the design phase. 
   > * W3C specifications are developed in an open, industry 
       consensus process. 

To address the discrepancy between the guideline text and
the text of checkpoint 11.1, we could either:

a) Expand the scope of the guideline to something like 
   "Support Open Specifications and Known Accessibility Features"
   We might add a checkpoint to the effect of "Support open standards",
   but I'm not convinced of the necessity.

b) Reduce the scope of checkpoint 11.1 to be: "Implement
   accessibility features defined for supported W3C technologies."

I propose (a) without an additional checkpoint.

On a related note:

Yesterday in the AU WG meeting [1] we debated the use of the
word "defined" in a similar checkpoint from the AU Guidelines.
Several people felt that "defined" was too strong a word.

The 18 August version of the AU Guidelines [2] reads:

  > 3.1 Implement all accessible authoring practices 
  >     that have been defined for the markup
  >     language(s) supported by the tool. [Priority 1] 

The 25 August version of the AU Guidelines [3] reads:

 > 3.1 Ensure the author can implement accessible 
 >     authoring practices for the markup
 >     language(s) supported by the tool.

I propose that in any wording change to checkpoint 11.1
of the UA Guidelines, that we adopt similar wording, along
the lines of:

   "Implement known accessibility features of W3C technologies."

or in the more general case:
   "Implement known accessibility features of supported 

(Perhaps adding a note that this means markup languages, style
 sheet languages, schema languages, metadata formats, etc.)

Thanks Kitch,

 - Ian

Reference document:

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-au/1999JulSep/0142.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/WAI-AUTOOLS-19990818/
[3] http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/WAI-AUTOOLS-19990825
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel/Fax:                     +1 212 684-1814
Received on Thursday, 26 August 1999 10:47:56 UTC

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