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Comments on content of UA guidelines

From: keren beth moses <kmoses@students.uiuc.edu>
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 17:24:30 -0600 (CST)
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.10.9911221704180.16083-100000@ux13.cso.uiuc.edu>

I'm coming from a bit of an outsider's perspective.  Most of these
comments have to do with parts of the document (especially techniques)
that I didn't understand.

The introduction talks about contexts in which web access may be
difficult.  It includes many situations that may occur for individuals
with and without disabilities.  This sounds like the focus is on universal
access.  Immediately after, it states, "User agents must be designed to
take into account the diverse functional requirements of users with
disabilities."  This puts the emphasis back on disability.  The change in
focus between universal access and disability access is confusing.

Checkpoint 1.3 and its techniques get very caught up in client-side image
maps.  It seems to me that there are other applications of this
checkpoint.  Mac and Unix users can't even access plain text links in
Netscape Navigator without the mouse.

Checkpoint 1.4 first and last techniques seem to say the same thing: allow
the user to perform mouse events with the keyboard.

Checkpoint 1.5 techniques are phrased as "do not..." followed by a list of
items.  I think the do not only applies to the first two items in the
list, since other items include their own "do not" or present techniques
that should, in fact, be used.  Perhaps it would be clearer to present as
a "do" list and make every item a complete sentence.

Checkpoint 2.1 seems clear but the techniques section is very long
awkwardly organized.  I was more confused about the checkpoint after
reading the techniques document than before.  Perhaps this is because it
gives a lot of information that is not specifically related to ways of
implementing the checkpoint.  This happens in other areas of the
techniques document as well.  The information given there can not always
be described as a "technique"; maybe it's just the name that is confusing.
Also, from checkpoint to checkpoint, the style and presentation of
information is inconsistent (probably because it was written by a lot of
different people).

I didn't understand Checkpoint 2.4.  What is a "time-dependent active
element"?  The techniques document didn't help me much.  I think an
example is in order.  How can you "provide time-dependent information in a
time-independent manner, such as a static list of links that are
time-dependent and occupy the same screen real estate"?  How can a static
list be time-dependent?  Or did that mean "Provide time-dependent links in
a static list that occupies the same screen real estate"?

Checkpoint 3.7 states "This is particularly important for scripts that
cause the screen to flicker, since people with photosensitive epilepsy can
have seizures triggered by flickering or flashing in the 4 to 59 flashes
per second (Hertz) range.  Users should be able, for security reasons, to
prevent scripts from executing on their machines."  Are these two things
(epilepsy and security) related?  If so, the relationship should be made
clearer.  If not, they should be separated somehow.  Also, the "script
techniques" document to which the reader is referred is a little sparse.

Checkpoint 5.8 states "If your custom interface cannot provide information
or operation as defined above, then you may need to design your UA using
any additional options provided by that platform."  I don't understand
what this means.

Checkpoint 10.1 is "Provide information about the current user-specified
input configuration (e.g., keyboard or voice bindings specified through
the user agent's user interface)." and has priority 1.  How much
information can the program give the user about configurations that the
user has set?  The techniques document for this checkpoint is very
confusing.  What does tabbing order have to do with user-specified
configuration?  Can the user ever set the tabbing order?  There are also a
lot of suggestions about allowing the user to search for things using the
find command.  This is fine, but I don't see how it relates to the
checkpoint.  Also, the issue of reserved keyboard shortcuts is addressed
in Checkpoint 10.5; maybe it is best to refer the reader to that section
instead of talking about conflicts here.

Checkpoint 10.2 is "Provide information about the current author-specified
input configuration (e.g., keyboard bindings specified in content such as
by "accesskey" in [HTML40])." and has priority 2.  Why is this a different
priority from Checkpoint 10.1?  They seem very similar.  Again, the
techniques document is confusing, especially the statement, "The above
classes my be distinguished by displayed properties in a combined
presentation as well as by filtering to present only a restricted class."

Checkpoint 10.5 techniques should address the issues brought up in the
Checkpoint 10.1 techniques about what should happen when there are
conflicting keyboard shortcuts.

Isn't Checkpoint 11.4 ("In a dedicated section, document all features of
the user agent that promote accessibility.") just a special instance of
Checkpoint 11.2 ("Document all user agent features that promote
accessibility.")?  Does it need to be a separate point, or could it be
included as a suggestion under Checkpoint 11.2?
Received on Monday, 22 November 1999 18:24:32 UTC

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