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Some notes from Bristol meetings (dev. independent workshop, WCAG, ATAG)

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 09:37:58 -0400
Message-ID: <39EC5636.200A4DD5@w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org

I have been meaning to send a couple of notes from the
three meetings I attended in Bristol (U.K.):
the device independent workshop [1] and the WCAG [2] and 
ATAG [3] Working Group face-to-face meetings. There are eight
points below, some of which touch directly on our work. These
points do not affect us right now and there are no proposals.

1) Techniques for Evaluating Authoring Tools for conformance.
   The ATAG Working Group is doing some very cool work designing
   techniques for evaluating authoring tool accessibility (refer
   to their 13 September 2000 draft [4], for example). We should
   also consider such a deliverable. The ATAG WG has come up with
   some good ideas and we can benefit from the work they've done
   in addressing some evaluation issues. They also intend to
   create an interactive tool for helping people with evaluations,
   and a well-designed tool could be reused by the UA Working Group.

2) At the Device Independent Workshop, people expressed a desire
   for the next draft of the UAAG to cover additional classes of
   user agents (e.g., mobile devices). This should be taken into
   account as we discuss the scope of the next deliverables we 
   will produce.

3) The WCAG WG has been spending a lot of time on the structure of 
   their documentation (refer also to their requirements document 
   for WCAG 2.0 [5]). There were discussions about granularity
   of conformance claims (we've been there, and this seems to
   be a WAI-wide issue). 

4) Some device independent issues related to user interface:
    - People want the same user interface across applications
      on a given platform (e.g., mobile).
    - Power users (say 10% of users) want customization. They
      are a vocal and powerful minority. 

5) A comment on WCAG techniques: what happens if you do ALL
   of them? Does this lead to a usable site? We could review
   the UAAG Techniques with this question in mind.

6) In general, at the device-independent workshop, there was  
   a lot of discussion about the reality (or limitations) of
   author-once-repurpose-often ideal. Many people felt like
   "single authoring" was not useful in practice since authors
   end up with a kind of "least common denominator" of content
   that takes advantage of none of the useful features specific
   to a given device. Other interesting topics:

7) Is it really possible to separate presentation
   from structure? Some people argued that in some
   cases, you have to tailor the content so much to
   meet the capabilities of a particular device, that
   you actually provide different content (e.g., a 
   summary), not just a reformatted version of the same
   content. In short: One size does not fit all.
   Furthermore, automatic transformation of content for
   mobile devices was described as a "guess and pray"

8) People were thinking more and more about content
   as "applications", not "pages". And thus, how do
   you make the application accessible?

 - Ian

P.S. For more information, read the meeting minutes
linked below, some of which may not yet be available.
[1] http://www.w3.org/2000/07/diw
[2] http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/2000/10/f2f-minutes.html
[3] http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/meetings/f2f-oct00.html
[4] http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/WD-ATAG10-EVAL-20000913/
[5] http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/wcag20-requirements
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Tuesday, 17 October 2000 09:38:00 UTC

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