Re: heuristics?

I think there are two views of this from my perspective.

1. What do we want authors to do to make web resources more
accessible and what types of tools do they need

2. WHat do people with disabilities need to access real content.

These are questions I am thinking about while developing the
Mozilla Accessibility Extension.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 12:17:17 -0400
>From: Al Gilman <>  
>Subject: heuristics?  
>I hear from Jon and Cathy Laws "we don't want to talk about
>I think that we need to have more discussion of this point.
>Deconstruct the concept 'heuristics' into a richer model of
the processing
>and its specification and the life-cycle of the content
properties that
>are sensed in the processing.  And have a fresh discussion of
how far
>down the road of laying work on the UA we ought to go as
opposed to
>asking for high quality content from the authors.  In
addition, the
>techniques that seem too burdensome to deploy in Customer
>Equipment software AT, may still be relevant to apply within
>tools as drivers for hints that aid the author in producing
the markup that
>the client-side processors need.
>I am perhaps inclined to propose solutions that are part
>such as inspecting the ancestors of an element for
orientation cues
>before saying that the element is inadequately explained in
the content
>for the purpose of orienting AT users.
>This sort of a processing rule, a search-path directive,
could be in a grey
>area that some would call a heuristic and others would not.
>The state of practice suggests that currently it takes
heuristics to
>support users with current web content.
>My star example in this regard is the command that says "seek
>until you find more than N consecutive characters of non-link
>This is very low-level, and hence robust and omnivorous.  It
>nothing about page structure other than that links are
recognizable, so
>text can be classified into link text and non-link text.  And
it takes a
>heuristic test, the length of text that is present between
two adjacent
>links, as a prognostic for where there is main content, or at
>allows skipping material which is a very dense sequence of links.

>So one possible test for success on our proposals could be stated
>as:  "What combination of easier processing in the assistive
>coupled with what level of uptake in the web content production
>world, would mean that users would stop using the heuristic-rule
>keystroke and use the more formalized methods?"

Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Director of IT Accessibility Services
Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES)
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Disability Resources and Education Services (DRES)

Voice: (217) 244-5870
Fax: (217) 333-0248



Received on Friday, 15 April 2005 16:54:12 UTC