Presentation Notes

Charles McCathieNevile - Authoring Tools and Device Independence

W3C Workshop on Web Device Independent Authoring
Wednesday 4 October 2000

Notes taken by Gregory Rosmaita

AU WG -- produced TR issued February 2000;
Techniques notes; evaluations of tools (partly
reference, partly reality check of ATAG); working on
document on "how to do an evaluation"; checking for
accessibility a very specialized skill at the moment,
trying to provide blueprint for those not acquainted
with accessibility issues

WYSIWG tools, extended text editors, server
generated content, conversion tools

modular integration -- designed to work with other
W3C specs; short recommendation (7 GLs 28
checkpoints); relies heavily on WCAG (Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines) and other specs to provide
detail; use ATAG with specs for target output types
(HTML & WCAG, for example)

accessibility & device independence -- highlight
crossover; need for people with disabilities to perform
authoring on a number of devices; have to be able to
create content using specialized devices;

guiding the author on how to author in different

quick review of the 7 guidelines

working on techniques, implementation ideas and
example; would like input from mobile for techniques;
longer view -- how are they useful to voice browsing,
TV, and DI WGs; have good modular structure in
place, will look at revising GL, need to know: do they
cover the recommendations for DI, if not, then
probably missing accessibility issues, as well; use of
RDF, XSLT, etc. as means of creating accessible

Q: have any of the tools companies discovered your
group, have they participated, what is outreach to
A: our working group involves real-world developers
(MS, Allaire, Adobe, IBM); implementations (Sausage
Software, makers of HotDog); Macromedia and others
are working on integrating ATAG; talked to
developers extensively -- a lot of sub-groups in
Microsoft whose products convert to web-based
forms; implementation testing (before CR phase);
report on which software supports recommendations
Q: what do you do when find company not on the list?
refer them to you or the WG or the AU web space?
A: refer them to the web page,
Q: if the tool vendors have good intentions, may not
succeed in passing ATAG; what happens when
popular tools completely fail?
A: people who require tools that support accessibility
will buy ATAG compliant tools; W3C vendor neutral
Q: successful software is never the best software
A: people do buy software that doesn't work, but will
buy less of it; legal requirements on large orgs,
universities, governments beginning to support
regulations for accessibility of web content, leads to
purchasing requirements; one of the driving forces
behind implementation; takes time in a large company