ER Teleconference, March 27, 2000

Present: Len Kasday, Brian Matheny, Chris Ridpath, Dick Brown, Michael Cooper

Minutes: Michael Cooper


Issues in ERT

CR: things in not in WAI guidelines that we’re suggesting, e.g., alt text too long/threshold, what is priority - 0, or that of alt text?

DB: simple and straightforward

BM: P1

CR: file name in bytes etc.

LK: alt text is a random bunch of letters

BM: submitted to WCAG for consideration, also one about alternate accessible pages (11.4) - how do you rate web site conformance if original page not compliant but alternate page is?

DB: similar, linear version demonstrated at CSUN, maybe discouraged but still meets guidelines

LK: example of flash, you really need the alternative

MC: maybe this checkpoint applies only of HTML

BM: except for tables

LK: Use flash just to create a heading in Helvetica, then have to create alternate page? Maybe guideline about "no gratuitous use of alternate pages"

BM: sounds good - people could take that too far

LK: what if it is literally text only, not html

BM: ...

MC: then is this a new guideline, or under scope of existing

BM: we’re interpreting guidelines

LK: literal wording is "after best efforts"

BM: implication they’ve tried table headings and summaries and stuff

DB: ...

LK: PDF - people run through filters and call that good

DB: if they did that, images wouldn’t have alt text - you can’t pass an alternative page without having alt text

LK: HTMLized PDF - you can see headings visually but not by style after transform, thus it isn’t equivalently accessible

BM: still, main page should meet all possible guidelines. This may be implementation details etc., but for things we have we haven’t been getting a lot of ___. If you have a main page and you create an alternate, what is rating? If alt has higher rating, does that become the rating? If main page still follows all possible, then yes.

Voices of support

LK: should send over to WCAG to get buy-in

BM: implementation details such as length of alt text etc., determining ok?

LK: we already ask author.

Alternate Accessible Versions

LK: Another item: if each page has an accessible version, should they link to each other or back to inaccessible version, where you can follow another link to accessible version? Working with someone who would prefer to come back to main page.

MC: usability though, yet separate but equal

LK: ramps or Braille books are desirable separate but equal

MC: but shouldn’t be at back of building

LK: prefer just navigating accessible links myself

BM: it’s a judgment call

LK: automatic generation of accessible version from database

DB: cause of worry in past (not updated), but this resolves that




LK: WCAG don’t mention alternative universe type of page. Should we send this on too?

MC: yes, and determining conformance level of site


LK: will package and send

Issues in ERT Take 2

MC: have we addressed original suggestion

CR: yes - at least re the cases above, but general question still open. Maybe Wendy can answer - we’re just refining WAI.

MC: maybe if also part of WCAG techniques, would formalize this. So we need to ask Wendy?

CR: and hope she has a good answer

LK: she may have to pass it on too


LK: speaking of changes to guidelines - we keep talking about tables should be used for data, not layout. There are some tables that really mix content and presentation. Want to put this on table (will write later). Quick thoughts now?

MC: even if data units complex HTML, it’s still data if there is any kind of structural relationship

LK: will post some examples.

Site-wide conformance

LK: Cynthia brought up issue of site-wide conformance. How does page conformance scale up? E.g., MSN experience

MC: some guidelines just appropriate for multiple pages, not single pages (e.g., consistent navigation)

DB: get Cynthia ??? to pass along info. Zillions of links on home page, have to use tables for older browsers, also have to deal with external pages managed by different teams, some containing complex data such as stock tables. Doesn’t speak to guidelines per se but question of what it means to apply? Also, existing tools that weren’t designed thinking of guidelines. Need to change template and tool. Addresses question?

LK: looking at Tables - cell-by-cell and line-by-line screen readers. Guidelines don’t say it has to work with a particular screen reader, but we want it to. Therefore provide a linear version (see for link).


DB: linearizing tables in source code order works well, when done, but not all screen readers do it. Other issues, navigation stuff at top intrusive, yet if at bottom need to get to it, yet accesskey not supported

LK: good use for frames

DB: whole other issue - lots of guidelines, but can be good because allows quick access to parts of page we’d have to use tables for.

BM: cite 10.3, priority 3, re side-by-side text.

LK: therefore table that linearize ok could be AA conformant.

DB: lots sites compliant to this level, but not using logo.

BM: question of pages you link to that aren’t accessible, can you claim conformance

DB: when you go out of domain, it’s no longer your responsibility

LK: Company A accessible, B not, fine until Company A buys Company B.


LK:  should pass on to WCAG? Not looking for a _guideline_ but looking for standard scopes.


Confidence Ratings

MC: idea of applying a confidence rating to techniques

LK: for what purpose - just automatically supported techniques in tools?

MC: I guess so,

LK: in court proceeding, wouldn’t admit this? But a company using a tool and getting high confidence rating would show diligence...

MC: put in back of our minds

LK: ... might be another thing to bounce to WCAG, talking about degrees of conformance. Example of two pages, one that fails and one that really fails, triage using this procedure to know which to avoid

DB: guidelines don’t cover this (type of content) - more simplistic

LK: yes, maybe they should. Would be useful to have some standard to refer to.

DB: question is do we want to go beyond guidelines in helping people to apply techniques - is this in the group charter?

LK: no, but should get feedback

DB: it’s a good feedback area

CR: you can list number of guidelines you fail on? 100 images, 2 w/o alt text, you’re 98% conformant.

MC: but doesn’t work as well with partial support items, e.g., script-triggered ones.

DB leaves

Just 3 left on call, we end.