17 August 2000 WCAG WG telecon

Summary of action items and resolutions




Open issues from the


/* Scribe notes that in this discussion, "level" and "layer" are used interchangeably and have nothing to do with current WCAG 1.0 priority or conformance levels. */

GV Checkpoints are mostly at level 3, technology-specific, some are at level 2. Which one are currently at level 3 or level 2?

JW CMN analyzed this and found that there were some at each level. Some only at level 2 because did not refer to specific technology although framed with HTML in mind. Therefore, in more technology-neutral would move from 3 to 2.

DB I'm confused with the levels. This is not level A or level AA?? Technology-specific?

JW We should actually be talking about layers. First layer are most general, second are more specific but technology neutral, the third is technology-specific.

DB I like the word "checkpoint."

GV We were talking about this in abstract then sorted them. Instead of going to fundamentals, instead of resynthesizing the next level we sorted them. I'm afraid that we have checkpoints in layer 2 when we shouldn't. At top we should have fundamental principles, under those the terminology I suggested earlier was "strategies." It is the general technique for doing it. The checkpoints would then be technology-specific. For example, "all info is available in e-text." In HTML, all IMG have "alt", in a movie - all sounds captioned, in java - all semantics captured.

JW I thought we had avoid mixing them in this draft. There are probably areas where we can develop layer 2 better.

GV but you said that they existed between layers.

JW That was a review of WCAG 1.0 not the current draft.

WC As a group we did this exercise (reviewed WCAG 1.0 checkpoints to determine which were technology specific). Have not compared these results with CMN's assessment.

DB I only want to go through one layer, as we do now (just checkpoints).

CS That specific is at the technology level.

DB Not so sure. No color alone at higher level.

WC Believe we can stay on one layer, but will go between technologies.

KB We can't divide technology-specific and technology-neutral into different layers. We will have some specific checkpoints that may say, "do this, don't do this" that will apply across technologies.

CS The exisitng guidelines were difficult to test against, specifically with technologies that are not HTML. I am using HTML, sever-rendering, and JavaSciript, what do I need to do? Also, need to understand at a more general level, "Don't use color alone." Want to know in general, but also what to do specifically in HTML or SMIL. Breaking out separately makes it easier to test.

KB I agree. I've been doing lots of XSLT. We could have it generate lists for checkpoints, but perhaps too complex. I like the modular approach.

MM My concern is that, regardless of how it ends up, the technology-specific areas need to be organized in a way such that they can be pulled out (in XML?) so that someone can look specifically at their situation and the technologies they are using. [Like what cynthia was saying] I am using HTML, SVG, and JavaScript, what do I need to do?

JW One of the problems is that we have not yet filled out the 3rd layer, we've written some but have not integrated them yet. There has been discussion in how the information would be presented. Certainly, checklist for various technologies. Also discussed database or XML system to generate various pieces or combinations of the document. The W3C publishing rules would require to publish as a static document. But, we should be able to produce a dynamic version as a tool.

KB I'm noticing that in WCAG 1.0 we grouped things by HTML technologies (are you using frames, are you using tables, etc.).

GV I still things that may not be technology-specific, but "do this for multimedia." that's general but maybe we can pull those down to a layer that's HTML, X, Y and a level 3 category called "general" and another called "multimedia." If something can be done in lots of technologies, then write about it in layer 3. Then can stay on layer 3, but there is a general so it doesn't have to be repeated.

KB That's the vision I had that I could not articulate.

WC This is almost exactly what we have right now with the Techniques document. What is missing are the technology-specific checkpoints. In the general techniques document have a multimedia section.

GV If we do this on technology specifics, I go to SVG and make it accessible, but what if you are using a technology but if the person has troubles with it the information is available in a different way that does not use that technology. Then you don't need to do anything for those technologies.

JW I think this scheme will work. To discuss it adequately we need to write it out. The upper layers would become W3C Recommendation, the lower would not in order to change.

KB I think what you're saying is that we want layer 2 and layer 3 be checkable, true?

JW Not quite, the check level 2 requires higher-level of abstract thought. Level 2 requires human effort to translate and apply. Therefore people usually work at level 3.

KB For each checkpoint in level 2, I see there is a level 3 checkpoint which corresponds to HTML, CSS, general section, etc. I go into those and it's defined how to meet checkpoint 8 by doing these following layer 3 things...

JW If layer 3 written correctly, shouldn't have to go to layer 2. You might want to to get a broader understanding of the requirements.

KB If the conformance claim is based on the normative document, then i will have to refer to it.

JW That's why the working group can say, "we deem implementation of these layer 3 checkpoints to be satisfactory to satisfying layer 2 checkpoints."

KB In practice, I think that point would be too subtle. In a real world application, am going to look at the level checkpoints 2 and level 3. People will want to know more than just "here's what to check off." They'll want to know the context.

JW Yes, they will want to look at, but shouldn't be required to.

WL KB asked, would someone want to look at level 2, but they may only actually need to look at level 3. That's like the ADA. There are sweeping ADA, but then the access board makes regulations. But, the developer doesn't need to know about the law, but needs to know what to use with his ruler and toilet seat adjuster. We need to have written layer 3 well enough to work with layer 2. Just put the ruler there and measure.

WL If you have provided an alternative substitute for accessible practices, then you could have some place where you don't have to have accessible practices. We've been leery of that, I don't think there is enough cases where you can't do something using acceptable accessible practices. YOu can't take the cop-out too lightly.

MM A note of caution: the interpretation of one level of the ADA and detailed regulations, many of us have been bitten by that. Particularly, "effective means of communication." General up front, which is really the rule, winds up allowing people to doing some obtuse things. For example, phone companies reading your bill to you over the phone.

WL yes, i'm saying that we need to be better at this than the access board.

GV WL Makes a good point. If someone says, "i'll just serve text-only pages for every one i have" then I don't have to follow any guidelines except that one. Somehow, we need to figure out how to address that issue.

JW This I believe was in principle 3, that WC removed in the last draft. There has to be user override of author presentations. Many ways to ensure that that is met. The corollary is that the differences must be structural. It needs to be clarified.

JW I've been worried that in discussing the three layered approach there has been confusion about what should be in each of them.

WC I sent a strawman, just checkpoint 1.1 and very rough. Do you want me to work on it further?

JW Principle 3 was lost.

WC I documented everything that I did in the change log. The checkpoints were not lost, one was redundant the other got moved. The principle was more of a user agent requirement than authoring requirement.

GV That is not going to be enough for major changes. We need discussion.

JW Felt that the principle should not have been dropped it had wider applicability.

WL So you want to use strikethrough?

GV No, but we shouldn't just drop things. JW what else do you want to capture under that principle?

JW I will go back to the draft and work on it.

Action JW: propose what else should be included under the old principle 3.

Action WC: include in the draft some technology-specific checkpoints.

GV Concerned that we have not worked out the layers that we do have. Will they be intermixed with what we have? Attached to back?

JW We can work out how we are going to do it. Not adding anything more than what planned.

GV But how lay it out?

JW Only the upper layers will be normative.

GV Concerned that if other layers are not normative people will ignore. Can't use something non-normative to satisfy legal test.

CS Possible to make technology specific document that is normative?

JW But then as new technologies are created, then those are not normative.

KB On the other hand, there might be more value in having a normative document of the most used technologies taking the risk that we might have technologies that don't have normative documents.

JW Not saying I have a solution, because I don't. Another problem, if you make it normative it's harder to change. When issues arise, new version of HTML, or something not thought of, then becomes harder to do.

WC Like the idea of going to Rec in because it means we have to go through Candidate Rec and get implementation experience.

Action WC Ask WAI domain about W3C process for releasing updates to normative documents (specific to layer 3 checklists and updating based on new technologies).

GV The whole reason for WAI is not an academic exercise but to change the way the world works. If we confine to academic model and not in a form that the world finds useful, they will create their own. I'm trying to defend against people going their own way or creating their own but it is getting harder to do.

$Date: 2000/11/08 08:27:09 $ Wendy Chisholm