WCAG WG F2F meeting minutes

This meeting was held 20 and 21 June in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The meeting page contains the agenda and logistics of the meeting. Thanks to our host - CWI.

Note that where we have detailed minutes available, those sections begin with a summary. You should be able to navigate through the headings to find the major topics discussed, or search for "summary" for the summaries of discussions (which are highlighted with a light blue background).

As of 27 June 2001 these minutes are not complete. We are still gathering notes that people took during the meeting. Several of these summaries are from memory and may be inaccurate.


Wednesday 20 June 2001

9:30 10:30

11 - 12:30 Usability Testing Proposal - David Sloan

/* these notes are from WC's recollection of the meeting and will be updated once detailed minutes are available */

Refer to Proposal for usability testing of WCAG - David Sloan

The following suggestions were made:

We resolved to discuss it on list and in upcoming telecons. We told David we would give him feedback in a few weeks, that it might take some time to gather our thoughts.

David aniticipated that it would take 6 months to complete the project.

We didn't feel we would have a draft ready for testing until September.

David felt this was appropriate, since they needed to get funding. He asked if WAI could offer any support.

Wendy took an action item to discuss possibilities with Judy.

1:30 - 3:00 Testability of checkpoints

/* this is from WC's memory and will be updated once detailed minutes are available */

We discussed minimum requirements as being used by the recent ATAG draft and as in use in UAAG drafts for a while. Rather than discussing how minimum requirements might be worded or what we would want to convey in a minimum requirement, we instead debated the usefulness of minimum requirements. We did not come to any conclusions and have left this as an open issue.

3:30 - 5:00 Techniques break-out sessions: HTML and Graphics/Multimedia

The notes from the Graphics/Multimedia session are available from the mailing list archives. Refer to the message from Charles McCathieNevile - notes from first f2f breakout on graphics

Wendy Chisholm's notes from the HTML session follow.

Participants: Chris Ridpath, Matt May, Paul Bohman, Katie Haritos-Shea, Lisa Seeman, Wendy Chisholm

We propose the following series of events:

In regards to the AERT:

LS is interested in implementing and testing techniques

LS is interested in working on CSS techniques

CR will work with us, particularly during the implementation phase, so that we can have an evaluation tool that can help authors determine if they have conformed to WCAG and checkpoint solutions.

CR says they are looking for a student to work on HTML Tidy. They hope to have someone by the end of summer.

LS is interested in the work on HTML Tidy. CR and LS will discuss.

We talked about test files. ERT used to have a set of test files for each checkpoint, CR is still developing, WC also developing. Test files are very useful for tool developers to determine if they are each getting the same answer or not. Also helps people evaluating the tools to determine which one they like better or find more useful.

We discussed an admin section of the DTD where we would record notes for ourselves and then strip out before generating a document.

We wondered about making the xml of the techniques docs available so that they could be used in authoring/evaluation tools. WC remembered that there had been a discussion about this in the WAI domain, but couldn't remember pros and cons of the discussion.

Thursday 21 June 2001

9-10:30 review of subgroups yesterday, Introduction of WCAG 2.0


graphics subgroup

what people knew about what people with disabilities did. degradation scale to graphics.

HTML subgroup

DD XHTML 2.0 vs 1.0? be different techniques?

MM HTMl 4, pre HTML 4, XHTML, as new versions come out apply to new technologies. since XHTML 2.0 is not in use yet, there will be issues to address once it's out there.

/* intro */

JB Surprised to see laundry list in top layer. There are problems with categorization. If we can avoid index types of people in the first layer of the guidelines, but still somehow reflect functional issues, that sounds like a good path.

LS Agree with Judy, this is a loaded issue. Dyslexia is not a separate category of learning disability. When I saw the list I thought there were issues. However, people do need to orient them. Perhaps give a few examples of assistive technology, and then discuss the needs of different types of disabilities who might need those.

GR Agreed. Any enumeration interpreted as "we have solutions for these" or "we are only addressing these specific classes."

KHS I don't care where this appears, but each document has to stand on its own. People are using WCAG who don't understand the issues. Looking through the different WAI documents things are refered to differently.

AR1 Labeling is past. Universal Access w/out categorizing people. Diagnoses and names are changing. Very complicated to have a list that everyone is satisfied with.

MM Minimal brain dysfunction (that AR1 mentioned) became ADD. We need to point out the issues. Needs to be a profile to explain what we mean when we say accessibility.

GR Mistake to define accessibility. it's in the eye, ear, fingertip of the user. I would like to point to a document, likely by EO, to drive home why WCAG exists and how exists to ATAG and UAAG. How people w/disabilities who use the Web with proper authoring, without, etc. Then all 3 point to.

JB This document has 5 or 6 sections already, you would like to add another section? Someone using something that works well, someone coping, etc. We've talked about but not showing yet...we've had concerns that the document paints too rosey a picture. We want to show more problems. We would intergrate more problems in each example. Does splitting examples into access and barriers would help?

GR Yes.

KHS Yes.

GR Highlight the path we are encouraging.

JB One other piece of feedback, they are concerned about length. My guess is there will be some resistence.

Action GR mock-up of barriers/benefits of How People with Disabilities use the Web, send to EO.

Action JB take this to EO for discussion.

AR2 Don't need stick to single document: use hypertext (point to barriers) or folding document.

Action LS In place of list of disabilities, create orientation that says we're not just talking about people who are blind. Idea to help multiple user groups (in introduction to WCAG 2.0).

DD So section itself does not go away. People with disabilties, w/out, etc.

MM something more narrative.

GR Whatever replaces the list, I like Antti's point about Universal Access. We can not come up with every permutation.

WC One size fits all or tailoring?

GR If not CC/PP module, perhaps part of server-side solutions, we're trying to express principles of accessibility that are disability neutral. If you make a change targetted at specific group don't break another group's access. There is a purpose for tailoring. I'd rather see addressed as appendix or targeting using profiling.

WC Server-side techniques.

GR Not appropriate at that high of level.

WC Who agrees with that?

LS What if more than one HTML page?

KHS If each doc explains same thing, need section that explains this. Paul, Gregory and I should get together for new wording.

GR Don't think be lost

LS Core technique

PB Appendix possibly good way, a sentence to talk about universal aspect. Then , or ; phrase that says, "although there are other options <link> for optimization." That would link to separate document. Part of reference to Universal Access.

MM In DTD we have space to define per technique what each techniques affects. Should have individual disabilities.

Action PB add phrase to Lisa's proposal about optimization.

11-12:30 Global Formats demo, discussion about relationship with IG


LS presents Global Formats GE demo at http://www.globalformats.com/cgibin/getest.pl

GR Have you considered using display:none rather than spacer GIF? User with CSS turned off or disabled, would be made implicit to them.

LS It was easy to put into GE.com because I put in placeholders for skip-links.Just trying to generalize it. Personally had trouble with CSS content generation

Action LS bring Page Map concept to the list

WC interaction with IG - questions about clarifying WCAG 1.0 on IG list. Since there are a lot of clarification questions on the list, are we adequately responding?

GR No. There are a few people such as Charles who troll for issues and try to bring them to the working groups. I've been forwarding questions to wai-xtech as a way of getting the information to the groups.

LS relation of IG to list?

WC General interest group for WAI, lots of questions relevant to WCAG. Since there are a lot of questions, we need to be aware of them. How can we better get clarifications routed into WCAG 2?

GR Issues get filtered out and processed in PF group to determine with the technology/application/etc., so when people are applying blame on list, it's important to get as much info as possible. Trying to get people to examine test documents and give feedback to wai-xtech to find out what are breakpoints and which groups to deal with them. Is it that adaptive technology vendors aren't aware of what's out there? Before we bring issues to an individual group, it's important to find out what the underlying problem is. A number of the conversations I had with HTML & XForms WGs were related to topics from IG.

JW Issue on the agenda was what to do regarding WCAG 1 issues. We should try to minimize our level of work in relation to that due to our obligations in re WCAG 2. Anything we do in relation to 1.0 shouldn't interfere with the development of WCAG 2. Still, there's room for people to go through the questions that come up and help people out. E.g., which are misunderstandings, what the important issues are, and bring them to the group to be addressed as necessary.

CMN IG is where lots of interpretations come up, and quite often an answer will be given by a WG member where the rest of the WG may differ. It may be useful if the WG would spend some time looking over questions and answers and discussing.

JW We determined in February that questions relating to the Guidelines at the Tech-specific level will be rolled into 2.0 rather than retrofitted to 1.0. It's valuable to identify points of confusion in 1.0 to fix them in 2.0.

JB When a request comes up on IG, and someone who's in GL responds, does it come up in WCAG issues list, and if not, wouldn't that be the simplest solution? Good to run questions by the working group for certain questions. But we should be capturing questions in the record for future clarification.

JW The idea was that we would check if it was an issue, and if it was relevant, as many are, make sure it's dealt with by WCAG or techniques developers.

CMN Major flaw in that process. There are a lot of people trying to implement 1.0 now, and they need their questions answered. Either WCAG WG answers their questions, or we say 2.0 will fix it. If we leave them to solve it themselves, they may come up with the wrong answers. As a WG, we should take responsibility for interpreting WCAG 1. There are some easy questions that we've all been over, but there are questions that are more serious issues. While we take as much input as we can get, it's important that the WG responds.

GR I've been trying to be like Len Kasday by giving experiential answers and trying to determine what the breakpoints are and how they should be routed. One of the purposes of xtech is to capture all kinds of issues and so that working groups can capture issues and possible solutions to build a better document.

WC Incorporating issues into issues list is not something we've been doing. Needs to start being updated. It also seems like we need a FAQ. Ian Jacobs and I made a list of FAQs. Why I think these things aren't happening is that people are discouraged about the length and circuitous nature of discussions (alt="" vs. alt=" "). It can be overwhelming and there's the feeling that it's a rathole.

JW What we decided in Boston was that instead of interpreting old wording, we would resolve the issues in 2.0 and ensure that questions were answered. There needs to be a process where people determine which belong on the issues list and respond to IG stating how it will be addressed in 2.0. There need to be people monitoring IG and bringing things onto the issues list.

LS Agree with Wendy we need a FAQ. Something like William's site is helpful. Maybe we should link to external (non-official-W3C) resources, to help more. This could be a 90% solution.

CMN Some issues can cause the group to be bogged down. The chairs should see what questions are ongoing, and is there a consensus to deal with it in 10 minutes and then do the forward-looking work, or is it something that needs discussion on the mailing list. The list is the primary place because it gets broader participation. It's a good idea not to spend too much time on an issue. Meetings should be for ratifying consensus solutions.

MM placeholder 1

KHS Some of the different documents we have will have pointers to in the FAQ.

JB If we're working on a solution it may as well be a W3C deliverable. The hard ones are under a co-release deadline. The FAQ we had came out with 1.0. What we need is a rolling FAQ. If there are one or more consistent authors, this becomes more readable. If it's something that currently relates to 1.0 but can go into 2.0, when 2.0 is done, one can step back, pass over the FAQ and transform it to 2.0. Relating to the techniques documents can be great. We can have a lot of pointers that lead people to the solution where people wouldn't usually know how to find it.

WC Problem with the GL list is that it's not monitored like a meeting. In a meeting, we can arrive at more of a consensus opinion. When we solve these for 2.0, it's good, but we need something we can point people into, a stable document such as the FAQ. We wanted a "kitchen patrol" duty where each group has to "police" IG for 2 weeks a year.

JW Would like a formal proposal from Wendy. One of the things Len Kasday was so effective with was to capture different points of view, summarize them, and pass them on to the group. We could clearly identify the issue. If we can do that with IG, then we can resolve them as much as possible for 2.0, add them to the list of questions, and so on.

MM 2

GR Gregg has done a good job policing WCAG. CMN Problem is that there are issues that take longer than 2 weeks to bring issues up to a vote. We of course want to solve everything _now_. There can be times where issues take a month to do. FAQ is a good way to record information - problem is that someone has to be responsible for it. Unless someone is going to take responsibility, we may as well point people to the list.

WC I summarized cog. disability threads. Maintaining such a summarization is a full-time job, and I can't do it. We talked about having a bug-reporting tool. W3C is looking at Bugzilla. This may free up resources to do other things.

LS One way to track FAQs is to recommend reading them.

AR FAQ is a good application for hypertext. It should be outside the W3C space so we can edit it immediately. Link to experts in their own web space for answers. Experts could add their own links to solutions. In most cases, we could have answers in FAQ.

GR On 2-week limit on GL: I'd still like to see consensus building on xtech. This is where questions appear, and we should be doing the filtering on xtech. It would streamline the process.

MM 3

CMN W3C space can be edited. Several people here have edit access to W3C space. People who are allowed to edit the space can update FAQs quickly. This FAQ will provide pointers to who is answering questions. It's helpful to tell people to read FAQ as often as possible. Having more people saying "read the FAQ" means more people read it.

JB Documents in W3C space are looked at as authoritative. Even if there were a FAQ in W3C space that linked to other spaces, W3C would need to be reviewing them in terms of quality of answers. It may be better just to have the answers there. Building something incrementally may not be that hard. A FAQ is not on Recommendation or Note track. You don't have to wait for higher-level permission.

WC Should we all have a FAQ? Charles is the only one who could disagree.

CMN Perhaps not "we", but someone.

JW Issue-tracking software might be a good solution

CMN That's still "we".

WC Support of "kitchen patrol" approach to IG? (50/50)

LS Perhaps Adam's concerns could be addressed by changing the name from FAQ to "ask the authors" or some kind of name that makes it sound less definitive. I think people would be more concerned looking for something under FAQs. There should be opinions from several people, but in W3C space.

MM 4

CMN Nobody questions that this is a good thing. The issue is that it's a lot of brain work. If someone doesn't take responsibility to do it, it will fade into irrelevance and inaccuracy in a few months. Whoever does it will be dealing with mechanics. We should either have a volunteer or discuss what the volunteer should do.

JB "tourists" maligns the name of people trying to develop accessible solutions. It's important to clarify as much as we can. Not everyone is trying to create community. It's hard to get people to do things, but it can be very valuable to give someone an idea of what they can do. Capture everything you can.

Action WC propose "kitchen patrol" concept to list

WC I don't think multiple answers is useful. People want one answer. I think it's important that we provide them with one.

JW Need for an issue-tracking database. If we get issues in there, we can build our FAQ at least in part from the issues. We also need volunteers, or everyone needs to volunteer.

MM 5

1:30 - 3:00 Until user agents and baseline capabilities

/* From WC's recollection...could be inaccurate */

We talked about "system requirements" and "baseline capabilities." Basically we determined that this was too large a topic to cover without better preparation and discussion. We felt that we need to wait to discuss this topic until we are further along on checkpoint solutions.

3:30 - 4:45 Planning and next steps

We propose the following timeline for the next five months






$Date: 2001/08/02 23:26:20 $ Wendy Chisholm, Gregory Rosmaita, Matt May, Paul Bohman, Charles McCathieNevile