18 October 2001 WCAG WG minutes

Agenda, Minutes from previous meeting

Summary of consensus and action items




JW Last week seemed to have arrived at, that there would be a core of checkpoints that should be implemented for conformance. Then higher level of conformance w/specific checkpoints to be conformed to in addition to core. Don't know how many levels.

GV We talked about visible and meta conformance. In order for something to conform it has to be marked with meta tagged.

JW No, don't think that has been stated.

GV One could conform w/out marking they are. If you declare it, declare by using the logo. Are we saying if you are going to claim you must mark it visibly and w/meta.

AP Suggest include both. Impressed w/what say for meta - the possibility that added to search engines. It should be an important criteria.

GV Something easy for people to add w/current tools. e.g., know how to grab logo, will they know how to add metadata?

AP Can use a tool to add meta.

KHS Can do in dreamweaver and adobe golive.

JM If can do in frontpage can do in anything.

JW Quite a few tools appearing that support EARL. By the time these guidelines go through Rec process, we can expect tools to be available. Few years ago had discussions about 1.0 - conformance purely in metadata. Argued that some people didn't want to add conformance claims and logos to docs, but make the claim. Reflected in errata that allow metadata to be used to make conformance. Position was, "either or both." we might want to modify that if we think benefits are sufficiently significant.

GV Found w/508 that many people want to say "we are addressing 508" but don't want to say they have met this or that. For meta, not a matter that have done something, but "yea or nay" of each checkpoint. Have to be in standard format.

WC Very flexible. Could generate visual or auditory conformance claim/logo from markup.

GV Tool to generate conformance claim.

TW Govnt folks should be used to metadata, since they have to do that already for classifying their documents.

GV EARL is flexible, search engines look at it will have to be structured.

WC EARL is a markup language. Flexible...

JM Add an annotation - what did you mean?

WC explain Annotations.

GO Granluar level of conformance - EARL gives flexibility to specify conformance levels, how does it interact about whole site? Concerned - sounds complex. Need to provide something simple.

JW That's what we were considering last week. WCAG 2.0 will specify what is allowed by way of conformance claims. EARL will be allowed as a mechanism, but we might want to impose additional restrictions. We haven't determine how many levels of conformance there will be or how the core will be defined.

AP If we use EARL, will that provide info to user? particularly, someone who is not very literate.

WC No, machine-processable. like HTML - people don't need to know in order to read. W3C push on semantic Web - to let the machines do some of the work. we give them more info so they can do it better.

PB Something like security site - browser could display icon.

JB Like iCab's happy face.

AP That would be understandable then.

PB Author could put an icon or browser could auto-detect. Or some other means of knowing the info.

GV Summarize what we have so far:

  1. We create a minimum standard required for a site to be conformant.
  2. Predetermined set of checkpoints. (GV has exact wording).

GO Replaced "accessibilty" w/conformant. We recognize that accessibility is a continuum. I think the advantage of using "accessible" is that is is easy to sell. Problem w/muliple level scheme is that it might be too complicated. Your uni moving to 508. Perhaps b/c easier - it's either on or off. Brick and mortar accessibility is either "you are" or "you're not." Trying to say we might prefer "conformant" to "accessible" but people understand accessibility.

GV One problem we have is that accessibility is a legal term in many countries. We are creating a standard. The only thing we can assert is conformance, we can't assert accessibility. Even if you conform you might not be accessible.

GO Fair enough, just offering perspective.

GV Agree w/what you are saying, wish we had authority to define accessibility, but we're a standards body. We can create a standard for accessibility and what it means to be conformant to it. We could say "a min. stnadard of accessibility."

Consensus item: There would be a minimum standard of accessibility. In order for site to assert any level of conformance, the content must meet this minimum standard that consists of predetermined set of checkpoints. /* GV has exact wording */

GV There would be one or more levels above the minimum.

GO My preference is for another possibility: instead of levels beyond minimum, there are a huge # of possibilities above minimum. I would like to focus on the minimum. If I'm asked by a client "what level should I aim for?" I don't have a solid answer. I don't understand diff between A, AA, and AAA. In new environment, "aim for minimum. many possibilities to exceed these are set out in various docs." Want to get away from more targets. Several ways to increase accessibility.

JM In previous discussions, using levels above minimum to give people to shoot for to receive reward or recognition. Fear that some people only do minimum if don't get credit.

GV 2 pieces: everyone agrees should be min. Everyone believes should be a way to go above the min. 2 things people looking for: reward for moving above min even if don't hit next level, ability to set some levels so don't do some things and quit.

GSW focusing on a level is a govnt responsibility. focus is on A, b/c of the DDA. It might be something we leave to individual countries.

JW When we are writing these, we are concerned w/how people claim conformance. What they decide to claim will depend on their particular jurisdictions. We need to distinguish what we ask people to claim and what they aim for. I think there is some confusion between what people should be aiming for (partly determined by guidelines partly by other matters) and what they assert in connection w/guidelines. Suggest we keep those matters separate. Policies and standards can be general and apply differently in diff jurisdictions.

WC Authoring tools - not just letting content developers pick and choose. If authoring tool developers pick and choose, could get a lot of inconsistentcy on the Web.

GV If only one above the minimum, then that's everything. "People ought to be able to claim individual items beyond minimum."

JW It should be possible to claim either on basis of two or more discreet levels or claim that and in additional claim one or more checkpoints.

GV Ok, already have a good one. What about visible and meta: visible and/or meta to express their conformance claim.

PB Meta be required and HTML/visible would be optional.

AP Agree.

GV only concern is that if you do that you would have to conform that meta done in precise fashion otherwise won't work (search engines won't be able to use). Have to require using EARL in a certain way.

PB That would be understood.

GV Could be very powerful. Will we be able to do it in a standard way? Will it be easy enough? I think both of those are true. Is it going to be easy for us to define how they would use EARL.

WC Yes, it's why we use RDF as the model rather than XML.

GV goes through search engine example.

WC Asking where on the site earl is stored. a few options:

Therefore, yes, good to have some way to define where the earl is stored so that it can be found.

Action WC: take discussion to ERT WG. How make statement for whole site vs. particular page vs. specific element - how do search engines discover. WCAG wants a scenario to show that it is possible.

GV People must use EARL to express conformance.

JW Interesting if is a must or should.

GO Don't like "should" would go for must.

GV Is either must or may.

ASW Don't agree it should be must. Want to encourage people to meet guidelines. If they meet guidelines but have to do this other thing, and don't know how burdensome, then don't think we can do it.

GV Then say "metadata is a min. conformance checkpoint." means absolutely have to do that.

PB If we're asking what it means to be conformant, don't think that is unreasonble. Govnt may decide not reasonable, but from our perspective, to claim conformance, this is the required way to conform.

WC Developer perspective: perhaps burdensome. From user perspective: makes the Web more usable.

JW Makes conformance claim more useful.

GV Makes web more usable but does not make a particular site more usable or accessible.

PB Good distinction: be conformant w/guidelines and not claim it. But required way to claim is through meta.

GV Certainly don't have to claim conformance. Concern over the word "must." Has that gone away or consensus on should? or what? Seems to be important. Applications besides search engines?

JW Filters - block anything that doesn't conform. Warning - warned about site.

WC Go through scenarios: benefits for author/developer, use of authoring tools, purchaser comparing web sites.

GV If 98% of the Web doesn't do this, when you do the search, are you going to exclude 98% of the sites.

WC Implementation of search engine. They could give priority or exclude. It really depends.

GV Next next generation of interfaces will be agent-oriented. That means the content needs to be machine-operable. This set of guidelines is the best set of guidelines for trying to do that. EARL may be usable as tool to move towards that goal. Therefore a strong ally in that trend. If I get 500 hits, order in priority of how likely it is to order through them.

GV We certainly want to encourage this, but do we want to require it?

ASW no.

JW Make decision to require it, later on, bearing in mind the state of tools that are available.

GV We would like to strongly encourage the use of EARL to express conformance claims.

PB Conformance claims are not necessary, but they must be in EARL.

ASW Don't have consensus on that.

PB If we say strongly suggest, sounds like other ways to claim conformance. Think EARL should be standard to claim.

ASW Concerned about a must statement when we are still far away from what conformance is.

Consensus item: Seems like a good idea to express conformance claims in a machine-readable form, but we aren't sure if we should require it of all claims or suggest it be used.

ASW Until tools do it, don't think many tools will do it.

JW Next week: look at technology-specifics and more discussion about conformance.

GV On the list: run to the edge of what we can say, unless we have concrete examples. Said all the generalities.

WC Each of us have agreed to these statements, therefore I assume that we each of some idea of how they will look. Therefore, we should each contribute that to the list and see how different or similar they are.

GV We don't have a clear set of checkpoints to work with. Don't think we can put those issues off.

Action everyone: What causes something to be in or out of the minimum set?

$Date: 2001/10/18 21:42:18 $ Wendy Chisholm