02 March 2000 WCAG WG telecon

Summary of action items and resolutions


  1. Action items from from 17 February meeting:
    1. WL to determine which aspects of the CSS access note should be incorporated into the CSS module of the Techniques document;
    2. Non-W3C technologies in Techniques document (MM: PDF techniques; WC: FLASH techniques).
  2. The definition of a "reviewer" role, allowing persons other than working group members to review and formally comment upon our documents.
  3. Any issues arising in relation to the SVG techniques.
  4. The accessibility of XML document formats and the preparation of appropriate advice and examples for inclusion in the Techniques document.
  5. IBM web access guidelines (request to review): compatibility with WCAG.



Action items


WL CSS access note. The CSS module contains all of the info from the CSS access note. There is nothing to add.

WC Flash

WC playing with Flash, talking with Rob Neff, answering some ER questions, still open.

WL contacts with Macromedia?

WC CMN probably does?

CMN w/dreamweaver.

WL if big thing, then investigate.

CMN be covered by SVG.

JW proprietary format. thus we shouldn't spend much effort.

MM if there is a way to produce Flash that makes it accessible, then we ought to tell people that.

JW yes, so WC's action is still open.

CMN wouldn't sit high on my priority list.

GR is this an EO related issue? to encourage those who are using Flash to use it in an accessible manner (if we devise suggestions) and alert them to emergence of SVG.

WC yes, need to devise something first.


MM Tim and I have a plan. I am creating PDF documents and Tim is working out based on what type it is how best to access them. If the PDF is just a graphic, the link should indicate that to save everyone time. A straightforward technique.

WL encourage people to use graphics then?

MM but wouldn't you like to know there is no way to access it?

GR that's what i did of the reconstruction of the house committee sites. the chairman's welcome message was a gif (a scanned image). I changed the hyperlink text to, "view gif image of welcome message."

TN potentially encourages inaccessibility. some files are enormous. what might have is a page number will come through the converter. or the copyright statement. that you don't know anything until you download the file.

JW i have a program that extracts the image.

WC have you used the e-mail back feature that trace and adobe hosts?

TN yes. we're generating and determining which style of creation creates which type of document. there's a huge aussie government push to make PDF the default document type.

/* agreement that popular in america government also */

GR rubber stamps obscure part of the content. complicating scanning and interpretation.

JW if the source documents are available in other formats then can also generate in HTML.

TN if you use PDF is up to use, make sure you have other alternatives.

JW raw scanned images, whether gif or pdf or anything else, are inaccessible.

MM find and security protections on them create new issues. the document could be accessible but you can't run it through a conversion because of security.

TN adobe telling industry that PDF is a secure format. last year CSUN adobe's message was don't expect to have access to secure documents much longer due to pressure from industry. sun.trace.wisc.edu does not check security bits.

JW my tools do conversions, i'll check if they deal with security.

MM i've been putting documents on web. i'll post to list where can find them.

TN also post the size of each doc.

MM absolutely. you have to scan at high density so it creates huge files. does anyone have word97?

GR yes.

MM could you send me a file in word97? adobe won't translate word2000.

@@GR contact MM offline.

JW beyond providing an alternative, this meets the min. access requirements even if use converter.

TN exactly. get this across strongly. When you use the adobe tool, sometimes the OCR flags that the character is unclear. it will insert a gif.

WL all you have to do is look at see.

JW there will be some suggestions to be noted in Techniques related to non-w3c formats. we'll have something w/in next few weeks.

TN 1 - 2 weeks.

WL retrofitting nightmare. if we're not careful, we'll be going through this with final form SVG.

CMN that's member-private.

Reviewer role

JW CMN had comments, WC accepted. also suggestion that those who are not adopting role should monitor the mailing list. question of mailing list vs. group membership. seem to be general agreement that should exist.

WL how different from when the document goes to IG and asked to comment.

CMN they have not committed to review.

JW the idea was that there might be people not in the position to join WG but have interests related to our deliverables.

WL downside?

CMN people will sign on as reviewer rather than working group member.

WL good luck.don't think it will work.

CMN If what it is about is tracking experts, then it is valuable. There are people around here that we could hassle. If it's worked as a proactive exercise for Wendy to keep track of names and people. Then it's useful. If we expect that it exists passively, then it's like throwing your line out and hoping.

TN if we each introduce someone to this area, then the introducer should keep their contacts in touch.

CMN not necessarily. i will duck introducing someone than taking on new work.

WC want to have in place before CSUN to begin encouraging involvement. and definitely for WWW9.

JW W3C needs to figure out how relates to working group requirements and achievement of consensus. my preference, as an incentive to get people to join, if you want to make decisions you have to join. therefore reviewers not considered in consensus.

CMN in most working groups they will take in invited experts on short term basis. reviewers are like invited experts. if their opinion is worth-having, then their opinion is worth including in consensus. consensus is a rough thing.

JW question of how fit in with process requirement. does anyone object to formalizing the role?

/* no objections */

@@JW, GV, and WC work on process issue.

SVG techniques

JW thank you for beginning the SVG module for the Techniques document.

CMN The set of techniques as proposed is based on the last public draft of SVG. A new draft expected tomorrow. That draft is expected to include substantial changes. We need to wait and see what happens with that.

CMN what's the publication deadline? what are our deliverables?

WC expect public working draft of Techniques after CSUN. main agenda item is to discuss revision of wcag including timeline.

JW a timeline is available.

WC it needs to be updated.

JW therefore, when we get to the point of publishing a public working draft, we'll just need to see where SVG is at that point. although public working drafts have disclaimers.

CMN right, "this is what we're thinking today."

JW the final version or the next revision as a Note probably won't happen until the SVG spec comes through. so, we'll be able to polish up those techniques.

CMN as a general issue, you notice that the gudielines are very specific in features to HTML pages. in rewriting the guidelines we could relegate many of the checkpoints to HTML techniques. "using markup correctly" many of those are HTML specific. they don't give good coverage to SVG or SMIL. therefore, we end up with lots of checkpoints saying the same thing in another language. the sense is that we could trim the # of checkpoints w/out much trouble. **CSUN agenda item

WL at the guideline level this isn't much of a problem?

CMN there are a couple of oddities. tables for example. there is a specific issue with style sheets. "ensure docs work w/out style sheets." that's poorly specified. particularly in XML it doesn't work. the actual requirement is expressed in the verbage of the checkpoint but as written probably not a good one. **CSUN agenda item

JW good to discuss at the CSUN conference. any ideas for generalizing checkpoints are good. key to stability.

@@CMN send comments about generalizing comments to mailing list.

XML accessibility

JW Daniel Dardailler documented guidelines and those were made available to the group to modify, adapt, improve, and incorporate as desired. A vast area. Don't know all of the usage scenarios. Is basis for SMIL, SVG, etc. (W3c) and non-W3C. Authors can develop own applications. Can change or add modules, e.g. XHTML. A vast opportunity to design own markup languages. I was hoping that we could bestill some of the expertise of the WAI to content developers creating their own XML languages. The level of detail to use is open for discussion. Need to establish action items and explore our priorities.

TN when i read through DD's notes, I felt like I was following most of the points. It's a good tutorial in what accessibility means in a formulating language.

JW there is no specific area in the guidelines related to design of markup languages. This should be on the agenda for the CSUN meeting. Discuss the compliance of new markup languages. It should say, "new languages should allow documents produced with it to conform to WCAG." **CSUN agenda item HOwever, lots to this advice.

TN if someone is designing a new language, like a menu language. will they be doing that based on a pre-existing framework? if that's the case, can we take advantage of that? like some sort of inheritence? or will it be from scratch?

WL mostly the former.

JW XHTML encourages reuse of existing components. reuse modules, modify modules, or create own modules. on the other hand, if someone wishes to design own language, they can do from scratch. it depends on the designer.

CMN Schemas will help a bit. In XHTML can't say what type of content to put in an element. With schemas can assert what will be there.

JW also allow imports and permit the model to be named separately from the elements that concretely realize it. therefore, can create a number of elements that conform to the content model.

CMN another bit of stuff that is interesting, is the use of if XML schemas turn out not to be efficient, then use RDF to extend the power. if we have the semantic web that can make assertions about things, then it becomes easier to take an arbitrary language and find out a lot about it.

JW yes, that's where the potential lies.

CMN this is substantially vaporware at ths stage.

TN down to track there is enough info and horses worth betting.

CMN in a year's time we'll know a lot more about how this might work. however, i expected a year ago we would know how longdescs work. they are underimplemented.

JW we can discuss this issue at the meeting. such techniques that are available can be incorporated. as SVG proceeds we can dicuss the potential it provides.

CMN some of the stuff in DD's XML work is related to the kinds of things that i would expect would be simplifying multiple checkpoints in the guidelines.

JW do this at two levels: content must conform to certain guidelines, language must conform to others. This cuts across guidelines and techniques.

IBM guidelines

WL suggest that next agenda item be put to next week.

CMN on mailing list.

JW yes. members should review.

AS not a call for formal review, but comments.

JW incompatibilities between?

WC why has IBM created their own?

AS not part of the team at the time. but will take it back to the time. wanted concise list.

/* Phil Jenkins joins */

PJ we had a list originally to tell developers where to start. an implementation list. found it easier to work on this list. like the quicktips. What is absolutely supported today. It factors in cost and implementability. We want to make our web site accessible. The target is at a set of our web pages. 4.5 million web pages at IBM. What will work right away. I didn't think we conflicted with WCAG. We are not as broad as WCAG. More similar to tooltips.

JW don't think any conflict.

CMN from our point of view, interesting if not consistent to find out why. if we all agree we can go home.

PJ AS we recommend the "skip to main content" technique. Like WC said, we don't suggest OBJECT but reinforce IMG. weak on scripts and applets.

JW if anyone finds any differences or new techniques, please raise those for discussion.

$Date: 2000/11/08 08:30:15 $ Wendy Chisholma