I18n comments on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

Version reviewed


Main reviewers

Richard Ishida


These are comments on behalf of the I18N Core WG. The Owner column indicates who has been assigned the responsibility of tracking discussions on a given comment.

We recommend that responses to the comments in this table use a separate email for each point. This makes it far easier to track threads.


ID Location Subject Comment Owner Ed. /
Discussion threads
1 Introduction Provide simpler text

The content of the introduction is long and written in a legalistic style that is hard to get through. I think this can put off, or at least scare, web designers and content authors.

I suggest that you provide short summaries of each major section, written in a friendly style, so that people can get the gist of the section. That way the complex normative text can remain, but does not have to be read in detail until needed.

Also, use more active phrasing. For example, "The set of technologies that an author assumes are supported and turned on in accessible user agents is called a baseline." could be written "A baseline is what we call the set of technologies that an author assumes are supported and turned on in accessible user agents." This is easier to read, makes it easier to find the definition of 'baseline', and gives a quicker idea of the content of the paragraph for those who are skimming text.

RI E -
2 Guideline 3.1 Primary natural language

The term 'primary' is used here in a different way than currently used in i18n documents. We use 'primary language' to mean the intended audience of the document - as specified in the HTTP header or the meta statement. Our equivalent for your term 'primary language' would be 'default text-processing language', based on the associated explanations. This is what is expressed via the language attribute(s) on the html element. (Note that we are currently considering options for replacing the term 'primary language' with something less ambiguous and more accurate.)

For a summary of our current usage see http://www.w3.org/TR/i18n-html-tech-lang/#ri20040808.100519373

We believe that what is necessary for accessibility is identification of the text-processing language - ie. so that text-to-speech systems know what language they are dealing with.

We suggest that you say "The natural language or languages of the Web unit..."

3 Glossary: Natural languages Natural languages

Nit: "Natural languages" -> "Natural language" ?


Version: $Id: Overview.html,v 1.2 2006/06/27 13:08:57 rishida Exp $