W3C Web Accessibility Initiative

Authoring Tool Guidelines Working Group

Proposed Recommendation issues for Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

Status of this document

This document lists the issues raised during (or following) the Proposed Recommendation review of the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, from 26 October 1999 to 24 November 1999 and their resolution by the Working Group. It will also record minority opinions where the Working Group is not able to reach a complete consensus.

Proposed resolutions listed here are based on meetings and may be changed by the working group.

This document provides a part of the content for the Working Group's issues list.

Note: Issues are listed with proposed resolutions. These reflect the decisions of the working group, but the formal responsibility for determining resolution lies with the Director of the W3C, on advice from the Advisory Committee membership.

Issues raised during Proposed Recommendation

As of 3 January 2000, the working group considers the issues have been resolved, and the 22 December draft forms a suitable basis for a recommendation.

Extent of a tool's responsibility in relative priority checkpoints

There is a lot of work for an authoring tool developer to determine the extent to which they can automatically implement checkpoints in Web Content Guidelines, which are required by relative priority checkpoints

Raised by: Member Review, Bruce Roberts

This has been discussed in meetings on 24 November, 29 November, 30 November, 1 December, 6 December, and in email threads

5 sub-issues:

Adequacy of support materials
Proposed resolution: The necessary support materials are the WCAG, although it would be good to have more. The appropriate place is the techniques document and other supporting documents (see below).
Version independence with WCAG
Proposed resolution: We want to remain version-independent of WCAG
Should we make a matrix of tool requirements
Proposed resolution: This would be useful, but it is not necessary. It will also vary between types of tools, and as the state of the art changes
Should this be Guidelines or techniques work?
Proposed resolution: This belongs in the techniques
The language of several checkpoints needs clarification about how they relate to WCAG
Proposed resolution: New text in latest working draft, see also the email discussion

How many Checkpoints must be satisfied?

Raised by: Member Review

The number of checkpoints that must be satisfied is many more than listed in the checklist, since relative priority checkpoints effectively require satisfying a number of WCAG checkpoints

Proposed resoution: This is true. A note was added to the checklists to make this clearer.

Should there be a "Priority 0" level - do no harm (i.e. do not change imported markup)?

Raised by: Member Review

Disucessed in two threads (one, two) and in meetings 24 November and 29 November, 30 November

Proposed resoution: No. This could be construed as providing endorsement to tools that do not meet basic requirements for accessibility.

Linking Checklists to Techniques Document?

Should the checklists also have a link to the techniques document?

Raised by: Member Review

Discussed in meetings 24 November, 30 November

Proposed resolution: Yes (since it is easy). Done in latest checklists.

Appropriate use of the guidelines

Is it appropriate for these guidelines to be used as a basis for making procurement decisions?

Raised by: Member review, another member review, Bruce Roberts

Discussed in email threads (one, two), meetings 24 november and 29 November, 30 November

Proposed Resolution: The working group should not be saying that other groups cannot use these guidelines. However, it is appropriate to point to our example conformance evaluations so that we can give some idea of the current status of tools. Suggested language has been added to the conformance section in the latest draft, although the link is not yet active

Level of user skill and interpretation of priority

What level of skill in producing accessible markup can the developer assume on the part of the author? This has an impact on the assignment of priorities to the checkpoints. Alternatively, should we base the priority levels directly on author skill level?

Raised by: Bruce Roberts

This issue has been discussed in a number of threads on the mailing list (one, two, three, four), in meetings 30 November, 8 december

Proposed Resolution: The priorities assume that the author is a competent but not expert user of the tool, with little or no a priori knowledge of accessibility requirements. Suggested language has been added to the priority section in the latest draft

What is available in a development cycle?

A development cycle may mean that the product design cannot be changed for some time before it is released. If there is a new W3C Recommendation released in that time, and the tool does not implement it, does it fail to conform?

Raised by: Member review

Proposed Resolution: No. The tool can still conform, if it implements whatever Recommendation was available at the appropriate time.

Who assesses integrate naturally in the look and feel?

Raised by: Member Review

Proposed Resolution: Whoever does a conformance evaluation. Reviewers should refer to the sample evaluations available for guidance.

Priority/Redundancy of Checkpoints 4.3, 7.3, 7.4

Should these checkpoints have different priorities, or are they in fact redundant?

Raised by: Greg Lowney

Answered in email thread. Confirmed in meeting 30 November

Proposed Resolution: These issues have been dealt with by the working group before, and the document reflects the Working Group's decisions.

Interpretation of checkpoint 7.1

Does checkpoint 7.1 imply that accessibility conventions may require that access is better than is normally provided for a particular operating system?

Raised by: Greg Lowney

Answered in email thread. Confirmed in meeting 30 November

Proposed Resolution: It does imply that.

Interpretation of checkpoint 1.2

Does checkpoint 1.2 require accessibility information to be preserved when converting between file formats?

Raised by: Bridie Saccocio

Answered in email thread. Confirmed in meeting 30 November

Proposed Resolution: It does.

Must checkpoint 1.3 be default?

Does a tool have to default to generating accessible content, or can it be an option?

Raised by: Greg Lowney

Answered in email thread. Confirmed in meeting 30 November. See also discussion of this question in relation to another checkpoint, during Last call

Proposed resolution: No, but note also checkpoint 5.2.

Can 7.2 be satisfied by depending on Operating System features?

Raised by: Bridie Saccocio

Answered in email thread. Confirmed in meeting 30 November

Proposed Resolution: Yes

Do 7.4 - 7.6 require addition of features?

Where a tool does not provide the functionality required by checkpoints 7.4, 7.5 and 7.6, do the checkpoints require the addition of these features to a tool?

Raised by: Bridie Saccocio

Answered in email thread, confirmed in meeting 30 November

Proposed Resolution: Yes

Editorial comments

There were also responses which contained suggestions for editorial amendments or clarifications. (Where substantive issues were also raised they are addressed above)

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Last Modified $Date: 2000/11/08 08:11:50 $ by Charles McCathieNevile