W3C Web Accessibility Initiative

Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines
Working Group Meeting
12-13 September 2001
Redmond, WA. USA

Registration | Participants | Agenda | Suggested Readings | Logistics | Minutes

The main goals are to:

  1. Make progress on the techniques documents (specifically including progress on evaluation techniques)

This meeting will follow a face to face meeting of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) group, and on the second day will overlap the first of two days in the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines group's face to face meeting. Working group members are encouraged to be available for some of the WCAG meeting to discuss issues that concern both groups.


You must register for the meeting if you plan to attend. Registration is required before 1 September.


Registration was open to participants of the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines Working Group. Members of the group who were unable to participate were able to join by telephone. On the first day we also had two members of the Web Content Accessiblity Guidelines group who had been stranded by the shutdown of aviation and joined the meeting.

on phone or via IRC


The primary focus of the meeting is to develop implementation and evaluation techniques.

The agenda was adjusted to take account of the fact that the US had shut down the day before following the destruction of the World Trade Centre. The final agenda was as follows:

Day 1 (Wednesday)

  1. Demonstration of Visual Studio WebForms
  2. Courseware evaluations
  3. Acrobat - creating and fixing tagged PDF
  4. Graphics techniques (e.g. for shared whiteboards)
  5. Closing AERT issues from ERT group.

Day 2 (Thursday)

  1. Discussion with Word Team members
  2. Discussion with Frontpage Team members
  3. Discussion with Office testing team members
  4. Evaluations of Authoring Tools
  5. Next steps for the documents, next meetings


NB there are a couple of drawings and screenshots referred to in here. Screenshot 1 was lost, screenshot 2 was sent to the list, and the drawings and remaining screenshot along with descriptions will be added to the minutes in web form.

Day 1 - attendees
Day 2 - attendees

Day 1



Note that there were powerpoint slides with each presentation. These are going to be provided to us - thanks to the presenters.

Note that there were powerpoint slides with each presentation. These are going to be provided to us - thanks to the presenters.

Visual Studio

CMN This is a public, archived exercise, not under Non-disclosure Agreement.

SW These are a way to do web pages - sttatic content coming from a database, but also programmable content, stuff that supports backend processing - equivalent of java/asp. ASP isn't limited to HTML as a markup language. http://www.asp.net For mobile authoring it will author WML, or speech versions.

CMN Can you use it to take one set of content and output it in either HTML or WML (for example)

SW Yes. We do it differently - encapsulate the transformation and the server side logic. For example interaction with a database for an application. [[Drawing 1]]. The rendering form is a decision that can be taken later. Exception is HTML graphic apps, where high graphics means it doesn't morph nicely.

JT Example - we have a database for courses at the university, and we then render it on palm pilots, or on printed forms, or whatever

SW Yes, but there is another piece - "encapsulation". You're doing transformation - it is a one-way trip. Encapsulation allows the information to be rendered, and inside a "control" it kows how to interact with that encapsulated unit. Typically the rendering is abstracted, so you can have adaptable user interfaces.

GB Same thing that goes between a data structure and object to provide a protocol for behaviour.

SW Yes, it is more about the UI level. We name a button, that could be different for different renderings. The big difference is this encapsulation of behaviour

CMN How does this go beyond Xforms?

SW Similar. (I am not an Xforms expert so can't give a detailed comparison).


SW Working with a webform. Because what is shown can change, navigating often comes back to the same place - because it is possible to encapsulate a lot of function ... put in a couple of text-entry things, add labels, make one a password entry (obscured text).

CMN are labels attached to text-entry?

SW No... add a validation control (require entry in both fields) Can but a marker on the page, and a place for error messages to be returned.

JT You can assign a keystroke for a button control?

SW Yes. For example there is an accesskey property

ASW can you run this from the keyboard?

SW Not me, but we have a tester who does.

HS Visuall studio is built in an environment so it is tested to make sure it should support this, as well as the individual app... looking at code - this is like HTML but with some extra tagging in it to give us terse control representation. These are transformed by the server at run-time to HTML (or whatever).

[[drawing 2]])

.. Code is compiled and converted into real code - each of those things is converted into a control added into the program. Programmers manipulate the control objects, and then goes through a render phase, where we say what the target format/capabililty is.

**WL joins

See it rendered in a browser Trying to post without entry brings up error messages. HTML source looks like HTML - because browser is targetted it uses client-side script for validationi in this case, but could use server side.

CMN Does it do any accessibiltiy checking - for example identify that it made a form control without a label

SW V-S allows the user to create anything. There isn't a utility in it for checking accessibility at the moment.

HS It is still in development - will ship "sometime this year".

SW We are a couple of months from shipping, so we are in feature lock-down

HS This will be one of the things we take to the V-S team for the next version.

SW Other piece is the controls. The framework itself renders a name on every control - for every control there will be a name - may be autogenerated.

KHS what about URIs beng the same when the contents change.

CMN It is not possible to come back to the middle of a process - you need to come back to the start.

SW Let me capture that as an issue.

CMN If there is a control there should be informatin for the user. For example, check whether there is a label for controls, or whether there is information provided when validation fails...discussion.

SW V-S can put warnings and labels into something - there is a tasklist so you can decide when to do things. I think that is the appropriate place to put errors, and label them as such so people can filter on them - access errors and code syntax errors are different things...

Thanks to Susan for demo.

**SW leaves

JT Since we can render this on different devices is there a place where youspecify the logical sequence of these pieces, can that be nested? Parent-child relationships can get quite lost - is it just dependent on how it is visually laid out.

HS As I hear it - the developer is divorced from the end UI so how can they get the tab-order right? I am not positive of the answer, and would like to go to the developers.

JT more than tab order - stuff that goes with the control.

CMN I suspect that the "control logic" of interactions is encapsultaed in the middle piece of [[drawing 2]] where there is a tree developed. But intersted in the answer from HS. This is something that Voice applications have to have under control, because of the interaction environment.

WC Is the positioning absolute?

HS As far as I know it is relative until it is compiled to a rendered form.

WC I would have liked to see how it was rendered into other formats...

JT have the results generated been tested with screenreaders?

HS The team uses internal tools to test the outcome and how it works with MSAA. We have done some spot-testing, but tend to rely oin testing tools?

WC Testing tools area available?

HS All are available free in the MSAA development kit (except little special-purpose tools developed by internal teams)

Agenda for rest of today::

Jan's evaluations 1 minute, Acrobat, Graphics/whiteboard, AERT.

Jan's courseware evaluations:

JR Looking to evaluate courseware, so this template lays out ATAG, and lists relevant WCAG guidelines, and underneath each point is a yes/no/not applicable with an explanantion piece. It is an intersting way of organising the way that tools conform or not to relative priority checkpoints. In terms of results there is progress in help as well as integration of features.

Didn't prevent users doing stuff, but there is a gaping hole in terms of prompting and helping users proactively, and in terms of checking. Have not published results yet.

JT Have sent them to developers - will talk to them to address issues. For a template it is better than the ATAG guidelines - nice layout, links to useful info.


LGR: Couple of directions we can start in - looking at ways to generate tagged PDF (accessible stuff) or we can look at tools within acrobat that let you check for and try to fix accessibility problems. From Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, you can generaate tagged PDF. Macros are installed for these products, when install Acrobat. Adds menu and buttons. In Word, change conversion settings dialog, we can see pdf maker settings. This doc has a table, press PDF button to make it a PDF file. Maintain as much info about logical structure as it can.

WC When converting HTML to PDF, is there something in the HTML that you can include, a comment or some sort of markup, to generate page breaks in the PDF?

LGR not sure will find out. To generate them, Pagemaker 7, make accessible plug-in (access.adobe.com), and the office suite, converting from html via acrobat can create tagged pdf...Word has written the file. I'm opening it up in acrobat.

JT What support are in the tool to support tagging.

LGR Which tool?

JT At any point, do you specify what the tags are?

HS My suspicion is that they are relyin gon the underlying data.

LGR Not sure about that.

JR What does the make accessible do when you turn it on.

LGR it controls whether tags are generated or not. Possible to generate PDF w/out tags if you turn off the switch. e.g. to make as small as possible. Default is to generate tags. File open in acrobat, looks pretty similar. I'm going to the windows toolbar, selecting "tags" window. We can see the tags that are there. We see a <sect> element with a table element, with the TR elements, then drilling down further, see the TDs. The conversion process did not recognize the column headers. Word did not identify them as such. We can fix this up by hand.

KHS That was a person who created it...is there a way in word to make it more obvious.

CMN In here, marked as heading. e.g., <TD><heading 3>

HS Pulling out the style of the font.

CMN In the second row, we see, <TD><LI>

LGR This is picking up the style that is used for that element.

HS this is a difference in that you want to mark the heading row as such, not as a heading style

LGR I have nto been able to create a word in table so that it knows that the first row is heading.

CMN Reckon we could figure it out.

LGR I'll manually fix it up. Select elements in the table and could type in the structured view, but will open up the properties. Will turn the type from TD to TH. Can associate a title. If I need to attach alt-text can associate to it. Can also associate actual text. Intended for a graphic that is representing text. Like a drop cap or illuminated letter. Alt-text is more general.

CMN refering to equivalence and identity, actual text is equivalent, alt-text is alternative.

GB Generic properties for all elements?

LGR .... reflow depends on that info.

HS Validation on the type? Could an author create own type?

LGR No. there are a set of basic types. there is a way to let the author map theirs into the basic types. the original goal was for touching things up rather than constructng from scratch. Can edit but not create new (roles) today. No validation along DTD lines. Those are enhancements that could come along. Fewer restrictions than other markup. This is the wrong place to do most of this editing, since each time you regenerate you'll have to reedit.

CMN DOn't generate it back? Not really an editing environment a donversion process.

LGR And evaluation process. Long term, this is not the way to do things. But it is there, you can fix the problems.

HS You rely soly on 3rd party editors.

LGR Any thing generate PScript, few know how to generate tags.

HS any info tha tyou need from, e.g. Word, that we could provide?

LGR need them to generate tagged PDF. There is a description of what is needed today. I can get that info to you from the team.

CMN An editor that a does not carry alt-text, nothing the tool can do to create one.

LGR We would like to see the app itself generate the PDF. The team that worked on these macros, took a lot of effort to get info out of Word. Word is probably better than most people.

HS Are they going into the native objecct model of Word? Not sure what info not contaiend there.

LGR I'll make the contacts there.

ASW The people that do the PsCript (the intermediate step) is there something they can do?

LGR They would use pdfmarks (a pscript extension).

CMN Amaya generates postcript, they could use that to get tagged pdf.

LGR yes.

CMN I expect they won't, o nly 3 of them. But nice to know it can be done.

ASW is that extension documented?

LGR On my list of things to find out when I get back...This structure tree determines reading order, i.e. the order it gets passed to a screen reader. turn on associated content when click on tree will highlight in actual doc.

ASW all keyboard accessible right?

LGR not today. we focused on the reader as the most important first step. it is on the list, however. pretty tricky. if i want to turn something into a link. it is one chunk of text. i have to break it into 2 text items. Can create new content item in the tree. Can go between the views, not intuitive or as easy as might like. but as i've said, this is for use by people familiar with pdf. this really should be handled by the editor, but if it's not, at least it is possible to work at this level.

ASW How many usability engineers involved?

LGR The original goal was fixing minor things but it has evolved to editing.

HS Dev tool shipped to the public.

CMN It does checking things. e.g., "did you really mean to do this." cool.

LGR Not accessibility related.

CMN Interaction model that exists. In Word, get squiggles everywhere. Here it pops up and asks.

LGR This is the view into the logical structure and fixing to the degree possible. But, this is the wrong place in the workflow to make accessibility fixes. It's necessary today.

CMN In this doc, there is a table. several rows, 4 columns, 1st row is headers. There is a sublist under row 3. Each are rows. Is that captured in the markup? In XHTML, couldn't do it either. Breaking lists across table. Use RDF to say "these are all part of the same beast."

HS Wonder if word object model can go across those borders.

ASW Ordered list vs. unordered list?

CMN Some model?

LGR It's in the text. Or also use label it. The representation will be in the pdf, not genereated.

CMN Word object model? It does differentiate.

HS Right, i want to play with it. It does know how to continue a list. It understands sub item or not.

JT I have a huge medical text with a lot of structure only in PDF, how do I get at the structure?

LGR These elements will be mapped into MSAA, but we kind of lose a lot of stuff

HS So, have you looked into iTextStore - with winXP new version of MSAA has this - big advance, along with dynamic annotation. iTextStore iedntifies document stuff.

LGR cool. We are also looking at a kind of DOM

CMN Can you attach semantics to these elements?

LGR You can create your own structure element types. You want to map them into the underlying types since we do special things w/them.

CMN You can say, "this is a type of paragraph."

HS My fear - you don't hafve a way to express that through MSAA. Strict roles and responsibilities.

LGR Defined roles.

CMN Can you annotate those roels?

LGR I will find out.

JT Can export to XML?

LGR Yes, a plug-in can export to HTML and export to XML.

JT Can take word, export to PDF, and export to XML?

LGR yes.

CMN Well-formed XML?

LGR believe so. Can try these today. Not too many tagged pdf files exist.

CMN increase in size?

LGR maybe 10% growth, although some have much more. really depends on the content. looking at how to make it better. default excel not to tag since penalty is so great.

GB Tagged files that are genereated already, by whom?

LGR The list of tools we listed earlier.

/* opening a web page in Acrobat 5. but it's an XHTML document. found something it couldn't process, but we do have it in PDF. */

CMN What is the article element?

WC Likely, since can collect a series of HTML documents into one PDF, each article element contains each separate doc.

LGR i can find out more about it. checking that character encodings are correct. we need to make sure these are correct. depending on font, might not be able to do that.

CMN Make sure that characters we want are the ones we are using.

LGR Accessibility Checker Options. Currently generate a log of issues, EARL would be a possible format to save them in. Attach annotations in doc where problems occur.

/* running accessibility checker. */

/* would be really cool if could pass back tagged pdf w/earl accessibility report, however problem is that pdf does not have mapping to word file. */

LGR Report comes up with errors - missing alt-text and chars that it can not map to unicode characters. Problem with bullets.

CMN These are bullets of list. Check if marked as a list.

LGR Yes. Which does it see missing as alt-text. It's the HRs. They should be marked as artifacts. At the checker level, can see that something being drawn on the page does not have text.

GB How does a screen reader read a bullet list out of PDF?

LGR Assuming get unicode translation, pass it that. We have to look at itext storage tech to see if way to communicate. Today can't communicate that.

CMN A good thing to solve. List labeling, etc.

LGR Getting more of the doc info available is definitely good.

CMN Want to see untagged thing and make it accessible.

/* tried downloading makeaccessible plug-in from adobe.com. No luck so end of Demonstration */

Graphics techniques

JT I would love to hear if anyone has input on the topic of techniques whiteboard graphics tools. Do you have specific SVG thoughts?

CMN I have a couple of thoughts. Mostly about prompting and hassling for alternative content, structure into graphics that are generated. One of the techniques is to build pictures up by structure rather than drawing. Doesn't always work. People would do, like me, who can't draw.

JT A pallette of structures.

CMN VIsio does this. 27 palletes of objects. Connect the pieces. In fact you can have a list of names. You start with circles and arrows diagrams. Then say this circle is cats, put in a cat symbol. If very structured, works. e.g. process flow diagrams.

JT Another thing we've been looking at. crude image recognition.interpreting input gestures, translating into circes, etc. Pattern recognition.

CMN You end up w/the same rpocess of having a struct that is loose. have to check it to determine if what really being communicated.

JT How to ecourage people to not write text free hand, but to use other text tools to put text in appropriate place.

CMN A good range of fonts to select from, helps. People find it easier to type than write. Handwriting translation is crude but available.

JT A way to say that someone is part of this discussion that requires alt format We've been coming up with text that is not too intrusive to encourage people to annotate.

CMN 4 sharing whiteboard. someone can't see it. sets a flag. turns on higher prompting level. others get prompted to create a text description. doesn't have to be the one drawing it. these can contribute to scenarios and techniques.

HS If we have a whiteboard, would it be next to them, across the table, or person drawing.

CMN It could be any of those.

JT Redundancy is not bad.

WC Could also set up that someone takes responsibility.

CMN Yes, or could distribute the whole exercise. Like IRC.

JT Aside from having a human describer. If relying on pallete of objects, what mechanisms can we use to describe relationships between them?

CMN Look at SVG. Typed relationships between pices of a picture. Some are relationships: inside, ontop,e tc. Some can be mathematically determined. However, might have to say if putting something In the box or on top of the box. Danbri and Libby have "codepiction." Everyone is 6 degrees separation from person X. To find that out, get two photos. Say who each is. Record in rdf. They draw maps of who knows who. Grab a piece of image and say "this piece is charles, this piece is giorgio." Another way to get the info in there. In shared whiteboard context don't assign one person to label everything. Some will be prelabeled others won't.

JT Is there a convention to express that?

CMN Yes, most of what SVG does. Pieces have position in drawing space.

JT I know they would need to express, but is transformed into something semantically understandable?

CMN you mean, spacial coordinates to "on top, next to," etc.

JT right.

CMN SVG Only does 2d graphics, not always clear. Can put into SVG or RDF easily.

JT How many clusters can you create and create an uberlable for.

CMN Infinite, barrng memory constraint.

JT Fly on the nest on the tree ...

CMN In the bog on the ...exactly.

JT Nesting strucutre. label at each level. We seem to have good techniques for whiteboard. We'll be working with courseware devs to test w/peple. We'll inform you as results come in.

CMN Another piece is pattern reocnition stuff. Guys in Switzerland taking pictures and chunking them into pieces you can render in braille or feedback mouse. You can start w/high res andd rill down into.

JR Edge recognition stuff.

CMN edge recognition and finding, layered photographs. The rest of something is invisible but expected to be there. artificial vision. e.g. rest of person under table not gone.

JR Those techs we probably won't see n authoring tools any time soon.

LGR A few words about makeaccessible, since we cna't see it. It will generate tags tree. How good is the tags tree.

HKS I'll download it tonight for tomorrow.


JT/JR leave

AERT open issues for ATAG

The tool should look at the longdesc
WC Tools should look at the file and ask the user if it makes sense


Elements that might have audio
embed/object should be checked for audio, and if so is there a text equivalent?


Checks for noscript
script equivalents may be provided by links, or other HTML. This should be checked by a user.


Allow user to change units of measure
WC there is style attached to elements, and it needs to be possible to transform them, even if it comes from a linked style sheet

GB this becomes a P2?

HS for an authoring tool it should be ahigher priority to get things done right the first time.

WC there are cases where you want absolute. e.g. sizing raster images. InWCAG 2.0 think about what needs to be changed - padding shouldn't matter, but text should be variable.

CMN We need to ask the WCAG group to publish an erratum to this effect.

WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 3.3 is noted as an issue where we would like resolution according to proposal for WCAG 2.

CMN Getting back to heather's point, the two are seperate, and kind of do what you want.

HS There is a lot left up to the reader in the way that we lay off stuff as relative priorities. In this case (CSS values) there are the templates, canned stuff, and generated content that needs to be picked up. There are other things at the same priority for the author to do it.

CMN Looks again and realises that he was going further than there is in the document.

HS It is not explicitly clear that it is more important to get the author to do it right the first time.

WC importing stuff and evaluating is a part of that.

CMN It is possible to make a tool that lets people do stuff badly, and then asks them to fix it afterwards, because that was what we were asked for in getting to REC. We allow both. So question is whether it should be in checkpoints or in techniques and introductory material.

HS Would prefer it in checkpoints. Makes it easy to sell to developers, too.

WC You think of editing and repairing is seperate?

HS Often, although we have a model like spellchecking where it happens all the time and the user can know what is going on without haviong to do it and one point or another.

WC I we modularise ATAG into creation, repair, checking, that ould be helpful for developers.

GB What is wrong with ATAG suggesting this kind of interaction but not requiring it? This allows people to implement a piece of it or all of it.

WC They are aimed at tools which it assumes will be the whole process.

CMN I don't think we need to chop this into pieces. Any set of tools can be tested together, so developers can work on a piece rather than the whole.

HS FrontPage doesn't do it's own accessibility checking. I think that the worry with EARL is that developers will see that as a solution that they can rely on someone else doing and stop working on accessibility.

CMN EARL is a way of rcording results, not a panacea, If your tool doesn;'t read and interact with EARL, it's a nightmare to make it work.

HS Right now we say authoring tools just need to read in EARL

CMN Not limited to just reading in EARL. EARL is an interchange language that

lets tools interact, but there are other formats that could be used

CMN: EARL is to get in evaluation results. Tools should also produce EARL, so the evaluation tool can know what has already been done

WC: e.g. to record that the author has already been asked whether this item needs longdesc

GB: does EARL include a pointer?

WC: primarilty using XPointer, but may need some way to include inline

GB: we need some way to refer to a portion of an XML page; find EARL of limited usefulness

WC: if authoring tools always provided ID, this woulnd't be a problem. But authoring tools don't want to require this

CMN: ids are easier to track than xpointers

Action HS: review the Wombat draft and investigate how higher priority of getting it right the first time could be codified in checkpoints.

Resolved: Users need the ability to change presentations even if they are derived from linked style sheets rather than in the document itself.

Action CMN: Provide a technique for changing presnetation that comes partially from linked style sheets

ABBR values should be shorter than 15 characters (issue). ABBR should be prounceable.
CMN: this should be a WCAG decision.

Action WC: move this to WCAG list

testing embedded technologies
CMN: yes, embedded content (scripts, applets, etc) should be checked - if possible we should provide techniques for automating or semi-automating this.


server-side to client-side image map conversion
Resolved: Adopt the proposed technique
provide general info about a site (related to 13.3 in WCAG)
WC can't automate evaluation but some repairs could be automated

CMN: yes, we should include this technique; e.g. creating a table of contents for consolidated content

checking for quoted text
WC: how can these be identified? e.g. lots of italicized text. Identifying common tricks for identifying quotes

CMN: can we find someone who can explain this idea? these don't seem like good suggestions?

WC: we want someway to check this, but we think some research should be done

CMN: we can mark this as an open issue, but we don't know how to, either


identifying OBJECTs
Action CMN: Develop techniques for this
checking HTML elements for meta information
WC: Should there be a separate one for RDF?

No Resolution recorded (but we did resolve this somehow)

site vs page
CMN: depends on the scope of the tool.

WC: problem is within WCAG - some checkpoints are page based and some are site based

CMN: yes there are two kinds of checking - ATAG seperates these.

Day 2



Note that there were powerpoint slides with each presentation. These are going to be provided to us - thanks to the presenters.

MS Word Demonstration

#wai :chaals @jt

Jeff Rayner, product manager.

talk about Word 2002, access, HTML

on phone LN, JT


Jeff Word 2002 is in officeXP We are trying to make things go better - give people more control over how features wrk. e.g. spellcheck started out as a process you went through at a particular time, then wee went to background indicatin, and then we went to auto-correction, which can have problems if it gets then word wrong. So we are trying to make it stop being to aggressive for ordinary users. focus areas: collaboration (asynchronous co-editing)

KHS panels are not dialogs?

Jeff No - it can sit there, can be closed, but doesn't need to be

worked on. smart tags - e.g. enable people when pasting something to work out in what form to paste it (e.g. as table, as the text content of the table, etc) so you can change what has happeneed from a default to some other option, compare and merge - like CVS for word documents, with user interface

for email etc.. also helps that tehre is improved change tracking. looked at section 508 compliance, improved accessibility, using ItextStore (new MSAA API)

KHS can you get heading levels out of iTextStore?

Jeff That assumes that documents use styles.which isn't often the case

HS doc mapping has been there a long time

Jeff and outline. these are used by people, but not consistently in the majority of cases

CMN Usage patterns: International, or US based?

Jeff not uniformaly tested internationally....

CMN does it dump out the alt text into a plain text version

Jeff I don't think so. it does it in word formats (doc, RTF) and HTML

CMN Having the option to do roundtrippable is good.sometimes stripping out isn't a good thing. (this in response to seeing the HTML that was produced. It

contains a lot of info. )

Jeff You can save it as reduced w/out the info. makes smaller. html is just a file format in word. it is not an HTML editor, it is a word processor. whether come in in html, or rtf, or xyz, once in word, word's data structs will be populated. e.g. spell-checking will kick in. when save it as html, you'll have spelling states saved (when save as full).

LN When you filter it would that be a good time to say "make formatting into styles?"

LN when it produces filtered info isn't that a good time to convert formatting to style?

Jeff Interesting idea, but dangers of converting direct formatting into styles. things may coincidentally look the same, what if need to change style.

LN Right, that's why do it as an option.

Jeff In latest version, have a task pane, you can easily do things like this yourself. if the goal is to uniformly use styles, rather than direct formatting, there are many ways to do it w/out walking through the doc repeatedly.

JT Don't you do that type of extrapolation when converting struct to markup?

Jeff Not really. It's looking at what styles are applied or direct formatting and converting itinto HTML representation of it. e.g., if bold something, we use the "b" element. if there is something we can't directly translate, e.g. there are things we might not be able to translate to HTML. We'll warn the user, let them know it might be lost.

JT so word styles are not converted to equivalent CSS?

Jeff We use HTML constructs.

CMN If I write a new style in word, do I convert that to a css style in the doc?

Jeff Type text, select, pick Heading 1. Then view as web page, view source. you'll see we have an H1 with an h1 style definition in the style element of the header. therefore, if i define my own h1 style, it will put my preferences here in the style definitions.

JT What if you start out in word and start a word style.

Jeff Yes, that's exactly what's happened. we've created a defn of that.

JT I can then edit the styles w/in HTML?

Jeff Yes. if you open the doc in notepad or something, then say where we define style foo as font: helvetica, you change to courier. will be picked up by word.

CMN If you create a style, is it a subclass h1 or paragraph w/style attached?

HS I think it redefines h1.

Jeff Muliple cases. If you redefine the style so that it is consistently applied, but if you make a heading 1, but want this to be green, we'll likely apply h1 but.. if normal and you a pply bold, the style associated w/it would be normal, but have b elemnt.

CMN when i use styles i say, "i want htis to be h1, but then i have special h1's." e.g. h1+marching ants.

Jeff Are you asking, do we have one style based on the other or create new style?

CMN Right.

Jeff make heading 1+underline.

*** Geeze (~love26@ joined #wai

chaals takes an action item to put these (??) online

Jeff The inheritence is handled inherently in word, but not html. back to the presentation...

CMN w/in word, the standard source for images is the clip art library.

Jeff The library lets you manage images of diff types. depending on the type they may or may not...in tiff you could stuff text.

CMN Most image formats have a place to put text. We have a tool for jpegs. let's you put in all kinds of data in the tool. desc, author, etc. using rdf to put it in. can use any form you like.

CMN The min. conformance to the checkpoint is, I'll have to trash the doc since I can't handle it. some info will be lost. word does on save out.

Jeff Don't do here, could consider for future versions. it's rare. would need a sophisticated html doc for this to kick in.

** 15 minutes break

Jeff leaves

Front Page demo

LNG - Lou Nell Gerard, Program manager, DS, JR - Jan Richards - join

Front Page targets - hobbyist, small business, large orgs and web developer.

site management tools done by a group.

CMN what is lead time for developments?

HS depends on spec. product, etc.

CMN Likely be 2 years? How find a place in the product cycle?

LNG e.g. by the time wcag completed, we were frozen on this

release. roughly 2 years.

HS Under best of conditions. If hit at right time, you have about 18 months (that's short). if hit inappropriate, e.g. just after planning, then they have a year of following the plan, then it could be much longer.

CMN Some stuff easier to get into the plan than other things. so generally 2 to three years is "normal"

LNG testing on accessibility of UI

HS different testing strategies used.

LNG working with developer, creating a site for brain injury organization. he said not enough support for cognitive issues. people need images. too much emphasis on text in the guidelines.

KHS diff between 2000 and 2002.

LNG New usage and reporting tools. Content management.

HS Share features w/word and rest office suite.

DS HTML preservation improved.

LNG Editing features - find & replace improvements. work w/sharepoint. server extensions groups, team collaboration.

CMN Looked at CMN against authoring tool guidelines.

HS I've made it clear that we don't do public conformance statements about our products. we can talk about what we believe the opportunities for the product are. moving in structure. accessibility checker. we can discuss generally, or go through specific checkpoints.

CMN list of things that spring to mind as opportunities.

HS Those two.

CMN list of successes? e.g. clean roundtripping, ..

HS Help system. keyboard shortcut documentation, doc in general. helping users understand that accessibility is a concern.

CMN managing libraries of object, having descriptions not so much functional alternatives.

LNG Talking about using the same image throughout site?

CMN CLip art libraries.

LNG We don't own clip art.

JR Do the clip art people also own video and such?

HS Yes.

CMN If you have a photo library, collect descriptions of phtos. Much harder to collect alt-text given function of photo will change.

JR Also talking about captions, and such. heard a bit about checking and correcting. can you give more details?

LNG Hiawatha is a 3rd party vendor that uses our object model. they use a tool that checks and repairs. we were involved to some extent, where they ran into problems.

JR How well is that integrated?

LNG I hear good feedback.

HS It's an add-in. added to toolbar.

JR It's a check accessibility menu.

DS Have you used a lot of the tools?

CMN Yes. (lists...)

DS how do you feel about their coverage? how well do they enforce WCAG?

CMN The best are helpful. YOu still ahve to use your brain. it's an interactive model.

DS question about wombat. ensure that preauthored content conforms to WCAG. WCAG contains many non-machine checkable info. e.g. color info. there are a lot of p1 that are not machine-checkable. how could you conformant w/this. how can we ensure that all content that we generate is wcag.

CMN preauthored, just check it before you put it in.

DS these things that are not machine checkable...

CMN clear and simple language s the classic "not checkable." as a technique, you can do grammar checking. known complex things that can be translate.d words not in primary school dictionary. thesaurus.

JR Issue of whether that is appropriate to the audience.

CMN machine support techniques.

LNG question about grammar checking tool, current word checker help?

CMN Yes. adequate? stop using it. australian english grammar and american english grammar are different.

DS you offer priorities. you try to quantify how accessible something is, when it is grey.

cmn we are putting markers along a continuum.

LNG Have you thought about publishing list of links of sites that are good. these are accessible but not usable.

WC Yes, supporting documentation in the works. Particularly libary of test files and issues.

CMN One thing to push is particpants and sponsors of WAI saying "this is a priority." some work but never enough.

DS know of authoring tools that have been verified to be A, AA, or AAA?

CMN no. surprised if one exists w/out single miss. many are reasonably close to AA if put together a series of prodcuts, it works.

DS ensure foreground/background colors contrast. if i want to enforce (checkpoint 2.2)

DS i am a dev in frontpage team. i see 2 ways to do it, hard way: do image analysis. use ocr, etc. or i could just prompt the user. would the latter be adequate?

CMN yes. meets the min requirement. ask user is min.

JR in fact, don't even need to say it for each image. in general, ... show colors changed in some way.

WC Can show user what it looks like - tool like that.

DS user still have to go through, would that be AA?

JR Prompting is A for asking, AA for showing, AAA for completely automatic.

CMN Gets into integration.

JR Can have AAA if you ask the question in a way that seems that integrates w/the rest of the way the tools works. don't worry about sper complicated to get higher rating.

CMN what underlies it is an assumption that A, AA, AAA matches good, better, best. in some way it does. no requirement to get better.

GB 2 goals: 1 is reaching a certain level of compliance.

HS Tradeoff between making the goals.

JT will the ave use of the tool make accessible content? that's what we set for p1.

HS Yesterday we started conversation about EARL and integration.

EARL == Evaluation and Report Language

WC we have been working on heuristics for testing things. how do we know when to prompt the user? When is something a quote? there is a lot that is checked by humans - how can we keep the results of that? can we pass information on checks between tools? EARL keeps track of checks that have been done.

DS So this is a reporting format.

CMN talked w/hiawatha about how they track things.

WC we can use it to do evaluations of tools, so we can record how well tools do on aspects of checking.

CMN authoring tool evaluations 2 years ago. simple reporting language.

HS this is the first explanation that has made sense to me - the bit about not having to ask the same question again and again.

WC We are trying to make the materials about EARL easier to unsderstand.

CMN Use cases: passing info between tools, me looking for accessible content, tools to do partial evaluations,

**discussion of EARL

Office accessibility evaluation

Jeff Murray

slide: quality bar

KHS why are accessibility and usability seperated?

JM If we are doing bug triage we can let something through that isn't easily usable, but things must be accessible. it is just a case of which things we work on first.

CMN similar between level-A and triple-A, where the closer you get to triple-A the more you are working on whether things are usable, since the are they available problems are solved earlier in the process. example: a colour picker that is a table, but is presented to assistive technology as a list. So user isn't immediately aware that they can get more then the first column.

CMN Would look at a bunch of differnt requirements - documentation, access by keyboard, presentation of information, etc... Probably fails a requirement, don't know off-hand if this is P1 or P2. Really User Agent Guidelines issue.

JM Web piece is rather small.

HS: sharepoint - manages and creates pges.

KHS are these things acessible via Web?

HS can be - depends on setup for individual use case

** JT joins

CMN what are the other add-ins to frontpage?

HS all office products have that architecture.

CMN take the accessibility add-in, put it into excel, put w/excel, output html, run the checker, open in frontpage and do x, y, z?

HS would have to change architecture of plugins specialized based on unique functionality.

JMat basic level, everything is similar, but each so specialized.

CMN (resondping to issues w/checkpoint 6.3 - dev time and design


HS Many dev teams turning off applets - dev argues it is the tool. how could i give a text representation?

CMN when talking yesterday re: visual studio, put function on server. e.g. form validation. issue with replicating functionality in diff languages. e.g. perl on server (cgi) and javascript on client.

JM Testing tools should be certified byWAI so people know they are exposing things that are important

CMN Up until now we have not done certification of anything. self-claims that are unverified. w3c has started a QA activity. Lots of people making this request. WC's group looking at examples to run tools over. WG hasn't gone through them yet. test suite that you can be pretty sure that WAI agrees with.

JM our tool is getting into final stage

CMN It could be good to run your tool over the test suite and get results, so when the WG reaches decision. you can compare your results

JM sure

action WC: give JM pointer to test files.

JM would you be intersted in test tool results, how would you use them?

WC interesting to compare tools. checking of test files

CMN Au uses evaluation results for proving implementability. new part of W3C process. testing the spec and devleopment. being able to answer "what tool can I use?" we are trying to give people a clue about how to evaluate their tool against ATAG.

JM how we test for accessibility: There are 2 main contacts across office. have a represenetative from each application group. they might farm it further out to team members, but they are responsible for reporting back - where are we up to.... etc. do general testing with the whole team, and also go down to detailed

tests of particular features.

HS tester's role in spec-writing process

<Phill>** Phill is back, will join phone in a minute or two

JM when get the spec, we go through each aspect and ask "how would

we test this?" if not testable, then can't do.

HS summary, user scenario, benefits, etc.

GB How to validate a spec? it's the right solution to the problem.

HS Prototyping part of spec writing process. usability studies on them, incorporate feedback into the spec.

GB Always do user testing?

HS Not always. if can prove w/out usability testing, then may go forward. if we get pushback, then have to get the data.

JM It has proved very valuable. aiming for 90%. user scenarios. "who the user, what's the problem, what are we trying to solve." must support that user experience.

HS Must be able to articulate the user experience.

GB For a certain feature, what is the number of testers vs devs.

JM We start looking at the spec, devsto testers, specsto testers. try to do 1 to 1. our best testers can keep 4 devs busy. depends on the feature. sometime implementing pen support or spell checker. looks like a huge feature, but taking code from another feature. all we have to test in the integration.

WC in WCAG 2 we are looking at testability - how can we improve that process? Talk about use of scenarios and personas for spec design. stuff that is important for testing in office.net tables, applets, frames, shortcut keys, text alternatives for rich media MSAA 1.3 / 2.0 508 compliance WAI single A compliance localization How to decide when to drop support for legacy situations.... it's just hard.

JT Persona - do you have personae who have disabilities?

HS we get a request for a "disabled" persona to cover accessibility. there has been a successful one where there are a bunch of personae, and accidents happen to them so they acquire a disability...

JT IT would be intersting to get people to have these, rather than just a 508 checklist.

HS Yep. This s an ongoing discussion- how to do it effectively without having people end up targetting one or two specific cases...

JT do you use cases of how this persona would use the product?

JM we do that in user testing - put someone in a number of situations and see what happens. it is not the priary method, because it is very inefficient, but it is useful.

back to slides...Localisation.

JM there isn't a lot of demand for accessibiltiy internationally. We expect there will be.we are geetting localisation under control, and now getting lots of stuff put out in multiple languages when this is on the web, for servicees, etc., you need to be able

to customise it. how does that happen?

JM there are no variables on accessibility in differnt languages

CMN There are some issues. language usage. rules change.

HS ATs around the world rely on MSAA just like here.

JM Not our job to identify bugs in Jaws or other ATs.

CMN You have a well-defined delivery platform, focusin on IE. MS could decide, this part of the work will be done in browser,

this part in content. in WAI content, might have IE, or Opera or Word or FrontPage or DreamWeaver or ... there is overlap. until everyone gets it right, that overlap will be bigger. sometimes the browser tools will solve, sometimes the authoring tools. not a priori someone's responsibility. no real reason to say it must be this end or that one. not sure we resolve that. other than getting implementation further along. a general principle is the impact on requirement. requiring a UA to do something - they are specialists. authors are much more varied. tendency to desire on the UA side. need to also ask content developers, which really means authoring tools.

JT Do you take in user input or AT dev input re: bugs or problems. where does that come in? eval team?

HS Everywhere, all the time. Try to get AT dev involved earlly in the process. get feedback from community groups. we coordinate that for product groups.

JT it goes into the next release?

HS It depends on where we are in the product dev cycle. and how serious the problem is.

JM would recommend really strong requirement for documentation of applications - it is really critical.

JT I've noticed that the access pieces seem to be in windows products faster than mac.

HS Refering to office?

JT Yes.

HS mac and office product devs are separate.

HS PC team is larger, more market research, user scenarios, etc. tend to dev more features. mac then looks at. irrelevant of accessibility - features in general. how they approach accessibility is diff.

** HS explains. native accessibility in each environment is very different.

JM tablet PC is a new realm for us. there are intrinsic issues w/tablets for accessibility.

JT Onscreen keyboard?

JM Yes.

HS Accessibility stuff has been re-organised on web.

/* break

we are back online (and so is Jan)

*** Liddy (~Liddy@ joined #wai

agenda for rest of afternoon:

Where are we at:

Wombat: ready for first public draft

needs director's approval. we don't havea requirements doc, but I think we wanted to clean up a few bugs, get it ready for WCAG 2.

JR pretty much it.

HS Last wombat draft didn't map to checkpoints

CMN we hadn't resolved that yet.

HS OK. I will probably look at this and send proposal to list so that there is better wording match.

PJ are we with WCAG 1.0 or 2.0?

CMN we are with WCAG 1.0 until WCAG 2 gets to last call.

CMN Techniques document. I will put out a new draft, so we can get it to update of Note. then would like to map the ATAG 1.0 techniques to Wombat chekpoints

HS Why do that now and not later?

CMN Think it makes it easier to read Wombat with techniques.

PJ agree

JR It would be good if WCAG 2.0 is years away to publish ATAG 1.1 as something where we could replace WCAG 1 with WCAG 2 easily

CMN yes, that is our development plan.

PJ also wanted to talk about testing techniques for softweare accessibility

**JT joins

PJ Evaluation techniques. Seems like User Agent, us, and some other groups have published doscuments on how to test compliance. Is there a consistent process on how to do that yet? i.e. what does W3C recommedn for me to say that my browser conforms to HTML 4 I think that is something we have started to do.

CMN there is no recommended process.

JT We had discussed this about ayear ago - we had a draft protocol for notifying a developer that an evaluation had beeen made, and giving them a bit of time to respond. We never formalised that.

PJ I thought the evaluation document was as a developer how I test against ATAG

CMN It isn't necessarily just a developer

PJ Wjhy isn't that part of ATAG itself? In IBM stuff we have testing techniques in our specifications. We have checkpoints in one document, techniques for meeting in a second, and evaluation techniques in a third document.

JT There is no one way of meeting checkpoints. When we fill this out we wil have huge document.

JT noone would read through the entire techiques doc still. It is like a reference document so you can find specfic stuff.

likewise, if you have to assess a tool you want a step by step mannual - there are different audiences.

PJ You expect people doing evaluations to be the audience

JT Evaluation and implementation techniques are a bit intertwined. You wouldn't want to not look at evaluation techniques.

CMN it is good to have testing techniques that aren't the same as implementation techniques

PJ I did evalaution techniques against 508 that were 20 pages. will send that to the list. it is overwhelmeing to the tool developers how much stuff is in there.

JT so one of the big things is to structure it so there are meaningful views of the stuff that is trelevant for a given user. e.g. a video tool developer only wants to have to read the stuff that is relevant to video tools


Action PJ, send IBM software testing techniques to list.

evaluation techniques.

Do we need to compare our method for doing evaluations with how User Agent do it?

Education and Outreach wants to publish gallery of sites - look at the process to evalaute a site against WCAG. Maybe we should review each other's documentation. what if someone doesn't want a document published?

JT reason we didn't pursue this further is that QA group began and we think that something will be done across groups.

PJ They seem to be focussed on testability off groups - scope seems a little less broad than we thought it would be.

JT Yes. We should review our draft protocol...

CMN Yes to PJ

CMN It is useful to look at the EO group.It is good to lok at UA evaluation method. And we should look at test suite stuff coming from ER

JT yes, we should look at protocol of testing, asking developers to look, etc.

PJ and how do we deal with old evaluations.

JT What do we do about tests taht the tool users

PJ How we evaluate a tool is in the evaluation doc, the tests are in techniques. we should review the protocol for testing?

*** oedipus (~oedipus@tc1dyc37.hicom.net) joined #wai

JT Yes, should be reviewed.

CMN review of protocol - on the one hand we need to be helpful to developers and on the other hand we want to have a light enough process that people talk to us and give us evlauaiotns

JT there is also the question of a database of evaluations for people to read

JR Is that our role?

PJ the evalauations are useeful input.

JT When we were talking about this is meant taking classification and markup.

CMN we can do this in EARL now and there are tools taht we could be using. But I think that it is low on our priority list to make tool comparisons for purchasing.

PJ I can find comments I had about protocol and start thread on list - should I?

Action PJ Make it so

JR What is the concern about our process?

PJ I think ours is good, but I need to check what I was saying.

JR At ATRC we have a bit odf a situation where we have done a few of these and are debating whether or not to post them, considering that sharing the information with the companies has spurred them onto development.

PJ To keep them working, hide their dirty laundry?

JT strategy for best results...

JR These tools cn be changed on the fly and outdate an evalaution overnight. e.g. a tool gets documentation updated on the fly.

CMN They should update their versions

JT one thought is to give them a chance to update and fix their things

CMN Right. It is hard to make formal rules about when to hold off and get a better thing made...

PJ If the developer says "please don't publish until we have fixed this" do we wait? How long?

we should as a group try to get some general conseensus, but should still publish evaluations so we know where the technology is at.

JT we do have every intention of sending it to the list following this next round.

where is WCAG at?

CMN We have a critical dependency on WCAG and they are in process of developing WCAG 2.0 Wendy.. tell us the answers...

WC New draft published. We have success criteria, benefits, definitions, and examples. 4 guidelines, 21 checkpoints. We have 4 techniques documents in progress: HTML, CSS, ECMAscript, PDF There are discussions for others. We have some major issues that we have been going around on the list (WCAG had face to face monday, Tuesday) been trying to get rid of the "elephants" - major issues.

PJ Was that successful?

WC Yep

KHS e.g. require techniques and success criteria for something to be a checkpoint.

CMN Notes from WCAG have been sent to mailing list. Gregg's message - summary of consensus on elephants

CMN I was at meeting and they are going forwards again. I would be impresed ifg they got to last call in 6 months My wild guess is they are a year from last call.

People who said they would be at plenary: CMN, MK, GB, GR, KHS, WC Won't be there: WL, HS

PJ planning to go there

liddy said she might. Liddy?

<Liddy> I will try to get to the F2F, yes

CMN South of France, 25 Feb - March 1 like the all groups meeting we had in boston last feb. (but warmer)

JT depends on who we want to meet with.

JT how much do we get done in face to face vs teleconfernce / list

JR last plenary wasn't most productive, but amsterdam we got a lot done.

CMN If we are going to lose people to another meeting it isn't worhtwhile.

JR end of the week gets to burnout.

JT aim for beginning, no overlap with UA/WWCAG then I think it is worhtwhile.

Action CMN - talk to Daniel Dardailler. We want early in the week, no overlap with other folks.

WC WCAG is another option, but loads CSUN.

Don't think ERT will be at plenary, and think it would be good for a group to be there.

JT There is still the invite in Vancouver

HS who is that offering?


resolved: We think we will go to plenary (except we hold the right to withdraw...)

CMN Do we want a face to face between now and then.

JT keep Vancouver option open instad of plenary or after plenary.

CMN right. Anyone want to meet in Oz? possibility: Hawaii for Web 2002

HS is getting married that week.

Hawaii possiblity - not a lot of support for it?

next teleconference:


chaals is worried he may still be travelling

Monday 24?

<Liddy> Action Katie: I think we were going to see if we could make a word doc, save it as html, clean it up with HTMLTidy, read it back into Word, and still have XHTML..

Resolved: Monday 24 is next call.

thanks to Heather for organising and reorganising this.

Thanks to Microsoft for hosting.



  1. Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 1.0
  2. Latest draft of Techniques for Authoring Tool Accessibility
  3. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0
  4. Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines


  1. Latest draft of ATAG "wombat"
  2. Latest draft of WCAG 2.0


Hotel and meeting venue details

The meeting is hosted by Microsoft and will take place at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue hotel, in Bellevue, WA.

Hyatt Regency Bellevue
900 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue, WA 98004 USA
Telephone: +1 425 462 1234

A block of rooms are available from $189 / night, under the code "MMCR".

Bookings can be made online at this rate for nights from September 9 to September 14;

  1. go to http://www.bellevue.hyatt.com
  2. select "Rates & Reservations"
  3. enter dates (between Sept. 9 and Sept. 14)
  4. go to "Group/Corporate Number" field and enter the code G-MMCR.


Nearest international airport is Seattle-Tacoma airport (SEA). There is a Bus service between the airport and Hotels, and Taxis are available. Hyatt hotels have a page providing information about location, nearby attractions, and driving directions from the airport (17 miles - 27 km)

$Date: 2001/10/22 16:53:39 $ Charles McCN
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