Thread Subject: Re: possible need for another provision
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From: Whitney Quesenbery
Date: Mon, Mar 26 2007 12:35 PM
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To add to Jim's email:
One of the points that was raised in the conversation was that we can't
expect vendors to create documentation for how their product works with
I'd like to challenge that a little bit.
Product manufacturers often provide software application notes that
describe how to connect their product to other products. For example, early
HP LaserJet 4 documentation packages included notes on using the printer
with several popular word processors. Note that they didn't document each
and every word processor on the market - I'm sure the decision was based on
numbers of users (market potential) or how many technical support calls
they thought they could avoid by providing the information up front.
These notes often filled the gap during the time when new features of the
product or operating system were possible, but not yet well known. Isn't
that exactly where we are?
Having said all this, I'm not sure how to draft a requirement (or even a
At 02:02 PM 3/26/2007, Jim Tobias wrote:
>In today's General Interface Subcommittee call, we had an extended
>discussion about how to make sure that accessibility features and
>compatibilities are easy enough to discover and activate. That is, how do
>we guarantee that an end user or sysadmin can find the needed feature and
>Some of these may have to do with workarounds, AT compatibility, etc., in
>pretty fine detail. For example, a particular piece of software may work
>with a given
>screen reader except for a few conditions. The VPAT may not be the best
>communicating about that in detail. Getting this information out to the
>user or sysadmin
>may be crucial in making the product actually accessible (instead of
>We heard clear concerns as well, however, that in some cases some of this
>information may be proprietary, such as when it involves the specific
>implementations used by the vendor.
>The question arose: is this issue the domain of the Documentation
>Subcommittee? I think it is.
>Here is the current draft of 1194.41(b):
>End-users shall have access to a description of the accessibility and
>compatibility features of products in alternate formats or alternate
>methods upon request,
>at no additional charge.
>I would modify it thus:
>End-users and technology managers shall have access to a description of
>and compatibility features of products, including how to install, configure,
>and activate them. These descriptions shall be available in alternate
>alternate methods upon request, at no additional charge.
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