Thread Subject: Re: Authoring Tools
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From: Sean Hayes
Date: Wed, Apr 11 2007 7:05 AM
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I think this proposal as it relates to a collection of tools has some significant holes. In an authoring tool chain many content formats may get used, only one of which is actually published. E.g Camera RAW, Photoshop PSD, PNG.
The fact that accessibility data is added to, or not deleted, in the PSD doesn't really help end user accessibility, as it needs to be in the final delivered package; and in fact in the web case it would largely need to be in the HTML which is wrapped around the PNG not the PNG itself.
We need something more along the lines of: A collection of tools needs to be able to preserve existing, and insert all the necessary information in the appropriate places in the final published output - which may be a collection of content formats.
How you write that as a testable provision, especially one which allows procurement of the individual tools before they become a collection, I'm not sure.
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Subject: [teitac-websoftware] Authoring Tools
Getting back to Allen's proposal for a provision specific to authoring
Allen's original proposal on March 5th  was:
When software allows creation of, or modification to information stored in
a specific set of encoding formats, all accessibility attributes contained
in those formats must be available to the author, and programmatic
assessment and remediation of those attributes must be provided to expedite
such creation or modification.
We discussed it at both the March 7th  and 14th  meetings.
The discussion summaries are quite long but I believe these are the major
- We need a definition of content that addresses Web content, e-mail, and
office software documents
- We should use the W3C definition of authoring tool - Any software or
collection of software components used to create or modify web content for
- Requiring the creation software to provide the assessment function is too
restrictive. Software is available to do automated assessments and so this
function does not have to be built into every authoring tool.
- Authoring tools should not delete or alter any accessibility attributes
that are already in the content (in the case of editing existing content)
- Content production often involves several steps, with different tools
being used in each step. May be too restrictive to require every tool in
the process to provide the authoring function proposed above. The
collection of tools must support ATAG or whatever requirements are defined
- Content management systems need to be included
- What approaches would be incentives for vendors to produce tools that
create accessible content?
So .... here's an alternative proposal:
Any software or collection of software components used by people to create
or modify content, including but not limited to Web content authoring
tools, multimedia editing tools, word processors, and content management
- allow the author to utilize all accessibility features defined by the
- avoid deleting or altering any accessibility attributes that exist in the
with the following definitions:
content: any information that is encountered as part of a user experience
including but not limited to text, images, sounds, videos and animations
content format: an encoding mechanism for storing information. Examples are
HTML, JPEG, SMIL, PDF, others?
 adapted from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_content