Thread Subject: Re: Proposal (updated 20 June) on authoring tools
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From: Judy Brewer
Date: Thu, Jun 21 2007 11:45 AM
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Replies inline, with JB:
At 02:50 PM 6/20/2007 -0400, Hoffman, Allen wrote:
>I will reply inline. Look for AWH:
> >1. For each accessible content format supported, authoring tools MUST
> >allow the author to produce content, including content derived from
> >programmatic sources, that meets applicable electronic content
> >accessibility standards.
> >When content formats allow accessibility information, such as alternate
> >text for images, to be authored and included in the content, the tool
> >used to create new content must provide the author a way to create that
>Can you please clarify your rationale for proposing the addition of
>"content derived from programmatic sources"?
>This addresses generated content from previous #3.
JB: The phrasing in the previous #3 was "any content that can be generated
by the tool without requiring author input." Looking up definitions of
programmatically determined from WCAG 2.0
it appears that the meaning of programmatically determined might be
narrower than "any content that can be generated by the tool without
requiring author input."
JB: If we are seeking a way to combine #1 and #3 then I would tend to bring
in the original wording from #3, unless anyone else wants to weigh in and
verify that these are exactly the same, or that programmatically determined
would be sufficient here.
> >2. Authoring tools MUST preserve accessibility information within
> content accept by explicit user action, or when that change will increase
> the compliance of the content.
>What is the rationale for dropping "necessary for meeting the electronic
JB: Perhaps the phrase is unnecessary, since ideally all accessibility
information would be preserved, and in any case there is an easy out which
is "except by explicit user action."
>Also I'm wondering about the necessity of "when that change will increase
>the compliance of the content".
>AWH: To allow for the condition where a tool changes content
>automatically but has a way to improve it transparently, or even interactively.
> >3. Authoring tools MUST provide authors the capacity to assess and
> >remediate content for compliance with the applicable electronic content
> >accessibility standards. Such functionality MUST include, but is not
> >limited to, interactively prompting authors for accessibility
> >information during the authoring process, and when possible, giving
> >prominence to the most accessible authoring action for achieving a
> >compliant authoring outcome.
>There seem to be several open questions in this -- whether all authoring
>tools must have evaluation functions on board as opposed to through
>interoperability, and what the definition of "most accessible authoring
>AWH: Authoring tools are defined that include either stand alone tools
>or combinations of tools. We can define "most accessible authoring
>action" I think as, "the coding technique that creates content that
>meets more electronic content accessibility standards than another.
JB: For those who have commented that a definition of "most accessible
authoring action" was needed, does this work for you?
> >4. Authoring tools which provide preauthored content or templates to
> >facilitate rapid production of electronic content MUST provide at least
> >one version that meets applicable electronic content accessibility
>The added definition of "templates" here potentially restricts the
>meaning, and I'm unclear why it's necessary.
>The quantification of "at least one version" may be helpful in
>addressing testability concerns which have come up in previous
>discussion of the provision on templates.
>AWH: I don't think adding "templates" here restricts it, but includes
>that concept here.
JB: My concern was not about adding "templates" since that was already
included in the previous language. My concern was the added clause
following "templates": "...to facilitate rapid production of electronic
content." In adding this explanation of templates, you also may be
restricting its meaning. Templates are required in some organizations to
standardize the organization of the content that is created and published
within that organization. In some cases, those templates might slow down,
not speed up, content creation, if otherwise people would be throwing
non-standard Web pages on the site. So I don't think that the explanation
"...to facilitate rapid production of electronic content" belongs in the
>This proposed rewording however leaves out accessible pre-authored
>content (widgets etc) which has been noted in previous discussion to
>also be an important facilitator for production of accessible content.
> >Preauthored content such as memo, report, multimedia movie, picture
> >album, and fillable form are needed to set the accessibility standard
> >for such content. Often authors are using pre-existing inaccessible
> >templates to make their work more consistent and take advantage of
> >functions the authoring tools have that they are not familiar with.
> >This strength must be extended to the accessibility arena, and can make
> >a dramatic impact on production of accessible content.
> >Low. Remediating preauthored content for tools is not a large job, but
> >the subsequent impact on the accessibility of a wide variety of content
> >would be disproportionately large in return.
>We can certainly develop a list of pre-authored items to include in the
>supporting documentation beyond templates.
JB: Yes I think it would help to have examples of pre-authored items.
Perhaps the examples do not belong in the provisions -- however, the
expectation would have to be clear enough to be testable.
Judy Brewer +1.617.258.9741 http://www.w3.org/WAI
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/CSAIL Building 32-G526
32 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA
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