Thread Subject: Re: Proposal (updated 20 June) on authoring tools
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From: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Date: Fri, Jun 22 2007 9:20 AM
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Replies inline, with "AWK"
> > >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.
> > >
> > >Rationale:
> > >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
> > >information.
> >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 http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#programmaticallydetermineddef
> 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.
AWK: I support the idea of this standard, but with "authoring tool"
potentially meaning "multiple tools in a process" I'm not sure that
there is such a thing as automatically-generated content. We have a
product that creates a flash-based version of a Microsoft PowerPoint
slideshow. You can't add an equivalent to an image but if it is in the
PowerPoint slides it is included - my "authoring tool" is PowerPoint and
the Adobe product" and the Powerpoint portion is part of the process
that is non-automatic, but we're evaluating based on the whole "tool".
> > >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 content provisions"?
> >AWH: None.
> 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.
> JB: Understood.
AWK: Is there a possible world where a tool can meet #1 and not meet #2?
If so, why have #2?
> > >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
> >authoring action" is.
> >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?
AWK: I think that this is easy to agree to for certain items (e.g.
adding image equivalents) but there are other situations where many
different workflows can be used, depending on the author's preferences
or their working situation that would make defining the most accessible
authoring action somewhere between impossible and merely contentious. I
can hear our developer-customers saying "don't force me into _your_
path, tell me what I need to do (e.g. meet the 1194.21 or .22 standards)
and I'll figure out the best way to accomplish that for the way I work".
> > >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
> > >standards.
> >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 provision.
AWK: As has been stated before, many aspects of designing an accessible
web page require author input and can't be made part of a template. I'm
concerned about how this gets scoped against the web content standards
as a result.
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