Thread Subject: Re: Authoring Tools -- Wiki section added
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From: Robinson, Norman B - Washington, DC
Date: Wed, Jul 25 2007 12:40 PM
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Regarding "[teitac-websoftware] Authoring Tools -- Wiki section added",
it was asked for any specific remaining concerns for discussion -- in
which case also suggestions for how to resolve those concerns?
Playing devil's advocate on the Authoring Tool proposed provisions:
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
a. What is the definition for "accessible content formats"?
b. Content is not currently covered in the existing provisions.
How might content be referenced in the next revision? As a file format?
If file formats are not covered, how will this work?
2. Authoring tools must preserve accessibility information necessary
for meeting the electronic content provisions, unless the user
a. What is the complete definition of "accessibility
b. If the user indicates they do not want accessibility
information does that then imply we could still have compliant content?
3. For authoring tools with a user interface, authoring tools must
provide a mode which prompts authors to create accessible content; and
either a mode which assists authors in checking for accessibility
problems, or interoperability with evaluation tools that provide that
a. What are authoring tools without a user interface? Bash shell
b. Isn't this redundant with the first (#1) statement?
4. Authoring tools which provide pre-authored content, or templates
to facilitate production of content, must provide at least one version
meets applicable electronic content accessibility standards.
a. What happens when the content doesn't have an accessible
version? Think of Flash 1.0.
b. Again, per statement #1 question (b), content is not
currently covered in the existing provisions. Is content the same as a
file format? If file formats are not in the revision, how will this
Finally, questions about the goals regarding authoring tools:
how is software called "authoring tools" any different from any other
software under the Section 508 provisions? Why can't we simply apply the
Section 508 technical software standards to "authoring tools"? How are
we to get away from the logic trap that we are mandating specific
features in software of type "authoring tools?". Do we do that for any
other particular type of software? Does this only apply to *web based
content*? How can the be misused? (e.g., If I use Notepad or Bash Shell
as an authoring tool, does this really apply?
My suggestion for resolving these concerns:
1. Remove the section on authoring tools. Rationale is they are
no different than any other software!
2. Define "accessible content formats" or "file formats"
required for accessibility in the refresh.
3. Address *validation* and *well-formed* in the new "file
formats" section of the refresh.
Norman B. Robinson
Section 508 Coordinator
IT Governance, US Postal Service
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