“Call for Review: Updated WCAG 2.0 Working Draft”

Please check this out:

W3C WAI Director Judy Brewer’s “Call for Review: Updated WCAG 2.0 Working Draft“…

Dear All,

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) invites you to comment on an updated draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0), published on 17 May 2007. WCAG 2.0 addresses accessibility of Web content for people with disabilities.

The updated WCAG 2.0 Public Working Draft incorporates changes in response to comments received on the 27 April 2006 WCAG 2.0 Last Call Working Draft. Because there were a number of substantive changes, WCAG 2.0 has returned to Public Working Draft status. We expect to advance WCAG 2.0 to a second Last Call Working Draft after this Public Working Draft.

W3C/WAI encourages you to review this document and submit comments on any issues which you feel could present a barrier to adoption and implementation of WCAG 2.0. The Working Group seeks feedback on the following points for this draft:

– Are the guidelines and success criteria clear? If not, can you
suggest clearer wording?
– Are there any success criteria that you feel are not
implementable or testable? If so, how could they be improved?
– Are there any success criteria that you feel would not improve
accessibility as written, or that might hinder it? If so, how could they
be improved?

Comments on this Working Draft are due by 29 June 2007. The Working Group requests that comments be made using the online or downloadable comment form available at
http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/comments/
If this is not possible, comments can also be sent to
public-comments-wcag20@w3.org . The archives for this list are publicly available. (Please note that if you submitted comments during the 2006 Last Call Working Draft review period, you will be receiving an email with a response to your individual comments.)

The following document provides an overview of all the WCAG 2.0 documents:
* Overview of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Documents
http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag20

The primary document for review is:
* Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-WCAG20-20070517/

A key tool for reviewing and working with WCAG 2.0 has also been updated:
* WCAG 2.0 Quick Reference
http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/quickref/20070517/

These supporting documents have been updated as well:
* Understanding WCAG 2.0
http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20-20070517/
* Techniques for WCAG 2.0
http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-WCAG20-TECHS-20070517/

A summary of changes to WCAG 2.0 since the previous draft will be available:
http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/2007/05/change-summary

Information on how WAI is developing WCAG 2.0 is available:
* How WAI Develops Accessibility Guidelines through the W3C Process
http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/w3c-process

Additional information about the WCAG Working Group is available:
http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/

Feel free to circulate this message to other lists; please avoid
cross-postings where possible.

Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your comments.

Loretta Guarino Reid, Co-chair of WCAG WG, and Computer Scientist, Google Inc.
Gregg Vanderheiden, Co-chair of WCAG WG, and Director of Trace R&D Center,
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Michael Cooper, W3C Team Contact for WCAG WG
Judy Brewer, Director, Web Accessibility Initiative, W3C

NOTE: I plan on doing a thorough review of this draft of WCAG 2.0 and publishing my thoughts on this blog.  Make sure you’ve read WCAG 2.0 also so we can start a conversation.

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The Power of “View Source”

Just recently, I started working a tutoring program here in DC. I’m showing this really cool high school guy how to make a Web site.  On Thursday, we started by learning tags and attributes.  We’re learning standards-based design.

One thing I told him about and showed him was that most Web browsers allowed you to see the HTML which made up a Web site.  You just had to go, “view source.”

We started going through some of his favorite sites.  He was recognizing some of the tags we’d been talking about on some of these sites he loved to visit.  He also started asking questions, “What does that tag do?  What does that element do?”

I had forgotten about the power of “view source.”  When I was learning HTML, I’d use it all the time.   I just wanted to expose myself to the language as much as possible.  I’d study the patterns.  I’d get a feeling for how people were doing things differently.

The high school guy I’m tutoring may not fully understand all the HTML he’s seeing when he goes “view source” but it all helps with him getting used to look at it.

The “View Source” button is critical to the learning process.   It demonstrates the power of the open Web and how people need to be able to learn from what others are doing.

Facebooks Makes Web Accessibility A Secondary Priority

The Facebook Gift Shop is a page where you can purchase little profile widgets for $1 a piece and send them to your friends.   It has become apparently quite popular among Facebook users.

According to a recent Facebook blog post, they’ve recently received lots of user complaints that the Gift Shop isn’t accessible to blind users.  The Facebook team inturn decided to launch a screen reader accessible version of the site.

From the blog post, it seems that Facebook has the delusion that visual disabilities, particularly blindness, is the only thing they need to pay attention to.  We know this isn’t the case.  If you make you Web site accessible, users with different disabilities will be able to access the Web page.

Facebook’s first reaction to an inaccessible page isn’t to make the primarily used page accessible.  They make an alternative version of the page.  Who wants to have to use an alternative version of the page?  Didn’t we learn a long time ago that “separate but equal” is a fallacy?

Also… What does it say that Facebook users have to bring to their attention the fact that their page is inaccessible?  Is accessibility checking not part of the development qa process?

So is accessibility a priority of Facebook or not?

If it is, Facebook should post a Web Accessibility commitment statement so we know what to expect.

Soft Sciences Mentioned But Not Very Present At WWW2007

One thing that was pretty interesting about WWW2007 is that both Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Prabhakar Raghavan mentioned in their keynotes the need for more of the soft sciences to study the World Wide Web.  They talked about how we need to better understand our users and the problems that are engineering solutions solve and create.

The interesting thing is that the soft sciences were very under represented in what was presented in the WWW2007 conference program.  I heard a lot of great talks but there were all about addressing some technical issue, showcasing a new technique, or demoing a new product.

What about the economics, psychology, and sociology of the Web?

Maybe we’ll see more of  the non-technical side of the Web at the WWW2008 conference in Shanghai. I gotta start working on the paper that I’ll present.

Little Mention of Second Life at WWW2007

Well my stay in Banff has come to a close. I really enjoyed WWW2007 and I dearly hope that I can go to WWW2008 in Beijing.

One thing that surprised me a bit was that there was very little mention of Second Life or Virtual Worlds. Is Second Life to be seen as too much of a game or just software?

Second Life is a genuine way for people to experience information and knowledge in a connected collaborative environment. It is the Web. Second Life is just the Web in a 3 dimensional form not the Web of documents that we all deal with in our browsers.

I expect in the future you’ll see more crossover between the Web that we experience in the browser and the Web that we experience in Second Life. You can already get audio, video, and rss content.

I guess we’ll see what shows up in Beijing in 2008. Maybe, I’ll have to submit a paper.

WWW2007: Bradley Horowitz on “The Changing Face of Web Search”

Note: These are rough notes from the WWW2007 conference.

Yahoo’s mission is “to connect people to their passions, their communities, and the world’s knowledge.”  There are concentric circles of creation… theirs, ours, and mine.

We often call people “users.”  This is often pejorative.  Users use drugs or abuse people.  Need to eliminate the pejorative uses.

There is a pyramid of creators (starters), synthesizers (contribute once provoked), and consumers (lurkers).  The Web 2.0 phenomenon is to melt down the pyramid.   Anyone with a blank is now a blank.

There is always the dark side of UGC.  How do you differentiate the signal vs. noise?

Within Flickr, there was an algorithm they made to derive interestingness. It provokes interaction and response from users.  At acquisition, could only sort photos in Flickr by recently taken.  Now there is interestingness.  It’s determined by the organic behavior of viewing a photo, comments, tagging, and favoriting it.  Instead of asking users to rate photos, they looked at the organic behavior, which is less susceptible.

Flickr has turned users into taggers.  Tagging was started by graffitti artists who put up their art quickly.  Folksonomical tagging is good because its quick and dirty.  This is interesting because computer vision is hard.  Your users are your computer vision.  They can tell you whats in the photo.

There are machine tags.  You can tag a photo with the upcoming event or the geolocation.

You can visualize tags based on where they’re being taggged.  Yahoo has TagMap.  You can also restrict it to time.

Tag clusters are a way to give you more precision.

Users can be more then just contributors.  Users can be distributors.  Flickr encourages people to use flickr photos on non flickr pages.  The blogosphere does that a lot.

Users can also be developers.  There is an API.

There is a community of people who rose up that just take photos of single letters.  They have conversations about the shapes of type faces and characters.

You can turn users into neighbors.  Only a very few people actually leave comments.  MyBlogLog allows you to see who are the other people that are within your blog community.

For a while, we’ve been pushing HTML on the users.  Now we have RSS.  How can we bring the different types of data together?  CraigsList knows apartment openings.  Yahoo! Local knows where the parks are.  Yahoo! Pipes is an interactive application which allows you to bring the different systems together.

People + Algorithms > Alogrithms

  • Phase 1 – human editorial
  • Phase 2 – mass automation
  • Phase 3 – topological analysis
  • Phase 4 – social search

We’re moving towards social search.  We’re going to democratize the process of “voting.”

A great example of social search is Yahoo! Answers.  There is a person who has a question.  You have a large body of users who can tell you where to go or what the answer is.

Del.icio.us is the bookmark system in the cloud.  It is a personal memory.  You can create a network of people.  You can search to just see what the people within your network tagged.

Its all the process of moving towards 100% creators, 100% synthesizers, and 100% consumers.