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Testability is dramatically hurting the WCAG

From: WCAG 2.0 Comment Form <nobody@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 12:05:07 +0000 (GMT)
To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
Message-Id: <20070627120508.19AE9BDAE@w3c4.w3.org>

Name: Noah Slater
Email: nslater@gmail.com
Affiliation: None
Document: W2
Item Number: (none selected)
Part of Item: 
Comment Type: general comment
Summary of Issue: Testability is dramatically hurting the WCAG
Comment (Including rationale for any proposed change):
See: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/testability

Letting testability remove plain English recommendations (such as the lack of specification for descriptive ALT text because there is no machine way to check for this) removes a considerable amount of value from the WCAG.

If something does not change the working group stands to loose a great deal of credibility regarding this massive issue.

Proposed Change:
Include additional recommendations along side the machine testable requirements.

I appreciate that the WCAG is used by governments and other large organisations, and as such needs to be used reliably - but let me, if you will, give you and example of something else that is used by this: contracts, licences and state law.

Legal documents such as these are written in plain English (or not so plain, depending) and are open to interpretation - yet they are used the world over to settle arguments about X vs. Y. If you think legal documents are not open to interpretation all you have to do is look at the huge number of court cases where people are doing just that, battling out different interpretations.

So, just like a contract or licence - why can\'t the WCAG simple list requirements in English when there is no interpretation.

Something such as \"The ALT text should be a suitable replacement for the media and be use to convey the same information.\" could then be used to recommend practice and in some cases enforce legislation. All it would take is for a judge to say \"in my view the ALT text on this website is an adequate replacement.\" and that\'s that.

The argument for no machine testing only is bogus. 
Received on Wednesday, 27 June 2007 12:05:10 UTC

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