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WCAG 2.0 WD Conformance section comments

From: Carlos Iglesias <carlos.iglesias@fundacionctic.org>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 09:30:53 +0200
Message-ID: <09700B613C4DD84FA9F2FEA521882819022D18D7@ayalga.fundacionctic.org>
To: <public-wai-ert@w3.org>

Hi group,

In the last conference we talked about potential issues related to the Conformance section of the WCAG 2.0 last WD [1]
As a result of the discussion we have detected a couple of potential issues that are relevant from a Conformance testing point of view. The following is a recollection for further discussion:


Currently, no conformance claim must be made about a Web page that is part of a process if any of the pages that are part of the process does not conform.

A complete process or transaction may include different alternative paths depending on user profiles, user tasks or other factors (e.g. a checkout process may be different depending on if the user is already logged in the system, or registered but not logged in, or a new member. It may be different also depending of the information provided by the user or the mistakes that are made while introducing data)

>From an external perspective (external reviewer or auditor) it could be hard (or even impossible) to get an idea about all the existing paths and scenarios of a process as it requires a very good knowledge of its design, so the question that arises is if all different variants need to be considered, or testing just one of the possible complete paths may be enough.

If the testing of all possible variations is going to be required, there should be a clarification about this in the guidelines and related documents to acknowledge the issue and help guide evaluators who want to review web sites (as opposed to developers building the site)


It's not clear if the basic notion of the conformance claim is based on Web pages rather than whole web sites or other page groups as seen at [4]. Blanket conformance claims for big groups of resources, such as complete domains, a subdomain, all content beginning with the URI [http://example.com/nav] or [http://www.example.com/(marketing|sales|contact)/.*], may not be realistic if you are expecting perfection.

When you're dealing with web sites of a certain size that are alive and with several people involve in the edition of contents, some accessibility problems may be expected, due to the typical maintenance cycle. These problems must obviously be monitorized and corrected in a reasonable time, but probably no single web site with these characteristics (probably most of the current web) fulfil every requirement at every time.
On the other hand, there should be a way to provide conformance claims that apply to big groups of resources and are legible for humans without the need of listing thousands of URIs.

A compromise solution could be the use of blanket conformance claims for human consumption, as those seen above, with some kind of note or clarification about the maintenance issue.

[1] - [http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-WCAG20-20070517/#conformance]
[2] - [http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-WCAG20-20070517/#cc9]
[3] - [http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-WCAG20-20070517/#conformance-claims]
[4] - [http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20-20070517/Overview.html#uc-239-head]



Carlos Iglesias

CTIC Foundation
Science and Technology Park of Gijón
33203 - Gijón, Asturias, Spain

phone: +34 984291212
fax: +34 984390612
email: carlos.iglesias@fundacionctic.org
URL: http://www.fundacionctic.org
Received on Thursday, 28 June 2007 07:31:12 UTC

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