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Re: guideline comments

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 11:58:05 -0500 (EST)
To: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
cc: "w3c-wai-au@w3.org" <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.04.9901251140090.21481-100000@tux.w3.org>
There are two problems I have with the 'make it impossible' approach.

The least interesting is that it will makeit difficult to sell a tool
(until some large customer demands accessibility in their tools, then it
will be a feature. Which will bring the second, and more interesting
problem to the fore:

I don't trust any tool to understand accessibility better than I can. A
tool may point out a problem of which I was not aware, but I am not
prepared to believe that a person cannot solve the problems in more and
better ways than are going to be coded in to software in the next few
years. There are numerous examples of tools out there already which are
supposed to produce better HTML. So many of them currently produce rubbish
that authoring by hand (or hand editing the output of a tool) is still
considered the best way to produce HTML. Until this changes, it seems
foolish to consider allowing a tool to have the final say.

On the other hand I do trust a tool to identify and warn me about things I
may have done wrong. Spellchecking can be very handy, so long as I can
tell the spell checker that I spell honour with a 'u' - otherwise I will
end up throwing it (and any prgoram that requires it) away and finding a
better solution.

And I rather like the idea of a tool which warns that an Author will be
placed under a curse. But I suspect that marketing people might veto the
wording. Sigh. I guess it would see the market-place as a more normal

Charles McCathieNevile

On Mon, 18 Jan 1999, William Loughborough wrote:

  I still prefer that 3.5.3 contain an even stronger imperative: It must
  be difficult (impossible?) to get by a final ready-for-the-Web status
  check without Priority 1 compliance.  Just saving a file is probably OK
  without the "Warning: this document contains material which if placed on
  the World Wide Web will leave the poster under a curse" or something. 
  But the final "check" should be done just as it is in income tax
  preparation software before the return is filed.

--Charles McCathieNevile -  mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: * +1 (617) 258 0992 *  http://purl.oclc.org/net/charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative -  http://www.w3.org/WAI
545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, USA
Received on Monday, 25 January 1999 11:58:09 UTC

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