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Re: Definition of REQUIRED

From: Josh Krieger <jkrieger@cast.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 08:42:54 -0400
Message-ID: <3534AB4E.CB1AE3C4@cast.org>
To: Gregg Vanderheiden <po@trace.wisc.edu>
CC: GL - WAI Guidelines WG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
I would encourage people to take a look at which of the WAI
guidelines the latest version of Bobby supports:

http://www.cast.org/bobby/bobbyfaq.html#sec2.6

The table gives a good indication, whether REQUIRED or RECOMMENDED
in the current guidelines, what ultimately can be REQUIRED
without some sort of human analysis of the HTML. 

Josh Krieger
CAST

Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:
> 
> The misunderstanding of the Definition of REQUIRED comes up a lot on
> this list so I thought I would put it out as a separate memo rather
> than buried with another topic.
> 
> When we dropped to just two ratings - we looked at lots of options and
> came up with REQUIRED  and RECOMMENDED.
> Perhaps they are not well chosen but here is how we came on them
> 
> 1) The guidelines are just that, Guidelines, not requirements.  There
> is no certification of sites as accessible etc. Therefore we cannot
> have REQUIRED guidelines.  W3C does not have the authority to require
> anything as I understand it.  But we could say that doing this or that
> was required for some users to be able to use the pages.  So that is
> what we did.   So the definition of Required is
> 
> [Required]
> Required, otherwise it will be impossible for one or more groups of
> users to understand the page.
> 
> 2) We then just used recommended for the second level - those things
> that would make the page easier to use but are not required to make
> the information accessible.
> 
> [Recommended]
> Makes page easier to understand and use.
> 
> We have asked for comment on these definitions - but have not gotten
> any that suggest other definitions or approaches.  So we have
> continued with this.  (We dropped from 4 to 2 levels after
> recommendations at the GL group meeting in Texas)
> 
> Sooooooo
> 
> Required does not mean that we require it.   It means that it is a
> fact that it is required if all users are to be able to access the
> information on the page and understand it.       All other
> recommendations go into the recommended category, even if we think
> they are very important.
> 
> As always, comments on other ways to approach this are welcome.   I
> think we need to have a factual base though for putting things into
> the required category since we don't really have a mandate for
> arbitrarily requiring things of web authors and we don't have a
> certification process in place.     RC group is looking at these
> aspects.
> 
> Having said all this, I will say that this whole aspect is a bit
> murky.  If you try to apply things absolutely strictly you quickly end
> up with lots of things that could go either way based on
> interpretation.
> 
> So let us know what you think.    Do these seem to work (mostly)?
> 
> Or is there a better approach.
> 
> Thanks Much
> 
> Gregg
> For the Editors/Chairs
Received on Wednesday, 15 April 1998 12:50:09 GMT

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