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Re: Murky ratings

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 08:55:32 +1000 (AEST)
To: WAI Markup Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.95.980506083742.29715A-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
Changing the names of the categories would certainly be helpful, but it
would also be necessary to ensure that the definitions of the revised
categories were appropriate. The designation "required", as it presently
stands, is strictly interpreted, and it is this interpretation of the term
which I suspect is likely to create confusion. A useful question to ask
is what purpose is served by attaching different levels of importance to
each of the guidelines. The answer seems to be that it establishes an
order of priorities: the "required" guidelines would need to be
implemented with greater urgency and thoroughness, when creating or, more
significantly, updating an HTML document, whereas the "recommended" items
can, so the term implies, be postponed. This is reasonable, so long as a
page which conformed to only the "required" guidelines would be
practically usable. It is from this standpoint that the classification of
guidelines ought to be decided. It should also be reflected in the
definitions by evoking a "practically unusable" criterion as the basis for
making a guideline "required" (or whatever the label ultimately chosen
turns out to be). I think, incidentally, that "paramount" would be an
appropriate term, as Daniel suggests. Perhaps "paramount" and
"recommended" would be best, or even "paramount", "strongly recommended"
and "recommended". In the latter case, "paramount" would retain the
definition presently ascribed to "required". In the former case, namely if
the two-level scheme were preserved, "paramount" should be given a less
restrictive definition by introducing the concept of practical usability.
Received on Tuesday, 5 May 1998 18:55:38 GMT

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