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Proposed text for addressing Checkpoint 3.3 issue

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 12:02:38 -0400
Message-ID: <379F299E.B4DD14A5@w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Reference document:
 http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/WAI-WEBCONTENT-19990505/

Summary of the issue:

  Checkpoint 3.3 reads
      "Use style sheets to control layout and presentation. [Priority
2]".

  Content developers feel this is an unfair burden since style sheets
  aren't supported well across browsers.

  Checkpoint 11.1 reads
      "Use W3C technologies when they are available and 
       appropriate for a task and use the latest versions 
       when supported. [Priority 2]"

  The Guidelines don't make it adequately clear that 11.1 "covers" 3.3. 
  Furthermore, the Techniques document doesn't make it adequately
  clear that the CSS [1], [2] implementations MAY take into account
markup
  as well as style sheets, so that authors may use both and that
  style sheets MAY take precedence when supported.

Proposal 1) Add to the errata page [3] the following clarification:

   <BLOCKQUOTE>
     As per checkpoint 11.1, content developers are not required
     to use W3C language features (from CSS, HTML, or other) that are
     not supported by user agents. Some checkpoints refer to 
     to particular features of style sheets or markup languages and 
     content developers should use those features where possible. 
     Content developers satify these checkpoints when features
     are not yet supported. However, since user agent support 
     for features does change, content developers are responsible 
     for keeping their pages up-to-date in order to ensure 
     continued conformance.

     This clarification applies (though not exclusively)
     to the following checkpoints:

       3.1, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 
       5.2, 5.5., 5.6, 6.4, 9.1, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 12.1, 12.4, 
       and 13.2.

     NOTE for Checkpoint 3.3: 
       Where possible, content developers should use 
       CSS style sheet features in addition to HTML 
       presentation markup.
   </BLOCKQUOTE>

Proposal 2) Add the above text to the Techniques document as well. 
   Also add to the Techniques text about how CSS style sheets are 
   intended to interact with HTML presentation attributes.

Proposal 3) Add the above text to the Guidelines document, e.g., to
    section on conformance. In short, there is an implicit
    "until user agents" clause on all checkpoints that refers
    to unsupported language features.

    I don't think we should publish a new Guidelines document until
    we have more feedback on other issues.
    
 - Ian

[1] For CSS1: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS1#cascading-order
[2] For CSS2: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/cascade.html#q12
[3] http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WAI-WEBCONTENT-ERRATA

-- 
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel/Fax:                     +1 212 684-1814
Received on Wednesday, 28 July 1999 12:03:35 GMT

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