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Re: Conformance

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 02:36:27 -0700
Message-Id: <a05100300b7dde7f3b058@[]>
To: jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au, Web Content Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Do we need a conformance mechanism or do we need a reporting mechanism?
The two are very similar but are very different.  A "conformance
mechanism" has the concept that "to be compliant with this document
you must meet certain criteria", while a "reporting mechanism" is
more about saying "this <whatever> has met these criteria."

To me, a "conformance mechanism" in this context sounds like policy --
and we are not writing policy on how our guidelines should be used,
we are leaving that up to the policy-makers.  (This is a problem with
WCAG 1.0, a de facto policy built into the guideline.)  Rather we
should be providing the policy-makers with the appropriate tools and
modularization to set their own policies as they feel appropriate.
(These policy-makers may be personal users, corporate policymakers,
or national/international lawmakers.)

Looking at the list which Jason provided, in terms of "conformance"
vs "reporting":
At 6:55 PM +1000 2001/10/01, Jason White wrote:
>C1 - we want to have recognition for accomplishment beyond baseline

This sounds like it is describing a "reporting mechanism."

>C2 - it is good to have levels of conformance rather than just all or

This sounds like it is describing a "reporting mechanism."

>C3 - there is a minimum set that conformance should not be possible

This sounds like it is describing a "conformance mechanism."

>C4 - should not be able to claim conformance by disability

This sounds like it is describing a "conformance mechanism."

>C5 - we WCAG should provide a way for people to see  impact of items for
>particular disabilities but it should not be used for conformance.

This sounds like it is describing a "reporting mechanism."

>C6 - GL should provide hooks in WCAG to allow someone to provide a way
>for people to measure access against particular disabilities but it
>should not be used for conformance.     [ Who should/would do the tool?
>GL or EO or ?]   [Separate tool]

This sounds like it is describing a "reporting mechanism."

>C7 -  The success criteria (for a checkpoint) must be sufficient.
>(i.e. if you do them you comply.   You would not have to do anything not
>in the list of success criteria.)

This could describe either a "conformance mechanism" or a "reporting

The outstanding issues, I believe, are only outstanding because we continue
to muddle the difference between "conformance" and "reporting", and
thus we try to write policy as to how these _should be used_ while
claiming that we don't write policy.  Once again, I state clearly that
our goal should be to provide a toolkit, if you will, for constructing
an accessibility policy, and therefore, as much as possible, we should
endeavor to stay away from actually hard-wiring one into the spec.

Thank you,


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Received on Monday, 1 October 2001 05:44:13 UTC

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