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Re: Normative and Non-Normative - Why?

From: Graham Oliver <graham_oliver@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2001 01:04:58 +0100 (BST)
Message-ID: <20011017000458.89270.qmail@web10006.mail.yahoo.com>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
OK Charles as I started the thread let me try and
provide some sort of 'where we are at' post.

So far we have (I believe) 3 different definitions of
normative from the 3 people who have responded to this
post.

In Summary.
CMcN.
'Normative refers to those things which are required
to know for understanding the specification'. 

AP.
'"normative" refers to those things which have a clear
dividing line between what is and isn't accessible'.

JW.
Slightly paraphrasing.
Normative is 'What parts or aspects of the document
count for purposes of conformance'.

Another possible definition is that at the base of the
current draft of WCAG 2.0.
'Normative items are prescriptions for what
must/should/may be done to create accessible content'.

This is close to the JW defintion.

I imagine this sort of situation is why the glossary
has been instituted (normative does not appear in
that).

My motivation for the original post was that the use
of the word 'normative' was taking away from the
clarity of the WCAG 2.0 document rather than adding to
it.
My view has become stronger because of this thread.
For a start there does not appear to be consensus on
its meaning.


There is another angle referred to in this post [1].

<extract from post>.
The charter is clear that the document itself is
intended to be normative.

<quote from charter>.
With regard to the WCAG WG's guidelines document, the
Working Group will produce a document with sufficient
technical precision to be used as a normative
reference for Web content accessibility.
</quote from charter>.

My logic may be weak but it doesn't make sense to me
to have non-normative sections of a normative
document.
</extract from post>.

The use of the word 'normative' here also points to
yet another meaning.

[1]
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/2001OctDec/0097.html

Regards.
Graham.


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Received on Tuesday, 16 October 2001 20:04:59 GMT

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