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RE: level A and double A

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 12:18:56 -0800
Message-Id: <a05101014b87377b2519f@[]>
To: <gdeering@acslink.net.au>, "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>
Cc: "WAI GL" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 6:30 AM +1100 1/23/02, Geoff Deering wrote:
>Well, are those categories arbitrary?  If they are, I think you are quit
>right.  But if those categories are grouped into meaningful collections,
>then they no longer have arbitrary meaning; the category itself must then
>have a meaning.  If not, then why does it exist?
>Also; to meet a priority you need to fulfil ALL the checkpoints of that
>priority.  If this is not essential to claim conformance, why call it a

You are probably asking the wrong person; I have been one of the primary
critics of the current priority system, compliance scheme, and de
facto implemenation scheme.

In addition, there are a number of WCAG1 checkpoints which appear to
have been classified incorrectly, even if you follow the WCAG1
stated criteria for inclusion.

The categories chosen as "Single A", "Double A", and "Triple A" are,
in my opinion, quasi-arbitrary, since they rely upon subjective (and
sometimes faulty) value judgments which may vary from person to
person, and even vary within time.  At best they reflect "the ratings
given to these checkpoints by the particular people within the
WCAG working group at the time the documents were drafted, based upon
a scale which is not defined clearly."

That may be a useful measure, but note that the usefulness is very
dependent upon the perspective of one group at one particular
point in time, and those opinions can change.  For example, the
group's opinion on the importance of illustration has varied
considerably, to the point that there cannot accurately be said
to be a consensus that illustrations are a Priority Three

(Note that I'm not claiming there's consensus that it's NOT
Priority Three; but presumably at the time WCAG1 was issued, there
was agreement in the working group on this.  At the present time,
I suspect you can find people who would argue anything from
Priority One to Priority Three at this point.)

Our understanding of accessibility issues continues to grow,
and thus some priorities -- especially those "until user agents"
checkpoints -- may not fit as well in 2002 as they did in 1998.


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                 http://kynn.com
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain            http://idyllmtn.com
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Received on Tuesday, 22 January 2002 15:21:34 UTC

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