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Re: 24 January 2002 WCAG WG minutes - Definition of Normative

From: Jonathan O'Donnell <jod999@yahoo.com.au>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 23:42:36 +1100 (EST)
Message-ID: <20020131124236.71650.qmail@web13906.mail.yahoo.com>
To: goliver@accease.com, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
 --- goliver@accease.com wrote: > In the minutes
Annuska asks for a definition of
> normative 
> Annuska you may be interested in the thread that
> starts

Hi Graham and others

In that thread, Anne Pemberton describes how people in
the Education discipline understand 'normative'. [1]

Other disciplines have widely differing definitions.

"Normative: subjective, value laden, emotional" [2]
This seems to be exactly opposite to our

"...normative theory tries to tell us how things ought
to be (people ought to be honest)" [3]
As opposed to Descriptive theory, which "...tries to
explain how things are (e.g., this paper is white)"

And even studies of the future:
"The word, "Normative," then, is a type of foresight
that deals with preferable futures" [4]
As opposed to 'plausable', or 'possible' futures.

It seems that we should use it in the very strict
sense of the discourse on standards, or not use it at

The User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 defines it
"...that on which the requirements of this document
depend for their most precise statement." [5]
Can't we just point to that definition?



[3]  http://www.stedwards.edu/ursery/norm.htm

[4]  http://www.cl.uh.edu/futureweb/spaceship.html

[5]  http://www.w3.org/TR/UAAG10/glossary.html#def-normative

Jonathan O'Donnell

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Received on Thursday, 31 January 2002 07:42:37 UTC

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