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Multiple versions of content (including "final forms")

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 18:47:52 +1100
Message-ID: <15831.18856.222213.73821@jdc.local>
To: Web Content Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

On various occasions the issue of multiple, dynamically generated
versions of Web content, including "final form" presentations in
markup languages such as XSL-FO, has been raised. The precise question
at issue has been how the availability of a plurality of versions,
potentially in different formats, should be taken into account in the
WCAG 2.0 conformance scheme.

At the core of the WCAG 2.0 conformance arrangements is that, in order
to conform at all, the content must meet every checkpoint at a minimum
level. As Gregg pointed out, there are people whose needs are such
that they require, at the very least, content that conforms to every
checkpoint at a minimum level. Consequently, content would be
inaccessible to this population if there did not exist at least one
version which met all of the minimum-level success criteria in the
guidelines. This observation, combined with a desire to permit
accurate and complete reporting in conformance claims, taking into
account the possibility of multiple versions, motivates the following

Where multiple versions of web content exist:

1. It conforms to the guidelines only if there exists at least one
   version of the content that satisfies all checkpoints at the
   minimum level.

2. If there are other versions that meet specific checkpoints beyond
   the minimum level, the conformance claim must specify, for each
   such version, the checkpoints which it implements and the level
   (i.e., 1, 2 or 3) of any such implementation. In some cases it may
   not be possible to identify each available version, in which case
   the conformance claim should specify the effect of various content
   selection/adaptation options on the conformance status of the

3. If the interface whereby content selection/adaptation options are
   selected is provided as part of the content itself (rather than
   being, for instance, a feature of a user agent), it must conform to
   every checkpoint at or beyond the minimum level.

4. The entity claiming conformance to the guidelines is responsible
   only for the content in the forms in which it leaves Web servers
   under that entity's control; the content may be subject to further
   adaptation processes (e.g., by proxy servers) prior to receipt by
   the user agent. (This last point is more of a note than a
   requirement, I suspect).
Received on Sunday, 17 November 2002 02:48:30 UTC

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