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Issues with guideline 4.2

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 18:49:37 +1000
Message-ID: <16643.29729.462893.433222@jdc.local>
To: Web Content Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

I note the following major shortcomings in guideline 4.2 (partial
proposals are included).

1. Guideline 4.2 says "at least one plug-in". There are two problems
   here. First, it applies only to "plug-ins", thereby assuming an
   HTML-centric world in which other technologies are supported by
   "plug-ins". Secondly, "at least one" could be interpreted to mean
   that if two plug-ins are required to access the content and one of
   them meets UAAG, then guideline 4.2 is satisfied. Since the UAAG
   definition of "user agent" includes plug-ins as a special case I

At least one version of a user agent capable of accessing the content
conforms, at a minimum, to Level A of the User Agent Accessibility

2. As currently worded, guideline 4.2 refers to UAAG 1.0 specifically.
   If UAAG is updated, then this dependency would become out of date
   and could not be changed without revising WCAG 2.0. This is a
   similar problem to that which the authoring tools group has
   encountered in referring to WCAG 1.0 - the next version of ATAG
   will be designed not to depend on any specific version of WCAG.

I propose that for purposes of guideline 4.2, UAAG should mean "The
User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, or any later version". That
is, the developer of WCAG 2.0-conformant content can choose which
version of UAAG to use in assessing whether the requirement of
guideline 4.2 is met. This attempt to decouple WCAG 2.0 from a
specific version of UAAG might entail the deletion of items (a)-(i)
under guideline 4.2, as these might change in a future version of
UAAG. In general, the issue of how to refer to UAAG needs to be
considered more closely so that changes in UAAG do not require WCAG to
be updated.
Received on Sunday, 25 July 2004 04:49:40 UTC

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