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RE: Problems with guideline 4.1

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.its.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 10:21:00 +1000 (EST)
To: Michael Cooper <michaelc@watchfire.com>
Cc: Web Content Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0407291011540.5535@ariel.its.unimelb.edu.au>



On Wed, 28 Jul 2004, Michael Cooper wrote:

> >
> > pROPOSAL: "Specification" means a published specification which is
> > available to any member of the public for free or at a
> > reasonable cost.
>
> Public specifications, e.g., W3C specs are easy to accept.
>
> Non-public but published specifications are also reasonably easy to accept, e.g., PDF.
>
> But I interpret Jason's proposal as excluding non-public, non-published
> specifications.

Correct. If there is a published specification, conform to it; if there is
no published specification then there is nothing to conform to, and hence
the guideline doesn't apply and should be treated as having been satisfied
by default, just as, where there is no non-text content in the authored
unit, guideline 1.1 should be taken as having been met.

Thus I am making two points:

1. Guideline 4.1 only applies where there exists a published
specification.

2. As with other guidelines, if the preconditions for the application of
guideline 4.1 don't occur, the guideline should be treated as satisfied.

It is an open issue how the preconditions for each guideline should be
specified; I think they ought to be explicitly acknowledged somewhere in
document to prevent implementors from concluding on unreasonable grounds
that a particular guideline is met due to inapplicability.

It would be possible to rewrite the success criteria as conditionals, with
the disadvantage of making them more complicated; or the preconditions
could be specified in a normative section below each success criterion,
and doubtless there are other options.
Received on Wednesday, 28 July 2004 20:21:05 UTC

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