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RE: Problems with guideline 4.1

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 11:03:34 -0500
To: "'Michael Cooper'" <michaelc@watchfire.com>, "'Web Content Guidelines'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <auto-000039072137@spamarrest.com>

I think we need to be careful here. 

For this guideline that may work... but for others it doesn't
I suggest if we want that to work we make it specific in the wording of the
guideline.

"for technologies that have a specification, the specification must be
followed...... " 

 
Gregg

 -- ------------------------------ 
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
Professor - Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of Michael Cooper
Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2004 9:22 AM
To: Web Content Guidelines
Subject: RE: Problems with guideline 4.1


Ah, ok. I can accept this approach, that if there is no public specification
then the requirement to validate to spec is deemed inapplicable and
therefore not a violation of guideline requirements.

I like Jason's suggestion that guidelines have preconditions that
essentially state the scope of their applicability. Jason proposed a couple
ways we might handle that, and I don't off hand have a preference among
those or other ways that people might propose.

I think it would be useful to think of the preconditions slightly
differently than what Jason stated though. Jason said that if a precondition
is not applicable, the guideline should be treated as having been satisfied.
I propose instead that if a precondition is not applicable, than the
guideline is not applicable. This doesn't affect conformance to the
guidelines materially, although possibly the conformance definition might
need to be updated for this concept. But to me it would be a slightly more
accurate way of stating your conformance. If you don't have non-text
content, it would not be accurate to say you have met the requirement to
provide text alternatives for non-text content. You haven't done that,
because there was no non-text content for which to provide text
alternatives. Instead, my proposal means you do not meet the requirement to
provide text alternatives (since you did not actually do so) but that the
requirement is not applicable due to the absence of non-text content, and
therefore you can conform to the guidelines taken as a whole, even though
you don't conform (nor do you fail to conform) to that particular guideline.
For the hypothetical case of conformance claims on a guideline by guideline
basis (e.g., an EARL conformance claim), this distinction would have some
meaning, even though either way you still pass the conformance requirements.

Sorry if the wording of this makes the logic seem more convoluted than it
is. I think it's actually pretty simple, and again does not make a material
impact on the guidelines but to me makes an important logical impact.

Michael


> 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.
Received on Thursday, 29 July 2004 12:03:40 UTC

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