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FW: Summing up the debate about validity at Priority 1 or 2

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 17:17:32 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20050622221732.7E38560C185@m18.spamarrest.com>

Thanks for the summary Joe

This type of listing of issues is very useful. 

 
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 Joe Clark
> Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2005 4:48 PM
> To: WAI-GL
> Subject: Summing up the debate about validity at Priority 1 or 2
> 
> 
> As I see it:
> 
> 1.
> We already have validity as a requirement in WCAG 1-- at Priority 2.
> 
> <http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/wai-pageauth.html#tech-identify-grammar>
> 
> Current "drafts" of WCAG 2 list valid code at Levels 1 and 3 
> (the latter of which will of course disappear).
> 
> <http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#use-spec>
> 
> Hence the null hypothesis is that it will stay there in WCAG 
> 2. The only plausible change from WCAG 1 is upping the level 
> to Priority 1.
> 
> 
> 2.
> If we don't require valid code at Priority 1, we really will be 
> saying that our guidelines (a W3C "Recommendation") are important but 
> that other W3C Recommendations are not. We really will be hypocrites.
> 
> But we already are! We already have valid code at Priority 2. It's 
> already optional.
> 
> 
> 3.
> It's substantially less difficult now to produce real live Web sites 
> with valid code. However, it's not easy all the time, particularly:
> 
> * with legacy content-management systems that are clearly broken in 
> the first place but are too expensive to fix;
> 
> * on sites with content contributed by many users;
> 
> * on sites that pull in data from disparate sources that they cannot 
> control (in one real case, that data arrives with tag-soup HTML 
> already); or
> 
> * in the case of masses of legacy documents that simply could not be 
> cleaned up without unreasonable effort (in one real case, 20,000 
> documents; in another case, it took two people two months to make 620 
> pages valid)
> 
> to give but a few examples.
> 
> 
> 4.
> Validity and well-formedness *aren't* the same thing and WCAG Working 
> Group really is trying to underhandedly redefine "well-formedness"-- 
> even as it rejects a certain other term ("semantics") that everyone 
> else in the industry understands.
> 
> 
> 5.
> Validity and well-formedness can both be undone by a single 
> character. It's all-or-nothing, hence precarious. My own pages have 
> become invalid for small reasons behind my back. On really big sites, 
> it's gonna happen even more often.
> 
> 
> 6.
> Valid code is an excellent predictor of accessible code. But nothing 
> in life is guaranteed.
> 
> 
> 7.
> Adaptive technology and browsers themselves, through permissive 
> interpretation of HTML, ensure that many or most cases of invalid 
> HTML are still accessible-- but that applies only to HTML that uses 
> basic accessibility features like alt texts. We all agree that tag 
> soup that simply ignores any recommendations for accessibility is a 
> problem for many people with disabilities.
> 
> 
> 8.
> Adaptive technologies, on the other hand, are often too stupid to 
> recognize and use standards-compliant methods (perennial example: 
> longdesc; other example: advanced table markup). Then again, so are 
> browsers (both examples apply).
> 
> 
> 9.
> Requiring valid code at all times makes sense as part of ATAG. But 
> that is proposed for ATAG 2, which doesn't exist yet. Nothing at all 
> complies with ATAG 1 and I rather doubt anything will comply with 
> ATAG 2, either. I'd like to be wrong, but let's not pin our hopes on 
> compliance with a nonexistent successor specification whose 
> predecessor nothing else complied with.
> 
> 
> 10.
> The Working Group totally screwed up its presentation of this issue. 
> It could have gotten most of us onside easily enough, but blew it. 
> Plus Matt's been real cranky for the first time in living memory.
> 
> <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/2005AprJun/0807.html>
> 
> -- 
> 
>      Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
>      Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
>      Expect criticism if you top-post
> 
> 
Received on Wednesday, 22 June 2005 22:17:43 UTC

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