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RE: Guideline 4.2 and UAAG

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 14:22:48 -0600
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B7ADF50@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Loretta Guarino Reid" <lguarino@adobe.com>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Loretta wrote:
<blockquote>
If there are no UAAG-compliant user agents, can we keep GL 4.2, SC 1 at 
level 1? Wouldn't this mean that no content could ever meet WCAG2?
</blockquote>
Roberto Scano expresses a similar concern in a slightly later message,
asking whether conformance would be possible in the case of a link that
opens a correctly tagged PDF document within the browser if the reader
plug-in doesn't conform to UAAG. I don't say this to pick on Adobe--
Acro bat Reader 7 has an option to open the document in a separate
window, which has made my life much easier along with a number of other
significant improvements.)

David voiced a similar concern the other day, wondering whether adopting
UAAG as baseline would amount to wrapping the entire WCAG 2.0 inside an
Until user agents clause... (<untilUserAgents>WCAG
2.0</untilUserAgents>).  Jason's response was compelling:

Jason argued that this would not be the case. In Jason's view, adopting
UAAG as baseline would address the underlying issue that Roberto
raised: it would allow (or force) us to make a cleaner separation
between what belongs to guidelines for the accessibility of Web
*content* (the purview of WCAG) and what belongs to user agents (the
purview of UAAG).

The theory makes a great deal of sense to me. It would mean, for
example, providing some kind of "fallback" or "repair" technique.
Because the techniques documents are non-normative, there *could* be
"Until user agents..." techniques.

It's not clear to me, however, whether we would be saying that use of a
fallback or repair technique would constitute conformance in the absence
of a conforming user agent. If the answer is "yes," you would be allowed
to claim conformance if there's no alternative to using a
fallback/repair technique, I'm not sure I see how we've escaped the
"Until user agents..." trap in anything but theory.  And if the answer
is "No," using fallback techniques means you can't claim conformance,
then it seems to me we *will* have wrapped the Guidelines in an "Until
user agents..." clause.

What am I missing? Jason, can you help me out here?

John
-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Loretta Guarino Reid
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2005 7:53 PM
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: Guideline 4.2 and UAAG


If there are no UAAG-compliant user agents, can we keep GL 4.2, SC 1 at 
level 1? Wouldn't this mean that no content could ever meet WCAG2?
Received on Saturday, 12 March 2005 20:22:50 GMT

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