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RE: Validity

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpatrick@macromedia.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2005 07:42:10 -0800
Message-ID: <DC9D05204B1E16419D62C12561C93221063B691B@p01exm01.macromedia.com>
To: "Gez Lemon" <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
Cc: "WCAG WG mailing list" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

> Are you sure the guidelines capture every validity error that 
> might result in an accessibility barrier? How can we be sure 
> we have all bases covered? Is it not simpler to merely 
> require validity?

It is hard enough to convince developers to code in ways that _do_
positively impact access (e.g. using Headings).

> More to the point, what exactly is the problem with validity? 
> As so many people feel quite passionately that validity will 
> kill the guidelines, although there's no evidence of this as 
> it's in WCAG 1.0, I feel I'm missing some fundamental point. 
> Thrashing out which validity errors cause accessibility 
> barriers and those that don't isn't getting us very far, and 
> is probably the reason this guideline is nowhere near ready.

The main points are:
1) Requiring validity doesn't always reflect the reality of what
developers need to do to make a page work. 
2) Invalid code doesn't necessarily harm users.
I wrote in the message you replied to:

I agree with the general desire to have valid code in web pages.  Having
simple, clean, semantic markup makes my life as a developer easier, and
I'm sold on valid code on that basis.  Having a requirement for valid
code in WCAG 2.0, when valid code doesn't always benefit users,
undermines the authority of the document.  Web developers will think
that this is an attempt to force a particular view of How The Web Must
Be rather than to ensure that disabled users are served.

Received on Friday, 4 November 2005 15:42:57 UTC

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