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RE: Summary of arguements FOR validity -- and another against -- and a third of alternatives

From: Paul Walsh <paul.walsh@segalamtest.com>
Date: Sat, 5 Nov 2005 02:18:14 -0000
To: "'Gez Lemon'" <gez.lemon@gmail.com>, "'Gregg Vanderheiden'" <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Cc: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c5e1af$2e9b6730$0200a8c0@PaulLaptop>

The amount of effort spent on this particular topic is incredible.
IMHO, it's black and white (I'm sure my wife would say I think that of
everything :)). 

I don't think it's the WAI's place to mandate the use of 'valid' code at
any level.  If it's possible to have a fully accessible website that
contains invalid code, how can it be an accessibility issue? The fact
is, it's not.

A site that passes every guideline but fails a validity test will be
accessible to all.  This means assistive technologies won't be affected,
otherwise another guideline would have failed. 

Therefore, validity is a 'nice to have' best practise that h_e_l_p_s
eliminate accessibility issues. There are other good reasons for
validity, such as reducing page weight for improved download speed.
Again, this has nothing to do with accessibility if the download time is
covered by another guideline.

Perhaps validity could be placed in a 'how to validate' section
somewhere.

Nobody is going to be taken to court for having invalid code if the only
way of detecting it is via a test tool. A user is not going to stand in
front of a judge and say, I'm suing company x because their code wasn't
valid, even though it was possible to access all of their products and
services with easy and comfort. 

Kind regards,
Paul

      -----Original Message-----
      From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org]
On
      Behalf Of Gez Lemon
      Sent: 05 November 2005 01:37
      To: Gregg Vanderheiden
      Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
      Subject: Re: Summary of arguements FOR validity -- and another
against -- and
      a third of alternatives
      
      
      Hi Gregg,
      
      I've tried to be as objective as I can, but it would be helpful if
      people could go through the list and ensure that I've represented
      their viewpoint fairly and accurately, and ensure I haven't missed
any
      important points - particularly as I am biased towards requiring
      validity in the guidelines.
      
      On 04/11/05, Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      > 1) Can someone give me a list of the arguments FOR including
validity.
      
      * Validity errors can and sometimes do result in accessibility
barriers
      
      * Invalid documents are not testable, so it cannot be guaranteed
that
      the final rendering will be accurate for AT
      
      * How can elements be programmatically determined if you can't be
sure
      that the content is valid
      
      * It is doubtful, and not testable, that other guidelines catch
all
      validity errors that could result in an accessibility barrier
      
      * The four principles on which WCAG 2.0 is based require valid
code to
      be testable
      
      * Specifications are designed with accessibility in mind, so there
      should be no need for invalidity
      
      * There are always ways to work around issues validly
      
      * Invalidly addressing an issue could cause other issues
      
      * There is a deep fundamental flaw with a set of standards that
      proposes to use a baseline concept, but fully rejects embracing
basic
      syntax checking available with the core technologies
      
      * Promoting robust and stable long-term standards, even if the
face of
      known issues - which we have every reason to believe will be
temporary
      - is being practical.
      
      * Validity is a stable target - if authors follow validity
guidelines,
      OS / browser / plug-in / AT will all improve
      
      * Validity has been a requirement in WCAG 1.0, and no one knows of
a
      case where someone has been prosecuted for invalid content
      
      * People get prosecuted because they fail to consider others, but
for
      having invalid content
      
      * Disrespectful of other specifications, including w3C
specifications
      
      * Validity offers a solid base on which to build accessibility,
and
      encourages accessibility to be considered from the ground up, and
      helps safeguard against errors creeping in at a later stage if
there
      is an effort to ensure validity through the project lifecycle.
      
      > 2) Now I need someone (else?) to send one of the arguments
against.
      
      * Additional markup may be necessary to overcome problems that the
      specification authors were not aware of, and so is not part of the
      specification, but could improve accessibility
      
      * There are other level 1 success criteria that safeguard against
      accessibility barriers that could be introduced with invalid
markup
      
      * Too difficult to achieve because of the tools that generate
markup
      
      * Some developers think they're being clever creating accessible
      content, but they aren't (cargo cult)
      
      * Not all validation errors are of the same level of importance to
accessibility
      
      * It is possible to have invalid markup that is accessible
      
      * It is possible to have valid markup that is inaccessible
      
      * The people who wrote the specification don't really want anyone
to follow it
      
      * Having validity in the document means that the document will not
be adopted
      
      * Testability is easily achievable with invalid content by running
it
      through an assistive device (observe reality)
      
      * Legislation could result in people being prosecuted for invalid
markup
      
      * Even though there has never been a case of legislation against
      validity, there could be in the future
      
      * Legislators can't reasonably be expected to read a document that
      they're using for legislation to determine which parts they intend
to
      apply
      
      * We're shooting ourselves in the head
      
      
      > 3) Now if someone can summarize any alternatives or variations
      
      I wouldn't support them all, but for completion:
      
      * Validity at level 1
      
      * Validity at level 2, with techniques that address validity in
the
      techniques for appropriate success criterion
      
      * Watered down version of validity at level 1, with validity a
      requirement at level 3
      
      * Validity completely removed from the guidelines (with a foreword
in
      the document explaining the importance of validity), and address
      validity in the techniques for appropriate success criterion
      
      Best regards,
      
      Gez
      
      
      --
      _____________________________
      Supplement your vitamins
      http://juicystudio.com
Received on Saturday, 5 November 2005 02:18:18 GMT

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