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RE: Validity

From: Roberto Scano (IWA/HWG) <rscano@iwa-italy.org>
Date: Sun, 6 Nov 2005 10:22:50 +0100
To: <Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <200511060416640.SM00688@Inbox>

Hi Bruce,
I think that only little group of people here make coding: the big ones making tools and applications that don't make valid code using w3c spec. Of the last century (html 4.0 trans.).
This is an old issue that i'm afraid that also webstandards.org task force leader (MM that stay for Matt May, but now seems that stay for MacroMedia - before discussion about this, this is a joke) defend the old soup.


----- Messaggio originale -----
    Da: "Bailey, Bruce"<Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov>
    Inviato: 06/11/05 4.07.26
    A: "w3c-wai-gl@w3.org"<w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
    Oggetto: RE: Validity
    
    > We are discussing about a single AT bug with a proprietary 
    > technology in a single OS and with a single Browser...
    
    I don’t think this is fair.  We are being a little casual in allowing Flash to be the straw man, but I regard that as a convenient shortcut.  On the other hand, I do believe the actual real world examples of valid code leading to accessibility problems to be discrete, relatively well know, and temporally constrained (although we have been coping with them since at least 1999, *deep sigh*).
    
    This is opposed to the concern of how close WAI is to promoting the institutionalization of the meme that code soup is acceptable.  The real world examples of broken code leading to accessible problems are virtually too numerous to list, not well explored nor documented, and change with each new version of OS, browser, plug-in, and AT.
    
    I have detected an underlying stereotype that those promoting validity at WCAG2 Level 1 are academics and unpractical.  I reject that notion.  I have been posting web pages for the last nine years or so (about the time Wilbur went live) including two years as web master for a small state agency.  For the last five years, a large portion of my routine work duties have revolved around testing web content for accessibility.
    
    I learned HTML from the spec and coded for years only using a text editor.  I was naive in my assumption that was how most authors wrote content.  I also assumed that validity was, of course (!), a base constraint.  Yes, I realized that the browsers worked okay with broken code (that was part of their spec), but would it not be pure folly to rely on error recovery from the browser?  You all can reasonably intuit how those preconceptions worked out for me.
    
    Nevertheless, in all that time, the potential cost reduction benefits of business processes that incorporated basic syntax checking always seemed obvious.  The problem, of course, is the practical necessity to use COTS tools (the majority of them) which haven’t embraced this perspective.  At this point in time, we are left with code soup.  The costs (in both time and money) of being the rare developer to take validity seriously are just too high.
    
    It is in industry’s selfish best interests to take validity seriously.  Unfortunately, it is not in an individual company’s selfish best interests to be an early adopter of the practice.  This impasse can only be resolved through fiat of statute.
    
    We have heard this argument before.
    
    It is in industry’s selfish best interests to take accessibility seriously.  Unfortunately, it is not in an individual company’s selfish best accessibility to be an early adopter of the practice.  This impasse can only be resolved through fiat of statute.
    
    Yes, validity will benefit lots of folks besides those with interests in disabilities.  And yes, there are are more of them than us, so therefore validity will be or more utility in the mainstream than with assistive technology.  Nevertheless, the benefit of widespread validity to the disability community will be disproportionate to that of the general =    

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Received on Sunday, 6 November 2005 09:19:48 GMT

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