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Re: Is validity the real issue?

From: Maurizio Boscarol <maurizio@usabile.it>
Date: Mon, 07 Nov 2005 13:20:20 +0100
Message-ID: <436F4684.60503@usabile.it>
To: Jens Meiert <jens.meiert@erde3.com>, Roberto Scano - IWA/HWG <rscano@iwa-italy.org>, Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>, Michele Diodati <michele@diodati.org>, W3C WAI <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Hello Jens, Roberto, Gez and Michele.

Jens Meiert wrote:

>>As you know, I personally think that something is better than nothing. 
>>:) So, the XML specification that say that UA shouldn't attempt to 
>>render invalid pages are wrong and against accessibility, because 
>>decrease the chance of someone accessing something.
>To stick with automotive metaphors, isn't this the same as saying "just
>drive, you do not need to know the traffic rules, because it might hinder
>you from driving"?

No, it isn't. The methaphor is unadequate. If you don't know traffic 
rules, you'll end crash and kill someone, for sure. If you miss some 
validation issue your page can still be accessible, and in many case it 
is: disabled people (and UA, and AT) can copy with it. With 
application/xhtml+xml they can't. Accessibility: zero.

Roberto Scano wrote:
I don't think HTML working group would be happy about this: this means 
put in the trash can all their work from 1999 to today :)
Qnd in name of what? For poor knowledge of markup?

We aren't html working group. Our scope is different. We don't have the capability of putting in trash nothing done by others: you have a far too high opinion of yourself if you think this.
I personally think that that XML rule is wrong, but this is not important. Anyway, it is a fact that the rule is against accessibility in the sense that it decrease the chance of a page to be rendered, so decrease its chance of accessibility (remember Voltaire: the best is sometimes enemy of the good)...
WCAG should consider this and advise developer of this fact. Only if developers are sure that nothing can go wrong with validation, they should use application/xhtml+xml. Else, they must fall back on text/html, because it is useful to increase the chance of accessibility.

The MIME type given to XHTML documents is outside of WAI's remit. If
an XHTML document isn't rendered because it's not well-formed but
using the correct MIME type, no one gets the document. And no
developer is going to be happy with a document that no one can access,
so developers would certainly ensure they are free of errors.

Exactly, it is outside of WAI's remit, as validity is.
But Wcag has some techniques. In techniques I think this topic should be covered just to advise developer to use application/xhtml+xml only if their system can guarantee validity under any circumstances - most of the tools outside can't do this. Just to be sure that anyone is aware of this sounds like a good service to accessibility. The same way we advise how to appropriately use CSS or some HTML elements.

Yes, but it would give to web developers a chance to understand
immediately the necessity for valid and well-formed XHTML pages.
I knew in advance that my proposal is a bit paradoxical, because it
tends to raise the threshold of difficulty in producing accessible web
pages nor I thought it could be actually accepted.

Ok, I correctly understood your intentions.
Let's just be aware that developers out there are not paradox-oriented... ;-)
I understand this in our discussion, but in guidelines we have to maximize accessibility in real world, not only in the Land of W3C Rules. Even if we could pray for the Land of W3C Rules, of course. Just this. ;-)

Best things

Received on Monday, 7 November 2005 12:07:47 UTC

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