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

From: Robinson, Norman B - Washington, DC <Norman.B.Robinson@usps.gov>
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 2005 08:46:07 -0500
Message-ID: <EAF95052690D174A833DC58B15AB6A8819E8DE@WADCHQSXM24.usa.dce.usps.gov>
To: "John M Slatin" <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>, <Becky_Gibson@notesdev.ibm.com>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

On Monday, November 07, 2005 5:37 PM Becky_Gibson@notesdev.ibm.com
posted RE: Summary of arguments FOR validity -- and another against --
and a third of alternatives;

"a level 1 validation requirement may prevent innovation of new
technologies that use new attributes not included in current
specifications (for example implementation of the DHTML roadmap
[http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/roadmap/DHTMLRoadmap110505.html] using HTML)."

I can just as easily state that a level 1 validation requirement may
prevent new technologies from being accessible. As was mentioned in one
of your posts, the proper approach is to get "innovative and new"
technologies supported by the existing specifications. In your DHTML
example referenced, the specification only allowed tabindex for two
elements. You're trying to work around the specification that exists.
This is an example of why validation is required - not an example of why
it hinders 'innovation'. If I build a screen reader, logically I'm going
to follow the specification. I'm willing to bet I haven't tested my
screen reader for the conditions of tabindex outside of what was
specified. What happens? Maybe my screen reader can't handle the
condition and ignores it, maybe it has unpredictable results. If I was
testing I would be able to determine that 1. You weren't following the
specification and 2. The screen reader isn't expected to deal with
"innovative and new" technologies.

I'd debate that new and innovative might be expected to not follow the
standards, but I would also expect them not to validate. If I were a
program manager in a large corporation, I would see that as risky. I
would then be able to determine I was being offered something that was
not standard, and then be asking the questions of who else has
implemented this technology approach and if they were successful. I
don't particularly care to be a test case for unproven technologies,
especially where the support by existing (and legacy) assistive
technologies hasn't been proven. It doesn't matter that your example is
all about providing a new way for accessibility to happen, it still
fails badly.

This further enforces my belief that if you do not *require* validation
then all sorts of vendors will be 'new and innovative' without being
able to determine (or not care in some cases) if the technologies exists
to support accessibility.

Regards,


Norman B. Robinson
Received on Tuesday, 8 November 2005 13:46:19 GMT

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