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Is it a problem that WCAG 2.0 doesn't require paying attention to NOFRAME content?

From: Bailey, Bruce <Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov>
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2006 01:15:43 -0400
Message-ID: <CCDBDCBFA650F74AA88830D4BACDBAB5130FA55A@wdcrobe2m02.ed.gov>
To: "WCAG-WG" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Pulling a Gregg and posting after midnight local time...

I wanted to try to articulate my concern regarding NOFRAMES here since I did a poor job on the call.

Two questions:
Is this indeed a feature gap between WCAG 1.0 Double A and WCAG 2.0 Triple A?
Do we care?

WCAG 1.0 has P2 Guideline 6.5:
6.5 Ensure that dynamic content is accessible or provide an alternative presentation or page. [Priority 2]  For example, in HTML, use NOFRAMES at the end of each frameset.

It has long since been clarified that messages like “Use a browser that supports frames” does *not* satisfy 6.5.

I do not believe WCAG 2.0 has a SC that makes this point.  We have an advisory techniques.  Advisory techniques carry less weight than Level 3 SC.

WCAG 2.0 has two big classes of users:  (1) Those that *have* to comply.   (2) Those that *want* to comply.

For (1), I cannot imagine a situation where framesets would not be in the baseline.  Am I mistaken about this assumption?  Therefore, for (1), trivial NOFRAMES content is perfectly fine.

For (2), content providers are perfectly at liberty to use framesets, or not, whichever they find more convenient.  A site can claim Triple A conformance using trivial NORFRAMES content merely by declaring that framesets are in the baseline.   Therefore, for (2), trivial NOFRAMES content is perfectly fine.

It sure seems to me that it would be desirable for WCAG 2.0 to provide some explicit motivation (e.g,  a requirement for Triple A claims) for avoiding frames or for providing robust NOFRAMES content.

On the other hand, it is not the least bit obvious to me that frames are really an accessibility nor usability problem!  I know  lots of people complain, but my impression it that this has more do to with how often framesets make poor use of titles, which is in violation of both Single A WCAG 1.0 and 2.0 anyway.

Arguably, the Lynx text browser does a nicer job with frames than even the most current version of IE, since by default it exposes *both* the NOFRAMES and frameset content.  Assuming proper use of titles, are frames an accessibility barrier?  Are they a usability barrier?  What class(es) of users of effected?

All this just brings me back to my first two questions, but this time I will trying answering them myself.  Please post if you spot a flaw in my reasoning!

> Is this indeed a feature gap between WCAG 1.0 Double A and WCAG 2.0 Triple A?

> Do we care?
Received on Friday, 4 August 2006 05:16:23 UTC

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