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Re: W3C Validator as test for WCAG?

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 09:41:03 -0400
Message-Id: <199906041345.JAA28154@smtp-gw2.vma.verio.net>
To: "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Cc: "WAI IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Dear Kynn (et al.),

My point with posting this idea is to point out that:  If authors are
already creating straightforward pages, and they take the time to validate
(and they are not putting in stupid ALT tags -- no way to automatically
test for that) that they ARE creating accessible pages.

I did not want to suggest that <stuff> should be avoided or to suggest any
alternative "requirements" for accessibility.  The criteria was for
determining if a page could use this simple test, not a criteria for
accessibility.  This distinction might be too subtle and, as Kynn points
out, dangerous because it could easily lead to the mistaken belief that "if
you want a cool page, it can't possibly be accessible!"

>>Can (or should) the W3C validator be used as a mainstream test for basic
>>compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines?
> 
> No, not completely.
> 
>>If one authors a document that meets the following criteria:
>>1)  validates as HTML 4.0 (transitional or strict); and
>>2)  Does NOT include applets or scripts; and
>>3)  Does NOT include video or sounds or other multimedia (images are
okay);
>>does that document, by definition, meet some level of compliance with
WCAG?
> 
> No.  What if my ALT text is all "The image description goes here..."?
> That passes HTML 4.0 and your requirements above.
> Also, I get really worried whenever someone lists accessibility
> criteria that include NOT using applets, scripts, video, and
> sound.  That sends the WRONG message, said message being "applets
> etc are NOT accessible, don't use them!" which translates into
> "don't even bother trying to make an accessible page if you want
> to use applets etc" which translates into "if you want a cool
> page, it can't possibly be accessible!"
> 
> The WCAG go in the right direction, "if you use <stuff>, here's
> what to do..."
Received on Friday, 4 June 1999 09:45:57 GMT

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