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RE: Guidelines vs Standards (was Checkpoint 3.3)

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 16:18:49 -0400
Message-ID: <01BED2CB.90854640.bbailey@clark.net>
To: "\"'WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>'\" <WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
If some body (or maybe a somebody -- like a governor, or the President or 
Janet Reno) says that it is a requirement that (the sites that the body has 
domain over) adhere to all the Priority 1 checkpoints of the WCA 
"Guidelines" -- what does it matter what those specifications are titled?

Is anyone familiar with the debate that lead to the change of name from 
(Trace's) "Unified Web Site Accessibility Guidelines" to WCAG?  I would 
hazard a bet that "WCA Standards" and "WCA Requirements" were both 
considered at that time!

Despite Kynn's (and others) concern with the vagaries of the WCAG, I am 
working hard for their adoption (as a standard) for Maryland state 
government sites.  I am sure many others on this list are pushing this 
where they can too.

Sadly, I am not comfortable advocating for anything stricter than Single-A 
compliance at this time.  As others have pointed out, there are two too 
many Priority 2 items (3.3 and 3.7, the requirement for support of CSS and 
<Q> in particular) that, if followed, detract from a page's presentation 
with older and current browsers!

Is there any mechanism to petition that these two items in particular be 
down graded to Priority 3?

The WCAG uses the phrase "until user agents" frequently.  It seems to me 
that this same conditional should be applied to 3.3 and 3.7 in terms of 
assuaging priority.  For example, "3.7 Mark up quotations. Do not use 
quotation markup for formatting effects such as indentation. [Priority 3 
until user agents better support the <Q> tag, otherwise Priority 2]".  3.3 
might be better as a conditional too:  "3.3 Use style sheets to control 
layout and presentation. [Priority 2 for the strict HTML 4.0 DTD, Priority 
3 otherwise]"
I am one of those who frequently argues FOR the merits of non-subjective 
use of tools like Bobby and WCAG.  My particular bit of hypocrisy may well 
be driven by the fact that my perfectly accessible pages are only Single-A 
compliant -- and I am shamed by this!


Bruce Bailey

On Monday, July 19, 1999 3:58 AM, Javier Romanach 
[SMTP:jromanac@dial.eunet.es] wrote:
> I absolutely agree. Work should be undertaken to make the guidelines a
> standard.
> Regards,
> Javier
> Javier Romanach
> Madrid, Spain
> jromanac@dial.eunet.es
Received on Tuesday, 20 July 1999 16:17:56 UTC

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