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RE: Validation as test for basic accessibility

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 09:57:39 -0500
To: <david@davidsaccess.com>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000601bf628d$87a4d2a0$1aac66a7@151877>

> I really think you are trying to compare apples to oranges.

Agreed, but both are roundish, both are fruit.  The similarities may be more
important than the differences.

> I understand your motivation, but there is not, nor will there ever be, a
> binary test for accessibility in the same way there is for validation.

Agreed.  The WAI had important influence on the HTML 4 specification.  I
think we could be taking better advantage of that.

> You and I have personally had this conversation several times before.

True, and I have been free with my opinion that Bobby has become less useful
as it has tried to become more comprehensive.  I feel the same way about
Microsoft Word!

> Humor me for one minute: what if we use "grammar" as being analogous to
> accessibility. I could show you a perfectly grammatical essay that makes
> absolutely no sense at all. So, the fact that it validates using a grammar
> checker has little importance when the essay is unintelligible.

Okay, so it is possible to construct text that is perfectly grammatically
correct, but totally unintelligible.  It is also possible to construct
strictly valid HTML 4.01 documents that are totally inaccessible.  Both are
interesting academic exercises.  So what?  The same people that obsess over
grammar are also intelligible, even when they strive hard at the former and
the latter comes by accident.  Does anyone publish serious work that is
grammatically correct but unintelligible?  Can you cite a REAL example?
Don't works that are grammatically correct have a VERY strong tendency to be
intelligible?  Does anyone publish serious work that is syntactically
correct HTML 4 but violates Priority 1 checkpoints of the WCAG?  Can you
cite a REAL example?  Doesn't HTML work that is valid have a VERY strong
tendency towards accessibility?  The difficulty I have with your analogy is
that grammar can be fairly hard to test for.

I promise to shut up about this once people post a few good counter
examples!  Working URLs only please...

Received on Wednesday, 19 January 2000 09:59:35 UTC

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