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RE: Validation as test for basic accessibility

From: Steven McCaffrey <smccaffr@MAIL.NYSED.GOV>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 11:45:27 -0500
Message-Id: <s885a3ec.051@mail.nysed.gov>
To: <webmaster@dors.sailorsite.net>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
  
Dear Bruce:

 I am not in an enforcement position.

You say,
"My own personal experience is that producing valid code is an invaluable
step towards producing accessible code."
Precisely, Bruce, it is a step, not all steps.  Glad you now agree with me and others.

"It is my impression that authors who care about
validity care about content and much less about presentation, and therefore
they don't bother with multimedia nor fancy CSS -- so it happens that their
pages ARE accessible, even if they did not work to achieve this."

yes, and the point?
It's also true that
It's my impression that descent, good-natured, honest, law-abiding people who follow the law follow the law even though they did not look up every law on the books and consciously decide to follow them.  wow, isn't that amazing?  I bet we really don't need laws, what about you Bruce?
Think we're on to something big?

If only it were so simple!
As you admit above, in the case of non-captioned video, validation says nothing about accessibility.
Bruce, I assume you develop web sites/pages for clients or at least advise or consult?
Wouldn't it be easier to say to your clients,
"To avoid accessibility problems in the future,  only use features where HTML validation is sufficient to obtain accessibility as well.
After all, you don't really want to use all that multimedia stuff, interactive forms, online ordering etc right?"
My guess, dear Bruce, is that if you are a consultant, and said this, you wouldn't be much longer.
remember, Bruce, no matter what the current state is right now, the WCAG is mostly aimed at the future, while ensuring as much backwards compatibility as possible,  precisely because, the newer web technologies are in fact more likely to give rise to inaccessible pages even if they validate.
This is also in part why HTML 4 was created, to incorporate accessibility features.
You seem to share the ultimate goal, Bruce, which makes me happy.
If there was a page creation language whose valid use did in fact necessarily imply the resulting page would be accessible, all accessibility problems would be over.
   If you have any ideas for a language, Bruce, let us know.  One possibility, if I understand correctly, might be XML...
As D.M.C. pointed out, even English is a language whose valid use does not imply meaningful sentences.  
For good examples of the interplay between syntax, grammar, and meaning  
see Knowledge Of Language by Noam chomsky or The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker.
 
  -Steve
Received on Wednesday, 19 January 2000 11:47:59 GMT

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