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RE: Validation as test for basic accessibility

From: Harvey Bingham <hbingham@acm.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 16:44:47 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 2000-01-20 14:03-0500, Len Kasday wrote:
>There's been a lot of opinions here, including mine, so I just want
>to check something.  I think everyone would concur with the following.
>1. Making a page valid HTML 4 doesn't guarantee accessibility.

Right. Even the strict.dtd for HTML 4.0 allows tag abuse and potential
content garbling. A major flaw in it is the weak use of structure and
hierarchy. Also browsers give to some tags their individual styles that
are context-independent. Separation of structure and content from styling
was not part of the HTML legacy, and is not achieved in HTML 4.0 of
either variety, although div and span allow some author-identification
via class attributes of syntactic meaning, when they are used in the
strict dtd.

>2. Nevertheless, there are least some situations in which it's
>strategically useful to start out asking for HTML Validity.

>Am I right that everyone concurs with both of these?

I agree.

The transitional HTML 4.0 DTD allows deprecated tagging that represents
some of the more egregious forms of tag abuse.

Validity for HTML goes under SGML rules. It is notably harder to parse HTML
documents, as its DTD supports omitted start-tags and end-tags. It is harder
to edit them, as some omitted tags may no longer be omissible after editing.

Going further, assume an XML application designed containing syntax with
structure. This allows documents that are valid to that DTD to be made
significantly more understandable. Where structural navigation is available,
the document can be more readily understood.

>Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.

Regards/Harvey Bingham
Received on Thursday, 20 January 2000 17:16:51 UTC

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