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Going The Whole Hog

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2001 16:29:36 -0000
Message-ID: <01e001c09835$e3e1f960$0bed93c3@z5n9x1>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Something I've been meaning to rant about for some time now:-

Perfection in accessibility is not possible; this can quite clearly be
gagued from the number of arguements on WAI IG. Nevertheless, there has to
be some kind of boundary about where you stop aiming for perfection, and
instead go for adequacy. I'd rather see 100% of WWW sites be WCAG 1.0 [1] A
compliant, than 50% be AAA. If a page has no startling accessibility
problems, then I submit that is enough for the most part, and it is better
to concentrate your energies elsewhere, e.g. bringing a whole lot of other
pages up to A scratch, then getting that one page up to AAA (which is
actually an impossible level... even the text in the images of the WCAG 1.0
AA conformance logos prevents you from using them). I conclude that
validation is a science, and design is a skill, but accessibility is an art
form - no two people agree about the best way of making something
accessible, just as the is never agreement about what constitutes "good
art".

I rant about this because I am a hypocrite. I am always trying to reach the
elusive "AAA" when I know I shouldn't be. I just can't help it, it's like a
habit. What this all points to is that WCAG 2.0 will require bettter rating
systems. It is perfectly feasable that a site could be "AAA" compliant, but
with one "A" guidline broken, and hence it wouldn't thorectically comply to
the WCAG guidelines at all. That is clearly absurd, and needs fixing. The
recent work done by ER IG on the Evaluation And Repair Language [2] might
have some part to play in this, but in that case we must be careful to
ensure that semi-automated ratings of pages are easy to come by, and
accessible themselves.

Still, if accessibility is an art form, maybe we should paint a picture
(play some music / create a sculpture) and let the whole world be the
judge. Roll on the Annotea work then.

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/
[2] http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/IG/#earl

--
Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
@prefix : <http://webns.net/roughterms/> .
[ :name "Sean B. Palmer" ] :hasHomepage <http://infomesh.net/sbp/> .
Received on Friday, 16 February 2001 11:30:41 GMT

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