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Re: Inconsistencies in WAI guidelines

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2001 23:33:03 -0800
Message-Id: <a05100302b81d13b81e5e@[10.0.1.10]>
To: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>, <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 5:15 AM +0000 2001/11/18, Nick Kew wrote:
>(1) Point the tool to almost any page containing a Form:
>e.g. to Site Valet itself at <URL:http://valet.webthing.com/>
>When confronted with Form elements, it complains
>	"WCAG Checkpoint 1.1
>	An input element should have some descriptive text:an alt or
>         longdesc attribute"
>This is correct according to the document linked at that point:
>	<URL:http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/#gl-provide-equivalents>

This should apply only to graphical input elements such as:

     <input type="image" src="submit.gif">

It doesn't apply to "ordinary" types of input elements.

>On following the "Techniques for checkpoint 1.1" link to
><URL:http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT-TECHS/#tech-text-equivalent>
>I find that Form Inputs are here excluded from the list of elements
>that should have text equivalents.
>
>Neither is it required by
><URL:http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-TECHS/#tech-text-equivalent>,
>which is rather confusingly linked from the previous document as
>"Checkpoint 1.1", while in fact being identical to it.

Techniques documents are non-normative and shouldn't be trusted (for
whatever reason; I didn't create the "non-normative" vs "normative"
distinction and frankly I don't care for it).

Then again, WCAG 1.0 is a bit dubious in the "trust" category and
that's one of the reasons that WCAG 2.0 is under development.

>I have discussed my own view regarding a particular checkpoint.
>But the purpose of this tool is to implement the WCAG, not my views.
>That leaves open the question of how to deal with cases where the
>WCAG itself appears inconsistent, other than to exercise my own
>judgement.

WCAG 1.0 by its very nature requires judgment calls, and that means
authoring tool developers (such as you) who are trying to create
tools to support WCAG 1.0 will also have to make judgment calls.

Luckily, in this case, the judgment call is pretty simple:  the
checkpoint only refers to non-text input forms which can't be
rendered in non-graphical browsers.

--Kynn

-- 
Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
http://www.kynn.com/
Received on Sunday, 18 November 2001 02:47:04 GMT

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