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Re: Inconsistencies in WAI guidelines

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 03:23:43 -0500 (EST)
To: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
cc: <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0111210321370.23233-100000@tux.w3.org>
It is best to get the WCAG group themselves to resolve this as an issue (it
should take them very little time) but as I understand it being a member of
the group, the lists are not exhaustive. If there is a checkpoint you should
interpret the text of the checkpoint, and regard the lists and other examples
as merely guiding examples rather than definitive sets of requirements.

cheers

Charles McCN

On Sun, 18 Nov 2001, 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>

  As regards whether this is sensible, it seems to me to be at best
  marginal.  Form Inputs as rendered in graphical browsers do not
  carry cues that are denied to other readers, so a page author who
  fails to provide adequate information is failing their mainstream
  users just as much as accessibility-challenged users, and should
  presumably be aware of the fact.  Exceptions to this observation
  would appear to me to be pathologically-constructed cases.

Well, if they are graphic buttons, as pointed out by Kynn, this is important.

  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.

  ++++++++++++++++++++++++

  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.

  You can test-drive the prototype tool at
  <URL:http://valet.webthing.com/xslt/waitest.html>
  (bearing in mind that it is under active development, and may
  change at any time).

  Any thoughts?  Comments?  Suggestions?



-- 
Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Wednesday, 21 November 2001 03:24:59 GMT

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