W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 2002

Re[2]: Compliance and html validation - how to interpret?

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 11:36:22 -0400
Message-Id: <200204271536.LAA2045313@smtp1.mail.iamworld.net>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 06:59 AM 2002-04-27 , Denise Wood wrote:
>Hi everyone
>I am in the process of preparing a training site on Web accessibility for staff
>at my place of work and of course am aiming to ensure that site meets triple-A
>compliance.             ^^^^^^^^^

On the reflection of yet another moment, here is a slightly different way to look at your situation.  I may want you to apply a fresh grain of salt to this assumption.

The governing aphorism is "make your demands very simple, and very consistently enforced."

Will your DTD, with the presentational attributes added back in, be something that the students have easy access to vaidation-to-that-DTD after they emerge from the training?

You are working on a deployment strategy.  The hard challenge facing your training programme is not anything that happens in class or in the lab.  It is what happens the first time your trainees try to apply what they think they have learned back out in the real world.

What checking support will your trainees have when they emerge from the training?

You should not pump them up with a rosier picture than what they will face in this moment of acid test.  Coach them assiduously on only those practices that they can apply in their real-world situation, and that will work if they follow them there.

So, fine.  Go for it.  Use an HTML flavor that works for the population of down-level browsers that actually matter in your university today.  But ONLY IF that HTML flavor is checked by a validator that it is very easy for your trainees to apply in their daily life back at work, in life after training.

IF you have the validation support for your graduates, THEN pursue the tack I suggested earlier with a modest AA formal claim on the training materials site and submit the question of "If we publish this DTD and our content is validated to it, does that meet AAA or why not?" to WCAG group for an interpretation.

This whole flame is too specific in detail to entirely fit your situation, but this is the kind of thinking you shold be going through.  Think what services your trainees will have available to them after the training.  Hone your training for what will work for them when they try to tranfer lessons from class to practice.  Then your rabid alumni will soak up the advanced techniques on their affinity group water cooler.  Don't try to do it all in one whack.  Prepare them for success and they will be life-long learners.


>I also want to ensure that the site will look ok in browsers that
>do not support or only partially support CSS2. For this reason I have still
>used lay out tables. The original site I developed using only CSS2 for
>positioning looked great in later browsers but of course is not really very
>aesthetic in broken browsers such as NS4 (I need to accommodate all browsers
>particularly NS 4 as this is still commonly used by many staff).
>I  have checked the site using Bobby, the accessibility extension checker in
>Dreamweaver and A-prompt and apart from user manual checks (with which I think
>the site complies) everything verifies at triple-A level. However, I am not
>sure how to interpret the issue for compliance level 2 regarding "3.3 Use style
>sheets to control layout and presentation". Does this mean that if I have
>chosen to support lower end browsers and have used layout tables that the site
>is not triple-A compliant (ie I have not used CSS2 for positioning)? I have
>used CSS for all styles it's only layout that is the issue here.
>Secondly, with regard to HTML validation - the site reports validation errors
>(using W3C html validator) with regard to attributes that are no longer
>supported in HTML 4 (ie align, bkcolour, border and hspace). These are required
>(unless you can advise me how to get around this) if the site is to look OK in
>browsers that don't recognize my style sheet. Is there any way of getting the
>site to validate as HTML 4.0 strict or transitional and still provide
>formatting for browsers that ignore the style sheet? I am also curious because
>I have seen several sites that use attributes such as border that are
>displaying the W3C html 4 validation logo. How can they use the logo if the
>page still includes deprecated language?
>The style sheet verifies fine using the W3C style sheet validator and the pages
>look good in IE 5 and NS 4 and function fine in Lynx and with a voice browser.
>It's just the problem of how to technically claim triple-A compliance or html 4
>validation if one wants to still cater for any browser.
>Any advice will be very gratefully received.
Received on Saturday, 27 April 2002 11:36:29 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 13 October 2015 16:21:18 UTC