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RE: DC2002 and Accessibility Metadata

From: John Foliot - bytown internet <foliot@bytowninternet.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Sep 2002 08:46:36 -0400
To: "David Woolley" <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: <Liddy.Nevile@motile.net>
Message-ID: <GKEFJJEKDDIMBHJOGLENKEIACLAA.foliot@bytowninternet.com>

I would further add that currently, the "standards" developers seek to
adhere to are often vague in description or implementation.  While Section
508 Standards appear more rigorous in terms of measurable compliance (for
example "blink rate" standards), the other oft used benchmarks of WCAG 1,2
and 3 leave too many areas of interpretation open to the end author.

Witness current discussions regarding the use of "pop-ups".  I argue that
inclusion of pop-ups creates accessibility barriers to users of certain
technologies, and should be avoided - period.  Another voice argues that,
"given their circumstances" could they claim compliance to WCAG AA?  After
all they argue, "informing the end user should be the responsibility of the
browser/user agent".  I advocate *strict* implementation of the Guidelines,
whereas others seek to use them in an "interpretive" way... who's right?
Who determines the answer?  What are the consequences of "fudging" an
answer?  There's one thing in falsely (accidentally?) displaying a WCAG AA
icon on your site, and a whole different level of "entrenching" this into DC

Also, even under the best of intentions, web pages are inherently dynamic in
nature... most major sites are constantly evolving and a site which may be
totally compliant today, may through time, neglect, or "change-over of
staff", etc. lose their compliancy over a period of time without diligent
review.  If true accessibility compliance falls by the wayside, what
assurances do we have that the attendant metadata associated with the
site/page will be appropriately updated?  As David says, it will weaken the
value of both accessible development goals, but to my mind, also of the
dc.metadata set as it will not be deemed "reliable".

I personally am very concerned about this and urge the DC Working Group to
proceed with extreme caution... it may not yet be time.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of David Woolley
> Sent: September 14, 2002 6:58 AM
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: Re: DC2002 and Accessibility Metadata
> > seem to be widespread support for development by DCMI of
> > accessibility metadata. What is required is a little more than
> > interoperable discovery metadata.
> >
> I though Dublin Core was about author provided metadata.  It seems
> to me that such data for accessibility would simply further ghettoize
> accessible web sites.  Ordinary authors will ignore it, or, if forced
> to include it, provide token "safe" values, thus degrading the value
> of the data.  If may even be seen as an extra cost in making a site
> accessible, making accessibility weaker in a cost benefit analysis.
Received on Saturday, 14 September 2002 08:46:56 UTC

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