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RE: Issues about UA Guidelines raised during MAC IE evaluation

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@uiuc.edu>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 08:54:51 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Good point.  If browsers only rendered valid HTML, then most web pages 
would not be available.

At 12:34 AM 7/15/2000 -0400, you wrote:
> >-----Original Message-----
> >Ian Jacobs
> >Sent: Friday, July 14, 2000 9:56 AM
> >Subject: Issues about UA Guidelines raised during MAC IE evaluation
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >Issue 3) Repair functionalities required?
> >
> >   Question: The UA Guidelines requires conformance to specifications.
> >However,
> >   it also requires in checkpoint 2.5 a repair functionality that is not
> >part
> >   of conformance to a specification:
> >
> >      2.5 For non-text content that has no recognized text equivalent,
> >      generate a text equivalent from other author-supplied content.
> >      If the non-text content is included by URI reference, base the
> >      text equivalent on the URI reference and the content type of
> >      the resource.
> >
> >   This document is asking the UA to repair broken markup, but the HTML
> >   specification doesn't require this. Although I doubt that there's
> >   much of an interoperability issue here, the question is pertinent:
> >   if we ask UAs to do things but don't provide a standard for doing
> >   so, we threaten interoperability.
> >
> >   So the question is: should we require this repair functionality?
> >   What do we tell browser developers who ask "Where does it say in
> >   the markup language specification how to do this?"
> >
>I myself would not let the browser vendors hide behind the specification as
>far as error recovery is concerned.  It is reasonable for the users to
>expect the browser to handle more errors and handle them more gracefully
>than just what is specified in the format specification.
>I have always felt that the UAAG had a right/duty to define the
>HTML-processing behavior required for cross-disability usability.  And to
>go beyond what is provided in the HTML specification where necessary to
>define this.  We have an obligation not to override what the specification
>_does specify_ without good reason; but where the HTML spec _fails to
>specify_ things, such as behavior for out-of-spec pages, it is entirely up
>to the UAAG to decide what is appropriate and required.
>Yes, we have to be careful to only ask for what is important.  On the other
>hand, the principle being raised in this issue is a bad principle.  If web
>browsers hadn't performed lots of error recovery that makes life easy for
>authors and nominally-abled users, we wouldn't have the immensely popular
>web we have today.  'Repair' was part and parcel of making the Web a game
>all could play.  So asking for a few well-selected repairs that help people
>with disabilities where they need help should be fair game.  It is not
>undue burden or anything at all out of the ordinary.

Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
College of Applied Life Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL  61820

Voice: (217) 244-5870
Fax: (217) 333-0248

E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu

WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua
Received on Monday, 17 July 2000 09:54:04 UTC

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