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Re: XHTML 2 current WD makes achieving WCAG 1.0-A compliance impossible; a proof

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2006 19:07:07 +0300 (EEST)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.64.0610111855150.4152@mustatilhi.cs.tut.fi>

On Wed, 11 Oct 2006, Cecil Ward wrote:

> (1) In XHTML 2, "Working Draft 26 July 2006", the <title> element does not
> permit child elements. So cases exist where it is quite possible to comply
> with
>
> a.) the WCAG 1.0 priority 1 guideline 4.1 "Clearly identify changes in the
> natural language of a document's text", because mixed-language text within a
> title can not be marked up correctly.

That's nothing new. All versions of HTML have had the same limitation. On 
the other hand, even the W3C, including WAI, does not obey 4.1, so it's 
just dead text. WCAG 1.0 as a whole is outdated, and new specifications 
should not be judged against it but against accessibility and other 
principles as understood now.

Besides, your statement is not technically correct. You _can_ identify 
changes in the natural language without markup, too, either in prose ("the 
following quotation is in Mongolian") or using language tag characters (in 
the Unicode block Tags, U+E0000..U+E007F). Nobody wants to use language 
tag characters, but this _is_ just theory anyway. Besides, you _can_ 
comply with the guideline by _not changing_ language at least in places 
where you cannot indicate the change. This may limit your authoring 
possibilities, but so do many other accessibility principles.

> b.) the priority 3 guideline 4.2 "Specify the expansion of each abbreviation
> or acronym in a document where it first occur" because the correct markup is
> not permitted within a <title>.

Similar considerations apply. Moreover, the guideline itself, in its 
absolute formulation, is wrong. It would be _against_ accessibility 
principles to specify, for example, the expansion of the abbreviation 
"e.g." in a normal document

> (2) The same is true for all human-language text which is given in
> attributes rather than elements.

Content data in attributes is a fundamental design flaw in a markup 
system, but I don't think we can effectively fight against such policies.

-- 
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Wednesday, 11 October 2006 16:07:23 GMT

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