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Re: Framework documents nature

From: Ian B. Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2002 22:32:25 -0500
Message-ID: <3C3BB9C9.ADD1A709@w3.org>
To: Mark Skall <mark.skall@nist.gov>
CC: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>, www-qa@w3.org
Mark Skall wrote:
> >Could you be more specific?  It is my belief that QA intends to follow the
> >WAI model as closely as possible, deviating only when it is sensible to do
> >so (Ian pointed out a couple of possible such instances).  If we are
> >missing the mark (pardon the pun), it would help to have details so that
> >we can adjust our aim.
> Okay, here goes.  The way (or is it wai) I understand the WAI guidelines it
> that there are three different types of checkpoints - priority 1, 2 and
> 3.  Priority 1 means this "must" be adhered to; priority 2 "should" be
> adhered to; priority 3 "may" be adhered to.
> There are then 3 conformance levels - A (all priority 1 checkpoints
> satisfied); Double A - priority 1 and 2 checkpoints satisfied; Triple A -
> priority 1, 2 and 3 checkpoints satisfied.
> This scheme is pretty constraining. 

I would note that the WCAG 1.0 and ATAG 1.0 schemes differ from
the UAAG 1.0 scheme, where there are other axes (content labels,
selection label, input device label, applicability, ...).

>  It explicitly defines 3 different
> types of conformance and what is required to be able to claim these.  To
> me, these are requirements.  You can never force someone or a WG to do what
> we ask but (if we adopt this model)  you've "forced" a WG to do what we ask
> if they want to say they're conforming.  Notice, to claim even the weakest
> type of conformance, one must satisfy all priority 1 (must)
> checkpoints.  This is completely analogous (in my opinion) to putting
> "shall" or "must" requirements on an implementation when writing a
> functional standard.  You can never "force" an implementer to do anything,
> but if he/she wants to claim they conform, then they had to have met
> all  the requirements.


There is not currently within W3C a requirement that these
"musts" appear in future format specifications (SVG 1.0 does
point to some WAI specs, for example). I would note that pubrules
also refers to WCAG 1.0 requirement.

This is different from the I18N Character Model [1], which 
includes requirements denoted "[S]", where:

 [S]If an existing W3C specification does not conform 
     to the requirements in this document, then the next 
     version of that specification MUST be modified in order to

How does this type of requirement get a "normative" status
within W3C? If the Character Model becomes a W3C Recommendation, 
it will be as a result of consensus on this point (as well
as others), including review from the AC. So indeed, the I18N
WG can say "We expect to impose our requirements on all other

[1] http://web3.w3.org/TR/charmod/#sec-Conformance

As was written elsewhere, several steps to that endpoint are

 a) Design the Framework
 b) Help WGs deploy the Framework, and refine it.
 c) Once it's proved itself, try to make some of the requirements
    normative (which may be done in a number of ways, including
     la Character Model).

 - Ian

Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                     +1 718 260-9447
Received on Tuesday, 8 January 2002 22:32:29 UTC

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