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Validating for Accessibility

From: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2000 21:59:37 +0000 (GMT)
To: www-validator@w3.org, w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.4.21.0012272111290.738-100000@fenris.webthing.com>

[ I may post this to more than one place; apologies for any duplication ]

I have for some time been contemplating a slightly mad idea of using
formal validation for accessibility checks.  The goal of the exercise
is an alternative to "bobby", based on a validating SGML engine.

Obviously this kind of accessibility checking is limited by what can
be expressed in SGML (or XML) terms.  This may be rather less than
"bobby" can do, but on the other hand it is also less likely to mess up
and generate bogus advice based on heuristic parsing.  I have given it
some thought, and I envisage a series of DTDs designed for accessibility,
and hacked using SP's architectural forms to allow different checks to be
INCLUDEd or IGNOREd.  Modular XHTML may offer another approach, but I have
yet to get to grips with how it will work.

As a first demonstrator for the principle, I have added an "Accessibility
Mode" to the validator at <URL:http://valet.webthing.com/page/>.
This rather crude prototype works by validating against an
accessibility-enhanced variant on W3C's HTML 4.  This is a quick hack:
among other things I would propose to build a properly engineered
system on Code Valet (direct WWW interface to SP) rather than Page Valet
(Perl CGI).

Rather than continue forever in isolation, can I ask for comments on
this proposed project?
  * Is it worthwhile?
  * Is there interest in the project - anyone?
  * Is it appropriate to use these lists as a discussion forum for it?

-- 
Nick Kew
Received on Wednesday, 27 December 2000 17:00:39 GMT

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