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Perception of W3C badges (Re: Invalid Tiki Wiki page)

From: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2003 00:16:30 +0100 (BST)
To: <www-validator@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: <drew.cullen@theregister.co.uk>, <john.lettice@theregister.co.uk>
Message-ID: <20030705234145.Y2878-100000@fenris.webthing.com>

[ Cc: theregister, as it references errors in an article you published
  this week ]

[ Crossposted to w3c-wai-ig, as it concerns accessibility and use of a
  WAI badge ]

On Sat, 5 Jul 2003, Terje Bless wrote:

> Of course, the fact that the TikiWiki home page is not valid markup and still
> displays the assertion "Valid XHTML 1.0" does detract quite a bit from their
> credibility, but it's still just a matter of them lying to their users and not
> something that actually implicates the W3C (despite the appearance of the W3C
> logo on the page).

Unfortunately, this appears not to be clear to the outside world, and
there is a perception that a W3C badge implies W3C endorsement.

Cf. <URL:http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/67/31520.html>

The above article is (or appears to be) written by lawyers, so one might
think they'd be careful about their wording.  Yet they say (of a
government website that pays excessive lip-service to accessibility):
    "(...) is "AAA" rated by the Worldwide Web Consortium."

What they mean is of course that the site in question displays a W3C
WCAG/AAA logo.  In reality, any claim to compliance at level AA or AAA
is unquestionably bogus, and the site displays some real howlers.

Like it or not, that kind of proactive endorsement is a perception that
any W3C badge risks giving.

TheRegister is widely read by techies, and although the content is of
variable quality, it is respected for having its ear to the ground.
I have already written to the authors of that article pointing out
several errors including the above.


-- 
Nick Kew
Received on Saturday, 5 July 2003 19:16:47 GMT

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