WCAG 2.0 Comment Submission

Name: Jason White
Email: jasonw@ariel.its.unimelb.edu.au
Affiliation: none
Document: W2
Item Number: Support compatibility with current and future user agents (including assistive technologies)
Part of Item: 
Comment Type: TE
Comment (Including rationale for any proposed change):
This guideline doesn\'t require the use of technologies, for example markup

languages, in accordance with the semantics defined in specifications.

Assistive technologies such as braille translators, as well as content

transformation tools, rely upon the assumption that elements and attributes of

markup languages are used to convey the meanings prescribed in specifications.

To the extent that content departs from this requirement, programmatic

determination of structural and other aspects of content is precluded, being

reduced instead to a probabilistic matter requiring heuristics to be

introduced by the software developer.

Although the definition of \"programmatically determined\" refers to support by

user agents, it doesn\'t explicitly refer to standards governing the

technologies used in the content.

Proposed Change:
Add a requirement under this guideline to the effect that, for each technology

in the baseline that is defined in a specification, every feature of the

technology is used in conformity with the meaning and purpose prescribed in

the specification. Even better, require it to be used in accordance with the

meaning, purpose and syntax prescribed in the specification.

Alternatively, if the above is too strong a requirement, restrict it at level

1 to every feature used to enable the structure, purpose or meaning of the

content to be programmatically determined. That is, if the feature is used to

enable programmatic determination for purposes of meeting the guidelines, then

it must be used in accordance with the syntax and semantics defined in the

specification governing the technology. This falls short of a requirement of

full syntactic and semantic correctness, but the stronger requirement could be

added at level 2 or level 3.

Received on Tuesday, 9 May 2006 10:00:51 UTC