WCAG 2.0 Comment Submission

Name: Roger Hudson
Email: rhudson@usability.com.au
Document: W2
Item Number: Success Criterion 4.1.1
Part of Item: 
Comment Type: TE
Comment (Including rationale for any proposed change):
 The \"Understanding WCAG 2.0\" comments relating to SC 4.1.1 indicate poorly coded content may not be correctly rendered by assistive technologies. This accurate comment was presumably one of the guiding principles behind the WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint 3.2, \"Create documents that validate to published formal grammars.\"

Although there is a view WCAG 2.0 needs to be technologically neutral, I believe we should be mindful of the fact that most web pages today use (x)html and this is likely to continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. Over the years a suite of recognised standards (html, css, mathml, etc) have emerged. Many assistive technologies (and other devices) use these standards, and associated document type declarations, and an increasing number of developers know that it is desirable to produce code that complies with them.

It seems to me, the weasel words used in SC 4.1.1 are a tortured and misguided attempt to avoid saying websites should use valid code. Why? Surely, the W3C is one organization that should be wholeheartedly committed to the notion of promoting clearly defined standards. Instead, we seem to have abandoned the guideline that required the use of valid code in favour of, what? I was interested to notice that the \"Understanding WCAG 2.0\" Techniques for this SC contain three techniques, but details are only provided for the one that relates to \"Validating web units\". The last suggested technique is, \"Fully conforming to specification\". No details at all appear to be provided about what these specifications are, or who will determine them.

Proposed Change:
I believe SC 4.1.1 should remain a level 1 SC but should be rewritten to read, \"Web Units or authored components validate to formal grammars published by the W3C.\"

Received on Sunday, 14 May 2006 00:32:55 UTC