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Re: seperability [was: Re: conformance levels [was: Re: alt crazyness ...]]

From: Jim Jewett <jimjjewett@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 9 May 2008 18:02:16 -0400
Message-ID: <fb6fbf560805091502u377c581fndfa58f8bf2cac596@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Andrew Ramsden" <andrew@irama.org>
Cc: "Ben Boyle" <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>, Smylers@stripey.com

On 5/9/08, Andrew Ramsden <andrew@irama.org> wrote:
>  I don't feel your examples are aligned with this situation.
>  Building codes and noise regulation are examples of legislation put in
>  place to protect people's rights. WCAG is similar.

The primary purpose of Building codes is to ensure a minumum quality.
If the foundation of my house isn't deep enough for my climate, that
doesn't erode my rights -- but there is a problem if I don't warn the
next owner, and there is a general blight problem if many houses start
having cracks.

Tag soup (or text/plain, or just posting an MS Word document) is more
than sufficient for most quick-and-dirty communication.  The HTML
standard defines the requirements for additional quality.

>  HTML on the other hand is a material used to build web resources. For
> example: Continuing your building codes analogy it would be more similar to
> Concrete.

>  The HTML specification is then like the recipe for Concrete. The recipe
> says for it to be "valid" Concrete, it must contain cement, aggregate and
> water.

>  The Building Code will make further specifications for safety (ratios of
> cement to aggregate, drying time, when to use steel re-inforcement, etc...).

Nah, the (equivalent to a) recipe for cement is that the file be
represented in ASCII or EBCDIC or at least some recognizable format.

The user agent requirements on error recovery are equivalent to the
body of experience saying what you can actually get away with.
(EBCDIC isn't a good idea even if it is legal; <b><i>text</b></i> is
technically a violation but the inspector won't care.  Similarly, the
electrician may "sign" his or her work by tying off the ends in a
certain way -- and the general contractor says to leave it that way,
so the interim inspection will go more quickly.)

The requirements for document validity are best-practices -- exactly
analogous to the full building codes.

There will be times when a certain rule doesn't make sense for a
certain building, and would be expensive -- so you can apply for a
variance.  There will be times when a certain rule doesn't make sense
for a certain web site, and you will still be able to publish invalid
pages.  But they won't be conforming.

On the other hand, there will also be times when something doesn't
seem immediately required by your current plans, but you do it anyhow
for the greater value of being conformant.  Part of that conformance
is that the building (or web page) meet the community standards,
including those for accessibility.

Received on Friday, 9 May 2008 22:02:50 UTC

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