Re: Counter change-proposal for ISSUE-4 (html-versioning) (vs. ISSUE-30 longdesc)

Ah, now I understand you better.

No, I don't consider version regulations that are version specific an
important use case. Specifically for the reason that you stated "What
happens if new accessibility methods are discovered in the future".
I.e. if I write a HTML page today, I should use the best accessibility
techniques that we have today. Not the ones that were the best when
the latest version of HTML (currently HTML 4) was released. So for
example I should not hesitate to use ARIA attributes, rather than
limit myself to the attributes that are defined in HTML 4. Regulations
that say otherwise hurt accessibility and thus I don't consider them
an important use case.

/ Jonas

On Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 10:36 PM, Larry Masinter <> wrote:
> There's a use case (writing regulations that are version specific)
> that can be satisfied if there are explicit version indicators.
> I think you're saying that you choose to reject that use case as
> not important, or incorrect? That you shouldn't want to write
> regulations that are version specific, and you think everyone
> should just write regulations that say "do the best for your
> users" without being specific about what that means in terms of
> technical deployment?
> Just making sure I'm understand your point of view here.
> Larry
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> On Behalf Of Jonas Sicking
> Sent: Friday, February 26, 2010 9:52 PM
> To: Larry Masinter
> Cc: Maciej Stachowiak; Adam Barth; David Singer; HTML WG; Charles
> McCathieNevile
> Subject: Re: Counter change-proposal for ISSUE-4 (html-versioning)
> (vs. ISSUE-30 longdesc)
> On Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 9:03 PM, Larry Masinter <>
> wrote:
>> In
>> David Singer <> wrote, in a discussion of ISSUE-30
>> longdesc, with respect to accessibility laws, regulations and
>> organizational policies which might refer to a particular HTML
> feature:
>>> "More to the point, they [laws, regulations and policies] were
>>> written with a particular version of HTML in mind and existence,
>>> whether or not they remembered to say so.  The laws in question,
>>> as I understand, were never intended to be prescriptive of what
>>> standards-writers wrote, merely descriptive of what was in the
>>> said standards (the laws are prescriptive in other respects,
>>> of course).
>>> When the HTML version changes, should they wish to adopt it
>>> and prescribe how to use it, they are at liberty to do so."
>> This raises the following question:
>> What is a HTML version? Is there any way to distinguish one HTML
>> version from another?
> HTML 3 is defined here
> HTML 4 is defined here
> HTML 5 drafts are here
> You can distinguish them by the title of the document :)
>> What does "When the HTML version changes" mean ?
> If I understand what David is trying to say, I would have phrased it
> as "When a new version of HTML is released".
>> How could someone write an 'accessibility regulation validator'
>> if, as suggested, regulations might vary according to HTML version,
>>  in the situation where HTML has no versions or version indicators?
>> What happens if new accessibility methods are discovered in the
> future?
> My suggestion is to always recommend the latest and greatest when it
> comes to accessibility. So for example, once ARIA is released and
> supported by enough browsers, I would recommend content authors to
> start using it. Even if HTML 4 remains unchanged and is the latest
> released version of HTML.
> I would not recommend anyone to recommend different techniques for
> different versions of HTML. Why *not* ARIA for all documents if that
> is what results in the best accessibility for users.
>> In particular, if there is a regulation for which:
>>   * if "longdesc" is recommended for HTML4
>>   * something else is recommended for HTML5
>>   * later, for some future evolution of HTML
>>     yet something else is recommended
>>    (as new accessibility techniques evolve)
>> \
>> ... how could a validator tell if the document presented had been
> prepared
>>    according to version-specific regulation, if there are no version
>>    indicators?
> I would make recommendations based on what results in the best
> accessibility for users. Not based on what validators say. Validators
> are just programs, they have no feelings, they won't get hurt ;-)
> / Jonas

Received on Saturday, 27 February 2010 08:08:10 UTC