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Granularity of conformance claims

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 14:11:11 +1000 (AEST)
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
cc: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.95.990721134633.24591D-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
I am here responding to a suggestion by Kynn Bartlett that the current
definition of conformance is inadequate in that it does not allow claims
of partial compliance, in cases where developers have not had time to
redesign their content so as to conform completely at a particular level
of priority. Kynn argues, as I understand his position, that the broad
granularity of the conformance requirement may operate as a disinsentive
that militates against application of checkpoints at a higher level of
priority than that to which full compliance is asserted.

At the risk of complicating the conformace section of the guidelines, and
assuming, without presently expressing an opinion on the point, that
this drawback is outwayed by the persuasiveness of Kynn's argument, I
would suggest that in a future revision of the document, a qualification
could be added to the "conformance" section along the following lines:

If a conformance statement asserts compliance with level A or level
double-A of these guidelines, then it may be supplemented by a list of
checkpoints, drawn, in the case of level A conformance, from the set of
all priority 2 and 3 checkpoints, and in the case of double-A conformance,
from the set of priority 3 checkpoints, to which compliance is also
claimed. Any such supplemental list must specify the reference number of
each checkpoint, as provided in the guidelines document, and must
either appear on the same page as the conformance statement or be
prominently and unambiguously linked thereto.

Note that in this proposal, I have specifically excluded the possibility
of claiming partial conformance below level A, on the footing that Level A
requirements are absolutely fundamental in providing a basic level of
Received on Wednesday, 21 July 1999 00:11:53 UTC

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