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Re: Re : Influence of valid code on screen readers

From: Matt May <mcmay@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 18:00:10 -0700
Message-ID: <42B2209A.4040302@w3.org>
To: Roberto Castaldo <r.castaldo@iol.it>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

Roberto Castaldo wrote:

>Matt said:
>It's not the product that makes valid code also accessible, it's the
>It's true that there will never be a tool able to generate accessible pages
>by itself, but what kind of practice can exist without a base of discipline?
>Practice must be based on some milestones, and valid code is simply one of
>those, not the only one of course. 
>Does anyone of us imagine a course on X-HTML where the teacher says "no
>matter what W3C says, the only important thing is that you reach your aim...
>Use any kind of code despite of the standards"; why should _we_ say such

Deciding not to say something is not the same as saying the opposite. I 
haven't told you not to kill anybody. Does that make me pro-murder?

>W3C (and WAI) cannot comply with actual market products and vendors;
>instead, products and vendors should use W3C recommendations and pushes to
>make a better Web.

Agreed. And before we can tell Web developers that it's safe 100% of the 
time to use valid code (and no fair adding new attributes!), we need to 
have user agents that conform to UAAG, and authoring tools that conform 
to ATAG. We can't do that while nearly all instances of <object> are 
invalid, and while all attempts at valid versions either have major side 
effects or rely on JavaScript to invalidate it after the fact, for example.

I really, really want all Web content to be valid, too. But I'm not 
willing to tie it to WCAG when it's not certain that it will help in all 
cases. Especially when it will cause many developers to give up on 
accessibility completely, because they won't be able to claim 
conformance on the old content that would take person-years to clean up, 
when it may not be broken in the first place.

>W3C (and WAI) cannot simply read todays Web and its troubles, but should
>give the right suggestions to fight and defeat such troubles. W3C must also
>educate and induce web developers - the newbies and the professionals - in
>getting a better level of knowledge of web standards, and I don't think that
>allowing tag soup is the best way to get that result.

We're not in a position to say what is and is not "allowed". The WCAG WG 
is not the Web police.

We are producing a document that says that all Level 1 items "Achieve a 
minimum level of accessibility through markup, scripting, or other 
technologies that interact with or enable access through user agents 
including assistive technologies." Validity falls short of that 
standard. If tag soup meets the functional requirements of accessibility 
that we set out, then we have no reason not to declare that it's accessible.

Received on Friday, 17 June 2005 01:00:14 UTC

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