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Re: Re : Influence of valid code on screen readers

From: Matt May <mcmay@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2005 14:59:41 -0700
Message-ID: <42B347CD.1070301@w3.org>
To: Isofarro <lists@isofarro.uklinux.net>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

Isofarro wrote:

> Jeffrey Zeldman's keynote talk at the recent @media2005 describes an 
> almost identical position they tackled. Browsers didn't properly 
> support CSS, and that was holding back the adoption of CSS. What WaSP 
> did was phenomenally unique, they tackled the woeful browser support 
> with the attitude of "Lets pretend they support CSS properly".

But that's WaSP, not the WCAG WG. Our roles are completely different: 
for one thing, the WCAG WG will produce a standard that is likely to be 
adopted as policy, while WaSP has consciously avoided policy issues. 
WaSP is more analogous to the WAI Education and Outreach WG, which 
doesn't produce standards, but does provide instruction on how to code 
properly. Again, standards-based coding is a process, not a product, and 
as such, legislating it doesn't mean anybody's going to do any good with 
it. We have to educate, which is what WaSP did with CSS.

> I would suggest that that particular idea was sufficient to start the 
> feedback cycle that brings us to today. Most modern browsers, with the 
> exception of IE6, support CSS Level 2 quite well. Well enough so that 
> CSS layouts are stable and acceptable - even preferred way of working.
> So when we say "we need to have user agents that conform to UAAG", 
> lets pretend they do, and force them to catch up with us again.

In a sense, we are assuming that we have user agents that conform to 
UAAG in leaving out a validity requirement. UAAG directs UAs to go 
through several repair processes to fix validity problems.

> From a previous post of yours you indicated a wish to have more pages 
> being accessible (greater quantity) - but isn't just as important to 
> improve the guidelines (with better understanding and experience over 
> the last six years) so that existing and new content is _more_ 
> _accessible_ to people with disabilities (better quality)?

Yes, but as I have said repeatedly in this thread, whether or not a 
document passes the HTML Validator tests is neither a necessary nor 
sufficient indicator of the level of accessibility. It is only a sign of 
a sophisticated HTML coder (of which there are still far too few, even 
in 2005).

Received on Friday, 17 June 2005 21:59:45 UTC

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