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RE: Summing up the debate about validity at Priority 1 or 2

From: Bailey, Bruce <Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 21:00:56 -0400
Message-ID: <CCDBDCBFA650F74AA88830D4BACDBAB50B2D472B@wdcrobe2m02.ed.gov>
To: "WAI-GL" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Thanks Joe for the summary.  Even with all the traffic, there are still three things I feel needed to be said on this topic.  I really regret not being able to participate in tomorrows teleconference.  Again, this is based on my own (admitted skewed) perspective of watching unenforceable WCA Guidelines become enforceable 508 web standards.

One argument has been that requiring validity will take to much time away from fixing “real” accessibility problems.  I reject this argument because fixing valid code for “real” accessibility is so much easier than fixing tag soup, that on balance, a great deal of time will be saved.  Old code will be grand fathered.

Another concern has been that WAI stands to loose credibility or that it is reaching too far to make validity a P1 issue.  Please don’t give up before the battle is even started!  WCAG1 6.3 basically required Lynx compatibility.  This (unfortunately, IMHO) didn’t make it cleanly into 508.  Old timers, however, will remember that having 6.3 at the P1 level was quite controversial at the time.  Many of the arguments for making 6.3 P2 then are the same ones now being proffered for making validity P2 now.  Also please keep in mind that almost none of the WCAG1 P2 or P3 items made it into 508 1194.22.

The discussion of “well formness” and custom DTDs and validity by implication is all very fascinating.  Please keep it simple.  Many here will recall that WCAG1 P1 4.1 regarding identifying language was so misunderstood in the first 508 web standards draft (as published in the Federal Register) that it was just unceremoniously dropped in the final.  (This is another WCAG P1 item that is hard to justify at P1 versus P2, but I won’t bring that business up again.)
Received on Thursday, 23 June 2005 01:00:59 UTC

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