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From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Tue, 16 May 2006 17:07:09 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00ab01c67935$1470eb50$ee8cfea9@NC6000BAK>


Jason White                 592006  

W2       4.1                    



"This guideline doesn't require the use of technologies, for example markup

languages, in accordance with the semantics defined in specifications.

Assistive technologies such as braille translators, as well as content

transformation tools, rely upon the assumption that elements and attributes

of markup languages are used to convey the meanings prescribed in

specifications.  To the extent that content departs from this requirement,

programmatic determination of structural and other aspects of content is

precluded, being reduced instead to a probabilistic matter requiring

heuristics to be introduced by the software developer.


  Although the definition of "programmatically determined" refers to

support by user agents, it doesn't explicitly refer to standards governing

the technologies used in the content."

Proposed Change 

            "Add a requirement under this guideline to the effect that, for

technology in the baseline that is defined in a specification, every feature

of the technology is used in conformity with the meaning and purpose

prescribed in the specification. Even better, require it to be used in

accordance with the meaning, purpose and syntax prescribed in the



    Alternatively, if the above is too strong a requirement, restrict it at

level 1 to every feature used to enable the structure, purpose or meaning of

the content to be programmatically determined. That is, if the feature is

used to enable programmatic determination for purposes of meeting the

guidelines, then it must be used in accordance with the syntax and semantics

defined in the specification governing the technology. This falls short of a

requirement of full syntactic and semantic correctness, but the stronger

requirement could be added at level 2 or level 3."           

Proposed Resolution - from Team A 


The group looked at this topic carefully over an extended period of time. In
the end the group concluded that although strictly adhering to

specifications had many benefits, it also has limitations.  It is one reason
why all the technical specifications are voluntary and why companies often
vary from them.  

With regard to WCAG the working group tried to restrict itself to its
charter and only include things that directly affected accessibility.  Some
aspects of "use technologies according to specification" do relate to
accessibility.  However, others did not.  So requiring this went beyond
accessibility.    RE the second suggestion above; "feature used to enable
the structure, purpose or meaning of the content to be programmatically
determined" are all required already by 1.3.1 so there would not be a need
to add a new SC in 4.1.  


Received on Tuesday, 16 May 2006 22:07:19 UTC

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