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Re: Success criteria not applicable

From: Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
Date: Tue, 06 Oct 2009 10:51:59 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: WCAG WG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

At 10:33 6/10/2009, Alan Chuter wrote:
>I just think that it would be useful to provide 
>guidance on what is meant by "not applicable". 
>"No content" would be useful as an explanation somewhere in the document.
>It is confusing, I think, to mark a guideline as 
>not applicable because the dependant success 
>criteria are not applicable. For example 2.3 
>Seizures is marked as N/A. Surely it is 
>applicable, even if there is no flashing 
>content. The designers have avoided flashing 
>content, so they have complied with the SC, so 
>it is not logical to say that it doesn't apply. 
>Otherwise there are only two outcomes, Fail or N/A, so you can't pass.

I agree with Alan.
With regard to flashing content, for example, the 
approach taken by UWEM was to define 
applicability as any element or technology with 
which flashing can be "implemented". So if there 
is a GIF image (animated GIF) or Flash content, 
the relevant tests for flashing content are 
applicable. If these technologies are used 
without causing flashing, the content passes the test.

Best regards,


>My main concern is that there should be some 
>clarification, but it would be more appropriate 
>in WCAG than in the BAD report. I'm more 
>concerned that it is something that is missing 
>from the WCAG techniques than from this report.
>Shawn Henry escribió:
>>Here's the text I referred to in the EOWG 
>>teleconference, from Understanding WCAG 2.0: 
>>"Conformance to a standard means that you meet 
>>or satisfy the 'requirements' of the standard. 
>>In WCAG 2.0 the 'requirements' are the Success 
>>Criteria. To conform to WCAG 2.0, you need to 
>>satisfy the Success Criteria , that is, there 
>>is no content which violates the Success Criteria..
>>Note: This means that if there is no content to 
>>which a success criterion applies, the success criterion is satisfied."
>>For the BAD reports,
>>One could suggest that "no content" would be a 
>>better marker to match this wording.
>>One could argue that "not applicable" is better because it is more common.
>>(I, for one, don't feel strongly either way.)
>>Alan, are you suggesting something more specific?
>>Alan Chuter wrote:
>>>In the evaluation report of the 
>>>Before-and-After Demo many of the success 
>>>criteria are marked as "N/A" (not applicable). 
>>>In my experience this is a cause of confusion. 
>>>Accessibility evaluation reports may flag a 
>>>success criterion or checkpoint as not applicable when:
>>>* The construct or element is not supported by the technology used.
>>>* The specific element concerned does not appear in the content.
>>>* The problem does not arise (like colour 
>>>difference in black and white content, or that 
>>>there is no need to divide content into sections when it is brief).
>>>The UWEM methodology [1] tries to define the 
>>>applicability using XPath expressions where 
>>>possible, restricting it to specific markup 
>>>elements and attributes or CSS selectors. WCAG 
>>>2.0 is much broader, defining it at the level 
>>>of the technology used, such as "HTML and XHTML."
>>>It might be useful guidance to make this 
>>>explicit in the BAD reports, but even more, 
>>>the WCAG WG could give its opinion to make 
>>>clear when a success criterion can be flagged 
>>>as "not applicable" in a conformance report. 
>>>This would be at a global level, not for each technique (for now at least).
>>>[1] http://www.wabcluster.org/uwem1_2/
>>>[2] http://www.w3.org/WAI/demos/bad/draft/2009/report/before/home.html
>Alan Chuter
>Departamento de Usabilidad y Accesibilidad
>Technosite - Grupo Fundosa
>Fundación ONCE
>Tfno.: 91 121 03 30
>Fax: 91 375 70 51

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
tel: +32 16 32 85 51
"Better products and services through end-user 
empowerment" http://www.usem-net.eu/
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Received on Tuesday, 6 October 2009 08:52:43 UTC

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