Re: Collections of web pages

It feels to me like we are reprising some of the painful gyrations we went through in WCAG2ICT, trying to shoehorn an ePub eBook into the WCAG 2.x mold.  We were constrained to doing that in WCAG2ICT because the Access Board said “just apply WCAG to non-web documents and non-web software”.

But we are under no such constraint here I think – or at least, I see no good reason why we should be.  We should be asking “what makes sense for an ePub eBook?”, and not “how do we find some way to make every WCAG SC applicable to technologies that weren’t being considered when the SC was written?”

Uniformity of key elements across a set of related pages on a website is important for… folks with cognitive impairments and folks using AT like screen readers so as to skip over repeated blocks, etc.  What is the user need in an ePub eBook, and how is that best met?  That’s what I think we should be asking.


Peter Korn | Director, Accessibility | Amazon Lab126

From: Jonathan Avila <>
Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 5:29 PM
To: "WCAG list (" <>
Subject: RE: [EXTERNAL] Collections of web pages
Resent-From: <>
Resent-Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 5:29 PM

CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the organization. Do not click links or open attachments unless you can confirm the sender and know the content is safe.

The current definition indicates that a single page application is a web page – so currently even the pages within a single page mail application would not be subject to sets of pages requirements.   It’s also pretty clear that embedded resources are to be treated as a single page – e.g. iFrames and that embedded webpages are not separate.  Even a web page embedded in software doesn’t seem to be a webpage.   So I’d think we’d need to update the definition to treat EPUBs as sets of pages.  I agree from a user perspective we’d want them to be treated be as sets of pages so we could apply SC 2.4.1, 2.4.5, etc.


From: Bruce Bailey <>
Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 1:06 PM
To: Alastair Campbell <>; Andrew Kirkpatrick <>
Cc: WCAG list ( <>; John Foliot <>; Shawn Lauriat <>; 508 <>
Subject: RE: Collections of web pages

CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the organization. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.

Thanks Alastair for kicking off this discussion.  CC’ing John Foliot since he has some strong opinions about this.  CC’ing Shawn Lauriat because he has articulated how our current definition of web page does not stand up to technical scrutiny.

Forgive me, but I will remind folks that in 2006 the WG though we needed a new term, “web unit”.  The good old bad old days!<>

Can we agree that there is a certain amount of hand waving required with our current definition of web page?

I agree that a typical PDF file is a web page.
I agree that a PDF collection could be posted in a way that it is a set of web pages.  I pretty confident we can agree it is not typical.  For this discussion, I would really rather we not spend cycles talking about PDFs.

I disagree that posting a .zip file (or similar archive of a collection) has any meaningful implication to our discussion of web page or set of web pages.  Yes, files posted online have a URI.  Not every URI is a web page!

If one archives a set of web pages into a single zip file (and posts the zip online), it would be nonsensical to assert that the URI is now a web page and no longer a set of web pages.

I am arguing that we make the same common sense leap for ePub and WCAG 2.2.  A typical ePub, posted online as a zip file, is a set of web pages, full stop.

I admit that my argument is not in the shape of good formal logic.  I would ask that anyone who disagrees (than an ePub is a set of web pages) make a recommendation to how our definition of web page and set of web page might be tweaked (so that they would agree that an ePub meets their modified definition for set of web pages).

From: Alastair Campbell <<>>
Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 11:42 AM
To: Andrew Kirkpatrick <<>>; Bruce Bailey <<>>
Cc: WCAG list (<>) <<>>
Subject: Collections of web pages

Hi Andrew, Bruce & everyone,

During the discussion of two criteria (at least), the concept of “set of web pages” came up as a key point.

·         Findable help: Including ‘set of web pages’ helps to scope-out the very simple one-page websites and PDFs that are less likely to have human contact details.

·         Fixed reference points: It says “a web page or set of web pages" so that it covers ePub and non-ePub files .

Andrew mentioned that long PDFs could be considered a ‘set of web pages’, and that some PDFs techniques mention that.

As far as I can tell from our definition for a web page<> and set of web pages<>, all of these would be considered a ‘web page’ as they are located at a single URI:

·         A PDF;

·         An ePub document;

·         A ‘single page app’, unless it adjusts the URI & browser history to appear to have multiple pages.

I can’t see a reference to ‘set of web pages’ in the PDF techniques<>, the closest is PDF2 but that doesn’t seem to reference the definition directly.

Can anyone see an issue with the uses of “set of web pages” in these two SCs?

Kind regards,


--<> / @alastc

Received on Thursday, 9 April 2020 03:58:12 UTC