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RE: hmmm

From: David Clark <dmclark@cast.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998 14:06:17 -0400
To: "'John T. Whelan'" <whelan@physics.utah.edu>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: <bbailey@clark.net>
Message-ID: <001301bdcad2$e5dd9950$ca557392@dmc.cast.org>

Let me try to explain the logic from my prospective as part of the Bobby

There is a real struggle (which I hope ER-IG will address) between
webmasters' need for a quick binary (yes/no) answer, and the true definition
of accessibility. When we talk about accessibility, we first have to ask for
whom and with what, because the definition of accessibility  is dependent on
those factors. The guidelines group has addressed this issue with the
interim/future distinction. There are also questions of how  many errors of
what kind constitute a failure.

We started Bobby as a tool to assist web developing in creating accessible
web pages. It was not our intent to create a "validator". Over  time,
however, Bobby has become the place people look to as a benchmark for
accessibility. That is a difficult place to be in. We have always said, and
continue to say, the Bobby Approved Icon is used at a webmaster's own
discretion. The webmaster defines what a site is, and whether they should
use the Icon. We provide "suggested requirements" as a guidepost in the

As always, we value input and discussion about Bobby and how it works. Input
from WAI and others can only help us all move forward towards the goal of
making a web that is accessible to everyone.

David Clark
CAST, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From:	John T. Whelan [mailto:whelan@physics.utah.edu]
Sent:	Tuesday, August 18, 1998 12:04 PM
To:	w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc:	bbailey@clark.net; David Clark
Subject:	Re: hmmm

>So, what do people think of the new Bobby reporting format?

>Personally, I preferred the binary okay / not-okay-and-here-are-the-reasons
>rating, even if such a quantifiable state was illusionary.  CAST has
>their bases, and provides much more information, but I wish the extra
>feedback was optional instead of default.

	I think the recommendations, questions and tips are useful,
since they may make people think of improvements that haven't occurred
to them, such as the ABBR and ACRONYM tags.  As long as the pass/fail
and errors come first, people who don't care about the rest don't need
to scroll any farther.  One change that might be useful is to put the
accessability rating at the top of the report, before the display of
the page's contents.

	Speaking of Bobby, I have to express some confusion over the
"If none of the web pages on your site contain accessibility errors"
condition.  How does one define a "site"?  My web pages fall into
several self-contained units, but each of them lives on a larger site
over which I have no control.  Is the Utah relativity homepage
<http://www.physics.utah.edu/research/relativity> only allowed to
display the "Bobby Approved" icon if all of the pages on
<http://www.physics.utah.edu/> pass muster?  That's impossible unless
we get every member of the department to make their personal pages
					John T. Whelan
Received on Tuesday, 18 August 1998 14:02:59 UTC

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