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RE: Guidelines vs Standards (was Checkpoint 3.3)

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 18:10:21 -0700
Message-Id: <4.1.19990720180435.01639790@mail.idyllmtn.com>
To: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Cc: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 05:04 PM 7/20/1999 , Jason White wrote:
>On Tue, 20 Jul 1999, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>> This is my position too; I think the guidelines are great as guidelines
>> but the conformance section, and the implication that you should use
>> ALL "shoulds" (P2) if you use ANY, is the part that is broken.

>>From where in the document does this implication arise? The conformance
>statement simply asserts that if one wishes to claim compliance, one must
>provide certain particulars, such as the conformance level purported to
>have been attained, the applicable version of the guidelines, the scope of
>the claim, etc.

The way the conformance levels are structured, Single-A, Double-AA,
Triple-AAA, people are encouraged to implement either ALL of one
priority level or NONE of that priority level.

In other words, by having a system that completely maps conformance
levels to priority levels, you risk someone saying, "Well, since I
can never get Double-AA compliance due to 14.5, I might as well
not do 16.7, 19.3, and 14.7 since they're also P2.  And I don't
think I'll even look at 18.3-5, 19.4, and 20.8 since they're P3!"

By boiling compliance with _guidelines_ graded "must", "should",
and "may" down to a three-option choice, you going to find a lot
of people will only look at Single-A and not go on to do any of the

Why should they?  They get no benefits from it, at least, none that
are reflected by their compliance rating.

I agree with whoever said that the WCAG should be used by third
parties to _create their own policies_ and not simply adopted as
a strict set of standards, because that's not the spirit in which
the priority 2 and especially 3 checkpoints were written.  I don't
they they were intended as an all-or-nothing deal.

Kynn Bartlett                                    mailto:kynn@hwg.org
President, HTML Writers Guild                    http://www.hwg.org/
AWARE Center Director                          http://aware.hwg.org/
Received on Tuesday, 20 July 1999 21:31:03 UTC

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