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Request for review

From: Andy Budd <andy@message.uk.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 15:20:25 +0100
Message-Id: <951BF1C6-F058-11D8-888E-003065480AC6@message.uk.com>
To: W <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

First off I'd be very interested to know how these guidelines came 
about, so that I can put the changes in perspective. Have the changed 
been made due to objective reasons such as extensive user testing or 
academic/industry research or more subjective reasons such as expert 
review, industry suggestions etc.

Secondly I'd like to know what has been dropped from version 2 that was 
included in version 1 and why.


Guideline 1.3 Ensure that information, functionality, and structure are 
separable from presentation.

Issue  487. are tables for layout a violation of 1.3?

Evaluation: Enforcing non-table layouts is not possible at this time 
for any more than Web sites with simple presentations.

This is obviously untrue. There are many CSS website around that have 
extremely complicated layouts. It's my impression that the guidelines 
are there to help people with accessibility issues, not to offer 
compromises to designers or site owners that want to get AAA rating 
without putting the effort in. It would seem to me that enforcing the 
use of CSS for presentation and making sites that use presentational 
code in the HTML invalid (at least at level 3) would be a good thing


Guideline 2.1 Make all functionality operable via a keyboard or a 
keyboard interface.

Is this not a little subjective? For instance, if a web browser doesn't 
support tabbing between links or form elements, it's beyond the site 
developers ability to do anything about it.


  Guideline 2.4 Facilitate the ability of users to orient themselves and 
move within the content

  Level 2 Success Criteria for Guideline 2.4

1. documents greater than 50,000 words or sites larger than 50 
perceived pages, at least one of the following is provided

As mentioned in the editorial notes, 50,000 words and 50 pages seems 
completely arbitrary. In some ways it should depend on the hierarchy 
and navigation of the site. For instance, if all the pages on the site 
are available from all the other pages (i.e. a very flat structure) 
then there  isn't any need for a site map. However if the site has a 
structure that is several levels deep, and these levels can't be 
accessed from the homepage, then even if there are only 30 pages, a 
site map would still be needed.

I'd argue that a site map should be required if you can't access every 
page of the site from every other page of the site!


  Guideline 2.5 Help users avoid mistakes and make it easy to correct 

  Level 3 Success Criteria for Guideline 2.5

1. Where the input options are known, there are less than 75 of them, 
and they can be provided without jeopardizing security, test validity, 
etc, users are allowed to select from a list of options as well as to 
enter text directly.

Firstly 75 seems a very arbitrary number. Secondly, selecting from a 
list of 75 items could actually be an accessibility issue in it's own 
right. You may be forced to tab/scroll through each item before you 
come to the one that you want, which would be very tedious. For people 
with reading or cognitive difficulties it could be incredibly difficult 
to deal with such a large list.


That's all for now.

Andy Budd

Received on Tuesday, 17 August 2004 19:33:28 UTC

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