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Re: Template for Accessible Web Page

From: David Dorward <david@dorward.me.uk>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2008 19:58:04 +0000
Message-Id: <6A5CF450-7249-42CE-B3A9-9EDA0E727247@dorward.me.uk>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "M. Urban" <m.urban@trilliumjazz.com>, "Haileselassie, Antonio O. (HQ-LM020)[InDyne, Inc]" <Antonio.O.Haileselassie@nasa.gov>
To: Matt Morgan-May <mattmay@adobe.com>

On 24 Mar 2008, at 19:15, Matt Morgan-May wrote:
> However, I can't help but notice that your concerns are mostly about
> validation

No, that was a small part of them.

> , and that your testing tool is the text browser Lynx,

That was /a/ test. It just happens to be a very fast test that  
quickly reveals a number of common accessibility problems.

> and not any real-world assistive technology.

There is more to accessibility then simply working with assistive  

> There's more to it than semantics and validation,

That doesn't stop semantics and validation being part of it. WCAG 1.0  
checkpoint 3.2 comes to mind.

> On 3/24/08 11:03 AM, "David Dorward" <david@dorward.me.uk> wrote:
>> * XHTML in a world with Internet Explorer

> [MM] Not an accessibility issue.

Just a practical one.

>> * Transitional (when the differences between Transitional and Strict
>> are tiny other that the addition of things which violate WCAG)
> [MM] This also has nothing to do with accessibility.

It stops validators picking up certain violations of certain WCAG  
checkpoints, 11.2 for instance.

>> * No XML prolog (required if not UTF-8) but a claim that it is
>> ISO-8859-1
> [MM] This is required for standards mode in IE 6.

So use UTF-8 or don't use XML.

>> * JavaScript commented out. This was encouraged in HTML 4.x to
>> protect pre-HTML 3.2. In XML, however, it is an actual comment. This
>> causes the document to depend on being served as text/html rather
>> then application/xhtml+xml (which the specification says it SHOULD be
>> served as).
> [MM] Not an issue since, as you mentioned, it doesn't have the XML  
> prolog,
> and is XHTML Transitional.

It is an issue because:

* Not having an XML prolog doesn't stop the spec from saying it  
should be served as application/xhtml+xml (and being processed by an  
XML parser).

* Being Transitional ... ditto.

>> * Invalid
> [MM] Yes, there are some bullets missing alt text, and that  
> shouldn't be,
> though in reality it doesn't affect the overall accessibility. But do
> superfluous attributes here and there really make a document  
> inaccessible?

Since some of them are well formedness errors and it is an XHTML  
document - yes.

> Be careful of your answer:
> http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fdorward.me.uk%2F

Irrelevant - I'm not marketing that as an accessible template.

Incidentally, the problems are introduced by third party code that is  
outside my direct control and is due to be resolved in about two  
weeks time.

>> * ASCII art used to separate list items ... no li elements in
>> evidence on some lists.
> [MM] Now you're really overreaching. A pipe is not "ASCII art".

Really? It is an ASCII character. It is being used for visual  
appearance, and not the meaning it has (since it doesn't have any  
meaning in English). That sounds like ASCII art to me.

> As most of us know by now, printable characters between adjacent  
> links were specified
> in WCAG 1 checkpoint 10.5.

Try using commas, they have meaning in the English language. For that  
matter, since it is a list of links, use list markup.

David Dorward
Received on Monday, 24 March 2008 19:58:47 UTC

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