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Re: Template for Accessible Web Page

From: Matt Morgan-May <mattmay@adobe.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 14:08:33 -0700
To: John Foliot - Stanford Online Accessibility Program <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
CC: "'Haileselassie, Antonio O. (HQ-LM020)[InDyne, Inc]'" <Antonio.O.Haileselassie@nasa.gov>, "'David Dorward'" <david@dorward.me.uk>
Message-ID: <C40EB7E1.52B7%mattmay@adobe.com>

On 3/25/08 12:57 PM, "John Foliot - Stanford Online Accessibility Program"
<jfoliot@stanford.edu> wrote:
> As you know, there is accessible and then there is "compliant", and often,
> in a world of required tick boxes, "compliant" is mandated.

In order to short-circuit a potentially lengthy thread, in which we are
mostly in agreement, I must state the following. What was being discussed
here were some templates we published for a product we no longer ship
(Dreamweaver 8), templates which I have already classified as not suitable
for use. I will also add that Dreamweaver CS3 comes with over two dozen
templates which are not only valid, but come in your choice of HTML 4.01 or
XHTML 1.0, Transitional or Strict; XHTML 1.1; or XHTML Mobile 1.0. It also
has built-in validation and accessibility checking features. (Apologies for
sounding like a commercial, but it is and always has been a very good tool,
and I don't want this template talk to cloud that.)

Now, keeping in mind that the latest version actually has what you want it
to have, here's where we disagree:

> However, WCAG 1, Priority 2, 3.2 clearly states: "Documents must validate to
> published formal grammars". (...and that I type from memory)
> If the template has a DTD (it does), then it should validate to that DTD -
> period.  Don't like the DTD in question?  Choose another, or write your own:

First, there's nothing in the product (even in earlier versions) that
prevents content from validating. The issue was with templates produced
after the fact.

Even then, validity itself is a best practice, not the sine qua non. To say
that only valid HTML is worthwhile negates most of the web as it exists
today -- that is, still mostly invalid. User agent and AT support is more
important than simply validating, and the good news is that they've done a
lot of work over the years to make much of that invalid content work well.

If you want me to say it's wrong to release templates that are invalid,
well, I've been saying that for years, and I said it again in this thread.
But pouncing on any form of invalidity as a critical accessibility failure
tips me off to an idealized view of how the web works, and I remain a
pragmatist at heart. And you've probably had as many arguments like this as
I have, so now I'll just leave it be.

Received on Tuesday, 25 March 2008 21:09:18 UTC

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