[Irl-dean] WCAG 2

Joshue O Connor joshue.oconnor at ncbi.ie
Tue May 30 17:29:57 IST 2006

Hi All,

I just read the Joe Clark article on WCAG 2 and for those that have not I highly recommend it.


It is, as usual, very well researched and Joe makes his points well. He does seem to have 
a few sharpened knives out for the WAI and associated working groups, but I don't know the details
of what went on. Suffice to say, in my opinion, its a pity that they cannot work together and it would 
be great if they would kiss and make up.

He made several excellent points, especially about the kind of jargon, techno-babel language used in the guidelines
and the, frankly worrying, trend towards changing label names for specific technologies/terms. The "guidelines" are
now "success criteria" and there is a lot of talk of "baselines". For me baselines should be left up to John Entwhistle :)

The removal of priority levels is also worrying, as is any implication that a site need not contain valid (X)HTML.
The comparison of DOM outputs also seems bizarre and a back-to-front way of working. I though that proprietary DOM's
were put to bed and there was a consensus on a standard DOM type by browser manufacturers. This meant that writing
valid code would produce a "standard" document and all tags referenced in the DOC TYPE would be treated in a consistent
manner. I need to look at this in more detail, on the surface it seems like a step backwards that will give a confused message
to budding standards compliant developers.

For myself, I have generally made a point of steering clear of reading specification drafts etc over the years, as I felt that they
could be a black hole in terms of the time it takes to read, parse and understand them. I did spend some time
recently reading the "Understanding WCAG 2" document and did comment, to this list, as it was my impression at the 
time, favourably about WCAG 2.  However, I just do not have the time to go through these documents in great detail
and must leave it to those who do. So thanks Joe, as usual a good discussion will ensue.

However, I am inclined in this instance to think it would be worth while to "help each other understand it" and generally keep the discussion on WCAG 2 alive on this list. If people have observations or points they would like to make or share, please do. If you are not sure of anything please say so, there is a hell of a lot of it that I am not sure of!!

So I just wanted to mention this as the call for comments on the draft has been extended and I personally want to formulate
a response that is measured, in the hope that it will bring the whole thing into clearer focus.

Maybe as a group we could do this also, if people have the time.


Joshue O Connor

Senior Web Accessibility Consultant

Centre for Inclusive Technology (CFIT)
National Council for the Blind of Ireland

Website: http://www.cfit.ie
E-Mail: joshue.oconnor at cfit.ie
Tel: 01 8821980

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