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25 June 2006   1:40 PM

Because I think it's important that validity should remain in WCAG 2.0, I've written to the Working Group and asked for it to be retained as a level 2 success criterion. I'm happy with unambiguous parsing being a level 1 success criterion, but I'd include along the lines of "Create documents that validate to published formal grammars" in a technologically-neutral way.

Of course, if I'm the only person asking the Working Group for this, I'd understand if the Working Group didn't agree with me: after all the Working Group can only listen to the people who are prepared to submit comments to them, right? This means that while Joe Clark's article is included as it was submitted, Bruce Lawson's article wasn't and therefore isn't.

So I decided to search the comments archive for anything containing "valid", "4.1.1" or "formal grammars". I accept this isn't necessarily going to catch everything, but it should give me an indication of whether or not other people agreed with me. As it turns out, they did.

Person Supports validity? Would support inclusion at level?
Jack Pickard Yes 2
Rick Hill Yes Not Stated
Andrew Harris Yes 1
Matthew Magain Yes Not Stated
Joe Clark Probably Not stated
Roger Hudson Yes 1
Greg Gay Yes 2
Masayasu Ishikawa No N/A
Melinda Stelzer Yes 1
Nir Dagan Yes 1
Catherine Brys Yes Not Stated
Tina at Greytower Yes 1
Jason White Yes 2
Robert Whittaker Yes 1
Johannes Koch probably Not Stated
Greg Lowney Yes 1
Charles McCathie-Nevile Yes 1
Takayuki Watanabe Yes 2
Kiyochika Nakamura Yes 1

Please note that in some cases, I have interpreted comments to guess at a level supported, although in many the preferred level was included.If you are one of the people in the table, and you feel I have mis-represented your views then I apologise. Contact me either by leaving a comment or using my comment form and I will update your information as soon as I get the chance.

As you can see, there are 19 people who have made comments relating to validity that I've found. Of these, my understanding is that 18 of them would like validity to be included in WCAG 2.0 - that's 95% of people making comment want to see validity included. It's difficult to get a stronger majority than that.

Of the people supporting validity, 50% would back it as a level 1 success criteria, a further 28% would back it as a level 2 success criteria, and I couldn't determine where the remainder would like to see it included.

As far as I can see then, the Working Group have asked for comments and the public has answered. Validity must be included in the final version of WCAG 2.0 as either a level 1 or a level 2 success criterion. Anything else would clearly demonstrate that they are not prepared to listen to public opinion.

I would certainly expect them to be prepared to listen to public opinion - after all they extended the deadline specifically to allow more people to comment, and why would they have done that unless they wanted feedback. Now they must act on that feedback and include validity in the final version.


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