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Re: Standards Body (was Re: Re[2]: Re[2]: WAI Icons. Was: Include default text?)

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From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Oct 26, 2004 11:01AM


On Tue, 26 Oct 2004, foliot wrote:

> 1) The "Standard" for HTML is actually a Joint Statement from both the ISO
> and the IEC

No, it's not the "Standard" but the standard. The only one. And it's an
uninteresting and widely unknown standard, as standards often are.

But why discuss about HTML standards and "standards"? The HTML
specifications by the W3C are far more closer to standards in their
rigorousness than WCAG 1.0 is, so you can't really justify calling
WCAG 1.0 as a standard by the purported standards-like nature of HTML
specs. (Besides, the ISO and the IEC did quite some work to convert the
HTML specification into a standard, and still produced something that
looks like a quickly written spec transmogrified into a standard-like
shape.)

> So... If the W3C is providing normative documents to the ISO, and effecting
> the thinking and direction of the ISO, then by broader definition, I would
> argue they are a Standards Body.

If you go along such lines, you should also call Microsoft and other major
companies Standards Bodies, shouldn't you?

WCAG 1.0 is not a standard-like document in content and essence, no matter
what its formal status is (and we know that it is a recommendation that is
not maintained - all work is directing towards souping up something
completely different, WCAG 2.0). If you take a page, can you objectively
decide whether it complies with WCAG 1.0, or with a particular item in
WCAG 1.0? Phoney checkers claim that they can. But we should know better.
If you try to make different people evaluate a page against WCAG 1.0,
then, if those people understand WCAG 1.0 at least minimally, you will
have endless talk about compliance or non-compliance. And not just
arguments but reasoned arguments. This is what we should expect when we
have a set of recommendations, not a standard.

--
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/