Item Number: Related Documents
Part of Item:
Comment Type: TE
Comment (Including rationale for any proposed change):
Conformance: Aggregated Content.
If content contains authored units that do not themselves carry any conformance claims, and those authored units are modified or substituted as a result of an aggregation process, then the conformance status of those authored units is unknown at any point in time unless individual assessments are carried out. Such assessments may be impractical, for example on sites that collect comments from the public, maintain e-mail archives, etc.
As the guidelines are currently drafted, the conformance of any Web unit containing such authored units depends in turn on the conformance of those authored units, which may vary over time. In order to avoid making false conformance claims, the operator of such a Web site would, presumably, have to exclude such Web units from the scope of any conformance claim, in accordance with the scoping provisions of the conformance section. I think this consequence needs to be clarified and stated explicitly.
Alternatively, the scoping provisions could be modified to allow individual authored units to be excluded from the ambit of a claim, but in that case it is by no means clear how the "authored units" could be precisely identified and specified in the claim.
Clarify that if it is unknown whether an authored unit participating in aggregation conforms to WCAG 2.0, or which level of conformance is achieved, then it is likewise unknown what, if any, level of conformance is attained by Web units in which it appears. Implementors should be advised to exclude Web units containing such "unknown" authored units from the scope of any conformance claim in accordance with the "scoping" provisions of the conformance section of WCAG 2.0.
Note that by controlling what may appear in authored units participating in the aggregation process, through technical or other means, it may be possible to ensure that a given level of conformance is always satisfied. Under these circumstances (where the conformance of resulting Web units is guaranteed), conformance claims with respect to such aggregated content may reliably be made.
We have made conformance claims less regulatory and more descriptive, that is, a conformance claim describes what is conformant to the guidelines. We think it is more appropriate for policy makers to determine appropriate exceptions.
We have provided a way to make a statement about parts of a page that do conform if the whole page doesn't.
We have clarified the situation by removing all exceptions and adding the following at the end of the conformance section:
Note: If pages can not conform (for example, conformance test pages or example pages) they would not be included in the conformance claim.
Statement of partial conformance
Sometimes, Web pages are created that will later have additional content added to them. For example, an email program, a blog, or an article that allows users to add comments to the bottom. Another example would be a company or individual who compiles a page from multiple sources. Sometimes, the content from the other sources is automatically inserted into the page over time.
In both of these cases, it is not possible to know at the time of original posting what the content of the pages will be. Two options are available:
1. A conformance claim is made based on best knowledge. If a page of this type is monitored and kept conformant (non-conforming content is immediately removed or made conforming) then a conformance claim can be made since, except for error periods, the page is conformant. No conformance claim should be made if it is not possible to monitor or correct non-conforming content.
2. A "statement of partial conformance" is made. A statement that the page does not conform, but could conform if certain parts were removed can be made. The form of that statement would be, "This page would conform to WCAG 2.0 at level X if the following parts from uncontrolled sources were removed."
1. This "statement of partial conformance" cannot be used for content that is under the author's control.
2. The "following parts" of the page that would need to be removed would be described in terms that users can understand. (e.g. they can't be described as "all parts that we do not have control of" unless they are clearly marked as such.)