Determining Conformance to the User Agent Guidelines 1.0

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This document refers to:
Ian Jacobs, W3C


This document proposes a framework for determining conformance requirements for the checkpoints of the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0.

Status of this document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. The latest status of this document series is maintained at the W3C.

This document is meant for review by the WAI User Agent Guidelines Working Group. It represents no consensus of any kind and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use this document reference material.

This document has been produced as part of the Web Accessibility Initiative. The goal of the WAI User Agent Guidelines Working Group is discussed in the Working Group charter.

A list of current W3C Recommendations and other technical documents can be found at http://www.w3.org/TR.


Readers of the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 1.0 should be able to tell when a user agent has met the requirements of the document for a number of reasons:

Some of the Working Group's goals for the UAAG 1.0 are difficult to satisfy all at once:

This document presents a framework for categorizing the checkpoints and explaining how one may determine that requirements have been met. The document has been organized into three sections:

  1. Checkpoints with minimal requirements
  2. Checkpoints with expected solutions
  3. Checkpoints with solutions identified by Working Group

It should not be difficult to identify how to meet the requirements of the checkpoints in sections 1 and 2. The checkpoints in section 3 pose more problems and some may require "arbitrary" requirements established by the Working Group.

Note. This document does not address the issue of how to verify whether a user agent has actually met the requirement. While the requirements of some of the checkpoints are sufficiently clear, it may not be easy to assess conformance without access to detailed technical information about a user agent.

Note. Refer to the proposal from Eric Hansen to incorporate minimal requirements directly into checkpoints; the document should only express minimal requirements.

1. Checkpoints with minimal requirements

For these checkpoints, it is possible to identify a minimal requirement.

1.1 Meet logical minima

1.2 Allow on/off control

Resolved: For all Guideline three checkpoints, the scope is configuration, global, on-load. Refer to proposed clarification on scope of configuration and 27 July resolution.

1.3 Require "all" of something

1.4 Conform to specifications

1.5 No clarification required

For these checkpoints, the requirement should be apparent, and the solution in the user interface must be accessible.

2. Checkpoints with expected solutions

For these checkpoints, user agents should follow conventions and widespread practice.

2.1 Follow system conventions

2.2 Define range according to convention / practice

Convention might be system convention or what CSS offers. User agents are expected to implement what has already been widely implemented.

3. Checkpoints with solutions identified by Working Group

For these checkpoints, the minimal requirement is not obvious.

3.1 Working Group determines range

3.2 Provide easy access

3.3 Suggest a sample implementation

Last modified: $Date: 2000/11/08 07:48:49 $