[theme-reviewers] w3c validation and html5 in core

Mike Little wordpress at zed1.com
Wed Apr 6 16:12:34 UTC 2011

On Tue, Apr 5, 2011 at 22:36, esmi at quirm dot net <esmi at quirm.net> wrote:

> on 05/04/2011 16:51 Mike Little said the following:
>  You should consider Accessibility, which is a legal requirement for a lot
>> of
>> sites in a number of countries. Alternative browsing technologies,
>> especially screen readers, work best with valid semantic HTML, whatever
>> flavour.
> First, I need to point out that I'm usually in the very front of any group
> that's lobbying for web accessibility issues. So what I'm about to say may
> seem out of character...
> I think any kind of accessibility assessment is well beyond the remit of a
> Theme Review Team. Not only would it almost double their workload but it
> could be argued that some level of experience in this area would be needed
> before a reviewer could carry out any assessment. Otherwise there's a very
> real risk of doing more damage than good.
I agree absolutely, that's why I said it would be out of scope (below). My
intent was to counter the multiple comments that dismissed validity of HTML
as no longer relevant. I regard valid HTML as only the first step towards an
accessible site. To get back to the sloppy coding days of version 4 browsers
would be a very damaging step in the wrong direction.

>> You're playing my tune but I still think it's beyond a theme review. Heck
> - WCAG 2 even allows you to have js-only content these days. No graceful
> degradation. Nothing - providing the js dependability is part of your WCAG
> site documentation. If there's js in the theme and it falls over badly, I
> assume the theme will get kicked back as "broken", yes?
Again, I agree, the comment was more about demonstrating other reasons that
validity is still important.

For many people relatively new to the web (at least compared to an old dog
like me) the concept of Accessibility is unknown, let  alone the importance
of it. I spoke to a self-described 'experienced' web developer less than 12
months ago who said to me "But, blind people can't use computers can they?"

>  So whilst strict HTML or XHTML validation is almost certainly out of scope
>> for the theme review team.  It would be good for them to be aware that
>> invalid markup can make a site impossible to use for  users with access
>> difficulties. And per your example form elements are often a particular
>> issue.
> <http://make.wordpress.org/accessibility/>
> Why aren't you on there, Mike? I'm getting a bit lonely by myself... ;-)

Adding to my feed reader now...

Mike Little
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