WCAG 2 and the mobileOK Basic Tests specifications have been moved to “proposed recommendation status” by the W3C, which means that the technical material is complete and it has been implemented in real sites.
Shawn Henry writes of WCAG 2,
Over the last few months, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group has been going through a process to ensure that WCAG 2.0 can be implemented. Developers and dsigners from around the world gave WCAG 2.0 a “test drive” in their own Web content.
The result: Successful implementations in a wide range of sites including education, commerce, government, and a blog; in languages including Japanese, German, English, and French; and using a wide range of technologies including scripting, multimedia, Flash, and WAI-ARIA. You can get the nitty-gritty details from the Implementation Report.
It’s possible that WCAG 2 could be the new accessibility standard by Christmas. What does that mean for you? The answer: it depends. If your approach to accessibility has been one of guidelines and ticking against checkpoints, you’ll need some reworking your test plans as the priorities, checkpoints and surrounding structures have changed from WCAG 1. But if your site was developed with an eye to real accessibility for real people rather than as a compliance issue, you should find that there is little difference.
mobileOK Basic Tests
I’ve mentioned this largely so you don’t have the same worries with them that I did. Crudely speaking, they’re an automated test that a site will be OK on a very low-spec mobile mobile device called the “Default Delivery Context” (DDC) so there are certain rules in the validator such as a page cannot be larger than 20K. This caused me some degree of tizzy, until I read the caveats at the top of the specicaton:
mobileOK Basic primarily assesses basic usability, efficiency and interoperability. It does not address the important goal of assessing whether users of more advanced devices enjoy a richer user experience than is possible using the DDC.
…The Best Practices, and hence the tests, are not promoted as guidance for achieving the optimal user experience. The capabilities of many devices exceed those defined by the DDC. It will often be possible, and generally desirable, to provide an experience designed to take advantage of the extra capabilities.
So my advice: make your pages as long as the content requires, no longer or shorter. Use the images that the content and design needs, and let the user decide whether he or she wishes to accept your images. Make sure all images that convey information have explanatory alternative text for those who can’t consume your images.
Now that sounds familiar…
- #1 On November 4th, 2008 5:02 pm Paul D. Waite replied:
But if your site was developed with an eye to real accessibility for real people rather than as a compliance issue, you should find that there is little difference.
Your clients might start asking about WCAG 2 though.
- #2 On November 4th, 2008 6:43 pm nortypig » Blog Archive » WCAG 2 Proposed Recommendation replied:
[...] WCAG 2 has moved to Proposed Recommendation status and so has the lesser known MobileOK Basic Tests recommendation. The Web Standards Project (WaSP) have posted the announcement. [...]
- #3 On November 6th, 2008 6:12 am WaSP Member blawson replied:
Of course, Paul: good point. So I’ve started off a list of recommended WCAG 2 resources for the community to build.
Thanks for suggesting it.
- #4 On November 7th, 2008 5:08 am Bruce Lawson’s personal site : Accessibility and mobile standards; Veerle Pieters interview replied:
[...] It may be of interest to you that WCAG 2 and mobileOK Basic Tests specs are proposed W3C recommendations. [...]
- #5 On November 16th, 2008 9:15 pm Web Design - ZachBrowne.com replied:
[...] 2.0. has now become a proposed recommendation. This means it is not only technically complete but has been successfully implemented on a large [...]
- #6 On November 18th, 2008 9:35 am Billigflug replied:
Beside all complaints that the WCAG 2 itself isn’t accessible for all developers, this document should be added as well:
Sooner or later web developers have to deal with it, this is beyond question. Thus I appreciate to inform developers how to manage the switch to WCAG 2.0.
But I really wonder why something that aims to ease peoples life has to be so complicated?
- #7 On November 20th, 2008 8:03 am links for 2008-11-20 | Ip's. replied:
[...] WCAG 2 and mobileOK Basic Tests specs are proposed recommendations – The Web Standards Project "WCAG 2 and the mobileOK Basic Tests specifications have been moved to “proposed recommendation status” by the W3C, which means that the technical material is complete and it has been implemented in real sites. " (tags: accessibility webstandards WCAG wcag2 release article) [...]
- #8 On November 21st, 2008 6:37 am Queensberry replied:
thx for the great work bruce. you have to work on the part 2 now ;)
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