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RE: libreoffice now implements HTML 5 canvas

From: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 07:53:26 -0600
To: Frank Olivier <Frank.Olivier@microsoft.com>
Cc: Charles Pritchard <chuck@jumis.com>, Cynthia Shelly <cyns@microsoft.com>, "david.bolter@gmail.com" <david.bolter@gmail.com>, "jbrewer@w3.org" <jbrewer@w3.org>, "mike@w3.org" <mike@w3.org>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>, "public-canvas-api@w3.org" <public-canvas-api@w3.org>, "public-html-a11y@w3.org" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Simon Sarris <simon.sarris@gmail.com>
Message-ID: <OF02031370.46F71D30-ON8625799E.004B1BBF-8625799E.004C4E0B@us.ibm.com>

Rich Schwerdtfeger

Frank Olivier <Frank.Olivier@microsoft.com> wrote on 02/07/2012 05:57:17

> From: Frank Olivier <Frank.Olivier@microsoft.com>
> To: Charles Pritchard <chuck@jumis.com>, Simon Sarris
> <simon.sarris@gmail.com>,
> Cc: Richard Schwerdtfeger/Austin/IBM@IBMUS, Paul Cotton
> <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>,
> "public-html-a11y@w3.org" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, "public-canvas-
> api@w3.org" <public-canvas-api@w3.org>, Cynthia Shelly
> <cyns@microsoft.com>, "jbrewer@w3.org" <jbrewer@w3.org>,
> "david.bolter@gmail.com" <david.bolter@gmail.com>, Philippe Le
> Hegaret <plh@w3.org>, "mike@w3.org" <mike@w3.org>
> Date: 02/07/2012 05:58 PM
> Subject: RE: libreoffice now implements HTML 5 canvas
> I think the salient point from Simon's email is that attempting to
> write a canvas text editor is (a) a lot of work and (b) unlikely to
> deliver a good experience - based on the amount of built-into-the-
> user-agent/operating-system functionality that the author would have
> to recreate.
Writing any office suite is a lot of work. Even more work is having to
write that same editor for multiple operating systems. So, the fact that
they were able to use open web technology removed that overhead. ... and to
be perfectly blunt that is infinitely more work than doing an IME.

Now, the people who worked on Libre office have been working on office
suites for years. Some have worked on OpenOffice and StarOffice. I
seriously doubt that they built the product with the intent on delivering a
poor user experience.

The salient issues are highlighted:

- Authors continue to use canvas beyond its intent because they can and the
ability to create a rich graphical experience across OS platforms is clear.
This is indisputable for mobile.
- Not providing the infrastructure to support accessibility for these
applications is digital exclusion. Both you and I can run over and try the
application out. If you are low vision you are going to be marginalized.
That should be unacceptable to us. It is unacceptable to IBM.

> In my opinion our energy is better spent steering any wayward
> authors (if, indeed, they exist) to the other excellent editing
> capabilities in the html5 platform (and understanding their
> motivation for attempting canvas editing in the first place so that
> we can improve the more appropriate editing capabilities).
That effort has clearly failed and frankly HTML 5 is in its infancy. ...
not unlike convincing authors that they must only use standard HTML
controls. We will see a lot more of this.

I don't have a problem pushing people toward standard HTML features and
discouraging the use of canvas for things like rich text editing. However,
we should not do so at the expense of others.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Charles Pritchard [mailto:chuck@jumis.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2012 2:14 PM
> To: Simon Sarris
> Cc: Richard Schwerdtfeger; Paul Cotton; Sam Ruby; public-html-
> a11y@w3.org; public-canvas-api@w3.org; Frank Olivier; Cynthia
> Shelly; jbrewer@w3.org; david.bolter@gmail.com; Philippe Le Hegaret;
> mike@w3.org
> Subject: Re: libreoffice now implements HTML 5 canvas
> On 2/7/2012 2:02 PM, Simon Sarris wrote:
> > I'm not sure that just because LibreOffice is making this that such
> > features should be accommodated. LibreOffice has already gone a long
> > way to forfeiting accessibility merely by choosing Canvas (see the
> > list below for examples).
> >
> > They're not the first to try such an editor. The Mozilla Bespin (web
> > IDE) project became Mozilla Skywriter became "forget it, we shouldn't
> > have used HTML5 Canvas as a text editor" and merged with Ace, which
> > uses plain old divs and not Canvas. It's not glamorous. But it's sane.
> > (http://ace.ajax.org)
> >
> > The Canvas spec already has an entire section devoted to why making a
> > complex text editor rendered in Canvas is a bad idea, almost all of it
> > relates to accessibility nightmares:
> This is a misunderstanding about scope.
> Programmers and development teams writing authoring tools are taking
> on big tasks directly related to authoring tools.
> Of course they have to implement all sorts of things.
> Programmers and developers writing blogging software, or something
> that uses authoring tools, well they are better advised to use
> libraries, and not recreate everything from scratch.
> These are not accessibility nightmares. They are accessibility
> Nightmare and requirement are two different things.
> I see WCAG2 and think, great! a list of requirements, a way to set scope.
> I don't think, oh god, what a nightmare, supporting this list.
> There's been a nice meme floating about about an "end to negativity"
> in the JavaScript realm. I hope it catches on.
> Most programmers work outside of the browser; people who write
> widgets, who write text layout software, they are fully aware of the
> intricacies.
> -Charles
Received on Wednesday, 8 February 2012 13:59:53 UTC

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