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Discussion on open bugs (ACTION-26)

From: Michael Cooper <cooper@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2010 21:12:55 -0400
Message-ID: <4BD63A17.2020707@w3.org>
To: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
For ACTION-26, I am tasked to propose what to do with some bugs that we
previously wanted to track.

There are a number of bugs that request more specification of the user
agent behaviour (in particular, keyboard support) for certain features.
For the most part these are marked as "won't fix" with an explanation
that it is not for the spec to prescribe user agent behaviour, but that
of course user agents must handle the features in an accessible manner
as they must for all features.

On the one hand, I see that point. On the other hand, the spec does
prescribe user agent behaviour in many ways. It is not obvious to me
what divides the features that are prescribed in the spec, from the
features that are left to user agent variability. And to increase
accessibility, we might prefer that a different rule be applied, since
accessibility features have historically been more likely to be "done
wrong" than other features.

Instead of expecting this sort of stuff to appear in the spec, another
solution to this concern would be to have some kind of non-normative
user agent guidance document that explains the accessibility issues of
implementing various HTML features and suggests ways of addressing them.
Even if user agent developers don't follow the exact design patterns in
that document, at least the issues they need to consider are there. This
could be a "HTML5 user agent accessibility guide", or could be something
we'd hope to see in Implementing UAAG 2.0
<http://www.w3.org/TR/IMPLEMENTING-UAAG20/>.

I do feel that somewhere we need to document the accessibility
considerations of implementing new HTML features in user agents. The
question I want to pose is, is the task force comfortable with this
documentation existing as an external resource? Or does the task force
believe it is critical that this stuff be in the spec itself?

I need to answer this question in order to be able to make
recommendations on the relevant bugs. If the task force thinks this
stuff must be in the spec, my recommendations will be to take on the
work items, get the needed information together, and push them through
the process. Otherwise, my recommendations will be to take these into
another forum and take them off the HTML accessibility task force
immediate plate.

We can discuss this by email, and I expect this question to be an
agendum at this week's teleconference.

Michael
-- 

Michael Cooper
Web Accessibility Specialist
World Wide Web Consortium, Web Accessibility Initiative
E-mail cooper@w3.org <mailto:cooper@w3.org>
Information Page <http://www.w3.org/People/cooper/>
Received on Tuesday, 27 April 2010 01:13:29 GMT

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