W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-a11y@w3.org > February 2011

RE: ISSUE-122 shalott-example: Call for revisions

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2011 22:30:24 -0800 (PST)
To: "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "'Laura Carlson'" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: "'Paul Cotton'" <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, "'HTML Accessibility Task Force'" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, "'Maciej Stachowiak'" <mjs@apple.com>, "'Steve Faulkner'" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, <janina@rednote.net>, "'Michael Cooper'" <cooper@w3.org>, "'Judy Brewer'" <jbrewer@w3.org>
Message-ID: <021e01cbcda2$fadf8620$f09e9260$@edu>
Sam Ruby wrote:
> On 02/11/2011 08:23 AM, Laura Carlson wrote:
> >
> > The HTML Working Group should not be setting normative advice for alt
> > values. That is WCAG's domain, especially when that advise is in
> > opposition to WCAG's advice. Providing the mechanism(s) for a text
> > alternative is an inalienable HTML WG concern. Whereas providing
> > guidance on values for alternative text is an inalienable WAI
> > concern.
> That has yet to be determined.

With due respect:

Normative guidance regarding values for alternative text is clearly the 
domain of WAI (specifically Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working 
Group). Their charter states (in part):

   4. Expanding techniques[*] for implementing the WCAG 2.0 in W3C and 
non-W3C technologies;
  11. Coordinating with other Working Groups to address new accessibility 
issues from an authoring perspective; (with an emphasis on *authoring 

- http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/2010/06/charter
- * HTML Techniques for WCAG 2.0 - 


A review of the HTML WG Charter 
(http://www.w3.org/2007/03/HTML-WG-charter.html) indicates this complete 
list of deliverables (by Charter):

"...a single specification deliverable for the HTML Working Group, the HTML 
specification, a platform-neutral and device-independent design with the 
following items in scope:

    * A language evolved from HTML4 for describing the semantics of 
documents and applications on the World Wide Web. This will be a complete 
specification, not a delta specification.
    * An extensible, serialized form of such a language, using XML.
    * A serialized form of such a language using a defined, non-XML syntax 
compatible with the 'classic HTML' parsers of existing Web browsers.
    * Document Object Model (DOM) interfaces providing APIs for such a 
    * Forms and common UI widgets such as progress bars, datagrids, menus, 
and other controls.
    * APIs for the manipulation of linked media.
    * Editing APIs and user-driven WYSIWYG editing features.

It goes on to state however that:
	"The HTML Working Group will cooperate with the Web Accessibility 
Initiative to ensure that the deliverables will satisfy accessibility 
requirements. Coordination with WAI will be primarily conducted through the 
Protocol and Formats Working Group, but direct coordination with other WAI 
groups, such as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group and User 
Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group, will also be done when 

Moreover, nowhere in the HTML WG Charter do I see providing (normative) 
Authoring Guidance as part of this WG's scope, outside of the creation of 
"HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives", the editor of 
this document currently being Stephen Faulkner. A reading of this Draft 
Techniques document confirms it is very much in sync with WCAG 2: it is an 
extension to the existing Techniques documents with a specific focus on 
textual alternatives.

WCAG 2 is the normative W3C Recommendation (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/ - 
11 December 2008) for ensuring accessibility of HTML and related web 
content. "This document has been reviewed by W3C Members, by software 
developers, and by other W3C groups and interested parties, and is endorsed 
by the Director as a W3C Recommendation."

I truly hope that it is not the intent of the Chairs and this Working Group 
to invoke a "willful violation" of WCAG 2, and so in principle I believe 
what Laura states is essentially correct: providing author guidance "...to 
address new (and one must presume existing) accessibility issues from an 
authoring perspective..." is indeed the domain of WAI/PFWG/WCAG.

Can the Chairs confirm that they do not intend to willfully violate WCAG 2?

Received on Wednesday, 16 February 2011 06:31:02 UTC

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