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

Re: HTML 5 (sic) and A11y

From: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 11:21:39 +0000
Message-ID: <4D3D60C3.1060801@cfit.ie>
To: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
CC: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On 24/01/2011 10:45, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> On Mon, 24 Jan 2011 10:28:38 +0100, Joshue O Connor
> <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie> wrote:
>> I just saw Ian Hicksons post on the WHATWG Blog where the HTML 5
>> "technology is not versioned and instead we just have a living document
>> that defines the technology as it evolves".

> Browsers have always implemented standards piecemeal because
> implementing them completely is simply not doable. I do not think that
> accepting reality will actually change reality though. That would be
> kind of weird. We still want to implement the features.

I appreciate that.

>> What is implemented will be dependent on where the "living
>> specification" is at any point in time. If I am flying in a plane, I
>> don't want to know the engineers were still not in agreement about how
>> to design the engines after the plane has taken off.
> I do not think you can compare hardware design with software design. And
> software for ordinary computers is also at a whole other level than some
> of the software that e.g. NASA is using.

When working with people with disabilities and improving the user
experience, the whole issue is very nuanced. Having a 'movable feast' in
spec terms, will make resolution of our many debates more difficult.

>> I think this will mean piecemeal implementation by vendors, with the
>> caveat that "the spec is in flux so we can only implement the most
>> stable parts of it" which is a perfect get out clause for a poor user
>> experience.
> Specifications have been in flux forever. The WHATWG HTML standard since
> 2004. This has not stopped browsers implementing features from it. E.g.
> Opera shipped Web Forms 2.0 before it was ready and has since made major
> changes to it. Gecko experimented with storage APIs before they were
> ready, etc. Specifications do not influence such decisions.

Yes, but from an a11y focus. The lack of vendor involvement in the spec
development, and this latest move will make the resolution of issues
such as <canvas> etc much harder. We shall see if this is the case in
time, I guess.

>> This is a disappointing move, and a retrograde step that could well make
>> the fine tuning of important accessibility aspects of HTML (5) even
>> harder.
>> My 2 cents*
> I do not really see how. 

We'll see.


Received on Monday, 24 January 2011 11:26:22 UTC

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