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Formal Objections: Issue 142, Issue 204

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2012 17:20:44 -0700
To: "'Paul Cotton'" <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "'Maciej Stachowiak'" <mjs@apple.com>, <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, "'Philippe Le Hegaret'" <plh@w3.org>, "'Judy Brewer'" <jbrewer@w3.org>, <janina@rednote.net>
Cc: <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00d301cda9a1$c3029e90$4907dbb0$@ca>
TL; DR

After some serious reflection and consultation with a few trusted
colleagues, I have decided at this time to withdraw these Formal Objections,
with a goal of forward movement of HTML 5.0 unencumbered with procedural
restrictions.


The full explanation:

Issue 142 (Poster Alt) - given that there are now at least 2 avenues open to
the Accessibility Community to pursue this important requirement (Extension
Specification / integration into ARIA 1.1) it is my belief that this
user-requirement will be addressed with a programmatic solution in due
course. With the withdrawal of my Formal Objection to Issue 142, I will turn
instead to working inside of the community to develop and promote such a
workable solution. 

Based upon feedback directly from the user-community (i.e. non-sighted
users), I remain convinced that there is a real need for a mechanism like
this. However given the lack of any implementation today by any of the
browsers, and the need to work with AT vendors to develop a solution that
works with their technology stack, it is clear that having this in the HTML
5.0 timeline is likely not a realistic expectation today. I am buoyed by the
fact that this requirement is being tracked by the ARIA WG to be addressed
in the ARIA 1.1 time-frame, and so feel confident that progress will happen.


Issue 204 (@hidden/ARIA referring/tab focus) - I note that currently there
is active discussion and a number of bugs filed against the emergent text
around Section 7.1 of the specification. While I remain unconvinced that 2
workable implementations for this is achievable before or during the next
12-14 months (leading this to become a Feature At Risk), it is clear that
some engineers believe they can achieve this. I have therefore concluded
that it is unproductive to continue to attempt to block this using
procedural means, and so will stand aside (while remaining vigilant to
concerns of the accessibility community and those users) and wait to see how
they believe they can achieve what they claim they want to achieve.


I share a common goal and desire to see HTML 5.0 reach Recommendation status
as quickly as possible, and support the general direction of modularity that
the Working Group appears to be embracing. Given that the "monolithic"
approach to developing accessible HTML is being forgone in favor of a more
modular approach, the sense of urgency that also prompted me to file these
formal Objections initially has also been mitigated significantly.

JF
Received on Sunday, 14 October 2012 00:21:20 GMT

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