W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2007

Re: Formal Recorded Complaint

From: Ben 'Cerbera' Millard <cerbera@projectcerbera.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 02:56:58 +0100
Message-ID: <002f01c7d3df$40e6e530$0201a8c0@ben9xr3up2lv7v>
To: "Maciej Stachowiak" <mjs@apple.com>, "John Foliot" <foliot@wats.ca>
Cc: "HTMLWG" <public-html@w3.org>

Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> [Position A]: Accessibility is important. Therefore we should have a  lot 
> of HTML features that are there specifically to aid accessibility  for 
> some classes of users. Authors should be required to add as much 
> accessibility stuff as possible to their markup.
> [Position B]: Many authors won't think that much about accessibility.  So 
> the best accessibility enhancements are those that work on top of 
> features that also have some benefit in mainstream browsers with no  added 
> AT. In the course of making the right markup for general use, 
> accessibility comes along for the ride, and that's basically all we  need.

There is a third point of view, albeit quite small:

    [Position C]: Retain accessibility-specific features which
    are in use. Add native accessibility to everything. Allow
    both to be mixed where useful.

This is the position I tend towards. It does what both Position A and 
Position B are most interested in. I predict this is what HTMLWG will 
eventually settle on for the spec, even though it requires HTMLWG to do lots 
of work.

John Foliot wrote:
> There has been sufficient response from other parties
> surrounding this issue that if you do not understand
> by now why collectively the accessibility advocates
> are upset, then it points to an even bigger
> problem.  Please tell me that this is not the case.

I am not upset about how WHATWG handle accessibility issues.

They are open issues for us to contribute research and experience towards. 
We are all invited to shape the spec as it goes through W3C Process over the 
next several years. I see this as a tremendous opportunity!

When I first found that some accessibility-specific attributes were absent, 
sure I was upset. But then I took the time to interact with WHATWG to 
understand where they were coming from. Although they have some ideas about 
it, turns out they consider accessibility stuff an open issue. So I wasn't 
upset any more. :-)

But if I hadn't made the effort to see things from their perspective I would 
have gotten the wrong idea. I would be making exactly the complaints 
saturating public-html from the other accessibility folks. These complaints 
are certainly well intentioned. But they are the result of misunderstanding 
the stage HTML5 is at and the process it will go through, imho.

Ben 'Cerbera' Millard
Collections of Interesting Tables
Received on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 01:57:23 UTC

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