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Re: Comments on IRC log

From: James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 11:57:47 +0100
Message-ID: <46A9CFAB.5030902@cam.ac.uk>
To: joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie
CC: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

Joshue O Connor wrote:
> Thanks for your comments James. I found them really useful.

Excellent :)

> Maybe there is need for sub groups within the WG to look at various
> issues (starting with the problem) and work from there. The groups could
> take various issues that don't have to just be accessibility related,
> get their heads together and come up with a focused solution to suggest
> to the group.  This would lead the process in an incremental manner
> where ideas are thought out commented on and then abandoned or
> progressed as needed.

I vaguely recall something like this being mentioned before. Dan?

>> Let's take the example of the headers attribute, since that is an
> example that you yourself have used later.
> 
> I take your point that it is a solution, and in order for an objective
> progression to be made the problem needs to be clearly examined.
> However, as in a previous conversion I had with Gregory I am really
> against the removal of id/headers or other useful accessibility
> attributes/elements as I feel it will leave a lot of users in the lurch
> who may be forced to upgrade their expensive assistive technology in
> order to support your (our?) new standard. So while I appreciate the
> point you are making I have to reiterate how much of what will go on in
> terms of the WG output can potentially negatively impact on people with
> disabilities who are often on limited budgets.

I personally think this is a convincing argument for making the attributes part 
of the UA conformance criteria and a strong argument for making them part of the 
language. This is exactly the sort of information that needs to be documented on 
the wiki as pros for @headers along with any available research e.g. the 
proportion of screen reader users who use headers-supporting versions, the 
proportion who use old versions of screen readers.

>>> People try their best to answer related threads and contribute.
>> Answering threads may not be the best way to contribute.
> 
> Maybe not -  but following threads does also have its uses.

Of course; I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. However I think it's fair to say 
that few people are able to follow all of the raw discussion. Therefore 
summarizing issues after they have been discussed is at least as important.

>> On the contrary, I would suggest that the discussion of smell-o-vision
> is an example of a case where the sensory experience transcends the
> ability of most authors to replicate the content in an alternative medium.
> 
> Within the context of how the subject was broached I just don't buy that
> at all. It seemed to be a completely facetious remark.

Maybe, I don't know. It's certainly possible, or even likely, that my 
interpretation was not the one that was originally intended. However experience 
has taught me that it's always worth thinking twice about things that mpt says 
because they tend to be insightful, even if you disagree with them.


At risk of mixing threads, the availability of testing facilities for AT sounds 
like a very positive development. It is immensely frustrating to try to 
understand the needs of AT users whilst having no access to most AT. Hopefully 
this will help alleviate that problem. I still find it quite disturbing that 
AFAIK, there are no AT implementors directly represented in the WG; it seems to 
me that they are failing their users by not taking an active role in the HTML 
development process.


-- 
"Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?"
  -- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Received on Friday, 27 July 2007 10:58:15 UTC

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