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Re: Discussing ARIA in HTML5 integration

From: Al Gilman <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2008 11:30:46 -0400
Message-Id: <EC16431E-4588-4E1F-BA0F-E816C0A01EA0@IEEE.org>
Cc: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>
To: W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

Good points.

On 9 Apr 2008, at 4:17 AM, Henri Sivonen wrote:
>
> I happened to find this curious statement in the IRC logs of a  
> third WG:
> "Gregory: We (WAI) arranged a special meeting with HTML5 people to  
> discuss Aria, and no one from HTML5 turned up"
> "... so we are ignoring them for the moment"
> http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/xhtml/20080402#l-139

This demonstrates the downside potential of too much public visibility.
Things can get taken out of context, and taken too seriously.

I cannot substantiate the 'ignoring' allegation in that quote.  It
doesn't reflect any PFWG consensus or working assumption
of the Chair or Team Contact to my knowledge.

> I wonder what meeting this was. To my knowledge, the previous  
> meeting where the PFWG invited HTML WG participants was a face-to- 
> face meeting at TPAC. And there were people from the HTML WG there.

Yes, working with the aid of the Hypertext CG I was careful to get a  
real
joint meeting to review the proposed approach.

Meeting minutes:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Nov/0100.html
Summary of what we think we are doing with the results of that meeting:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Jan/0200.html

There are no secret or Member Confidential side deals not reflected  
in the
materials that went into and came out of that meeting.

Naturally, an inter-group cooperation relationship, like all human
relationships, takes maintenance.  We are in the process of mending
fences with the TAG:

Latest issue summary:
http://www.w3.org/2008/03/aria-implementation

TAG discussion:
http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2008/04/03-minutes#item06

.. and we clearly have some more work yet to do with HTML WG to  
clarify and
reaffirm "what's the deal" where it comes to HTML5 and WAI-ARIA.

> I checked public-html and public-html-wg-announce archives, and I  
> didn't see a meeting invitation. When was the meeting supposed to  
> be and who was invited?

Before the formal joint meeting at the TPAC2007, there were some earlier
discussions that involved invited individuals, a cross-section
across interested groups, of an exploratory nature to try to frame
a proposal to put before the several groups for consideration.  What
Gregory may have been reflecting was frustration in getting those
calls together.  But in the end they did get together, we came out
with an approach, and the meeting at TPAC left us with our "suspension
of disbelief" intact that we had found a way to address our cross- 
host-language
needs and evolutionary-insertion desires at the same time.

Whatever that quote is referring to, it has been superceded by the  
results
of formal joint meetings and PFWG drafts.

.. which leads us to the next...

> - -
>
> On a more general note:
>
> Face-to-face meeting and telecons are problematic for discussing  
> detailed technical things like language integration, because people  
> don't have the opportunity to re-study drafts, write test cases and  
> do research in order to make informed statements and change their  
> opinions based on verified information in the middle of the  
> conversation. Moreover, by charter[1], the HTML WG "primarily  
> conducts its technical work on a Public mailing list public-html".  
> After all, face-to-face meetings and telecons would discriminate  
> against a substantial number of HTML WG participants.
>
> The HTML WG had a recent success in inter-WG language integration  
> discussion with the Math WG. The thread was simply CCed to both  
> public-html and www-math. I think a similar mode of discussion  
> would work for ARIA and HTML5. In addition to public-html, I have  
> addressed this message to wai-xtech, since according to the PFWG  
> charter[2] it is the PFWG list for non-confidential matters.
>
> I realize that in general ARIA work doesn't happen on a public  
> mailing list, but it is a problem if issues relevant to HTML  
> integration gravitate into the Member space where most HTML WG  
> participants can't go. (And those who can go there aren't allowed  
> to discuss what they find there on the HTML WG communication  
> channels.)
>
> [1] http://www.w3.org/2007/03/HTML-WG-charter.html#communication
> [2] http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/charter200612#Communication

First: we need to be clearer about what the deal is as regards the  
time sequence of
the following two milestones:

(first) HTML supporting an @role attribute and tolerating @aria-*  
attributes defined
per the PFWG charter in HTML processing so as to support an HTML+ARIA  
profile of
markup.

(second) taking functionality that is presented in a more factored,  
attribute-based
form in the WAI-ARIA layer and enabling the same functionality  
through native features
in HTML5.

We have received some public comments that sound as though the second  
were
as near-term as the first. Neither the published plans of the two  
working groups
nor our intuition as software architects suggests this to be the case.

We will continue to be diligent in overtly sharing all information  
necessary for
the first milestone above with the HTML WG, i.e. in public.

But we don't want to see scope creep in that dialog to try to address  
the second
at the same time.

Meanwhile, we have received comments both from the public and from  
within our
group indicating the desirability of a public-view editor's draft of  
the WAI-ARIA
specification.  For now, let me just say that we appreciate the  
advantages of
this and we are studying the matter.

Al

PS: distribution note:

I explicitly Cc:-included Dan, Chris, and Mike because I hear public- 
html is
busy and not everything floats up to their attention instantly that  
appears
on the group list.  [OTOH you can pretty well trust that anything  
through
XTECH or the PF list will get the attention of either Michael Cooper  
or me.
But a separate Cc: is fine, there, too.]

For my own sanity, and IMHO for the most expeditious and effective  
conduct
of our respective work tasks, I really need dialog between the different
Working Groups to be guided by the joint action of the respective Group
leaders, i.e. chairs and Team contacts.  For any bylaws or "terms of  
engagement"
to be effective, they have to be formalized at least in an  
understanding at
that level.

The decision ecology in the two groups is too different not to  
require this.
And, by the way, not at random or without good reasons in either case.


> -- 
> Henri Sivonen
> hsivonen@iki.fi
> http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
>
>
>
Received on Wednesday, 9 April 2008 15:31:52 GMT

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