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RE: My position (was RE: [DRAFT] Heartbeat poll - update 2)

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 2009 22:34:46 -0700 (PDT)
To: "'Lachlan Hunt'" <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Cc: "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>, "'W3C WAI-XTECH'" <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Message-ID: <02a401ca13fc$14ab08c0$3e011a40$@edu>
Lachlan Hunt wrote:

A bunch of stuff that shows he skimmed my emails and didn’t really read 
them.  Ok Lachlan, once again from the top...

> So far, it seems you've done a lot of complaining about how you claim
> the draft simply reflects Hixie's own opinion, but yet don't seem to
> consider it hypocritical that the draft you have proposed merely
> reflects your personal opinion.

Actually, it doesn't.  I've not actually spoken at length about my *opinion* 
about @summary, but here's a hint - go back and review my *opinion* about 

What I've argued, from the beginning, is that in the section "12.1 Obsolete" 
content creators are told specifically *NOT* to use @summary.  This directly 
contradicts WCAG @ guidance in this matter.  I maintain that it is not the 
role of the HTML WG, and the editor in particular, to be offering this 
guidance, especially when it contradicts the consensus position of the W3C 
Group chartered to speak on web accessibility issues.  Simply put, you are 
messing in somebody else's yard, and it is against W3C process to be doing 
so.  If HTML WG feel that they have compelling evidence and data that 
suggests that the WCAG guidance needs to be reviewed and revised, there is a 
process for that, and it is not by running a short cut via HTML 5 Working 

> Personally, it is of little concern to me in what state the summary
> attribute is in the upcoming Working Draft. I believe it is more
> important continue investigating the issue in terms of research and
> evidence, rather than bickering about what one Working Draft, published
> solely to meet the heartbeat requirement, says, and using subversive
> tactics to get your way.

There has been nothing subversive about what I have done.  I registered my 
concern about this issue with the Chair, and Sam encouraged me to re-write 
the offending section and present it to the working group as an alternative 
Draft.  I have done as he has requested; I have documented in clear English 
the changes I have made, Sam has assisted in providing a 'diff' for review, 
and I submitted all that I was asked to provide a full day in advance of the 
promised delivery date, all the while providing thousands of words worth of 
email correspondence over the past 72 hours in an effort to find a 
compromise position, and thus avoiding the need for either a vote or poll 
(meanwhile the WHAT WG editor refuses to re-visit the subject - simply 
stating "but the data shows I'm right").  I have worked within the existing 
process as outlined and requested, as my major beef is primarily about 
process; the fact that HTML WG cannot just willy nilly re-write best 
practices guidelines concerning accessibility - that is neither the 
responsibility or domain of the HTML WG.  Those responsibilities at W3C rest 
with WAI.

Further, because it has been suggested that responses have been slow in 
coming from WAI, I offered to try and involve the director of WAI, Judy 
Brewer, into the conversation, as perhaps she could help break the log jam, 
so to suggest that I am in some way frustrating this process is frankly an 
insult; I've bent over backwards to try and resolve these concerns and to 
find middle ground.

> In this case, I do agree with you that we should be working with WAI to
> resolve any conflicts between HTML5 and the advisory techniques from
> WCAG2.

Then can you also agree that until such time as that conversation has 
happened, and progress has been made in this regard, that it is both prudent 
and correct to be supportive of what we currently have, rather than to 
publicly disagree via competing documents?

> But I believe it is the WCAG2 Tecniques note that needs to be
> updated to suit the features available HTML5, rather than having HTML5
> comply with advice designed for prior versions of HTML, espeically
> without irrefutable evidence that such advice really is optimal.

And that may very well be, although don't discount that this existing 
guidance might also start to teach authors how to use @summary properly (a 
concept that has never been properly considered by WHAT WG).  But yes, I 
believe that the current guidance might already benefit with an update, but 
that needs to be a managed transition, and it is incumbent upon the HTML WG 
to respect process and protocol during this phase.

Received on Monday, 3 August 2009 05:35:30 UTC

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