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Re: [DRAFT] Heartbeat poll - update 2

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Mon, 03 Aug 2009 07:47:42 -0400
Message-ID: <4A76CE5E.6010706@intertwingly.net>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Ian Hickson wrote:
> The questions in this e-mail are not rhetorical. I really would like to 
> understand exactly how what you are proposing is supposed to affect the 
> working group and the HTML5 spec.
> 
> On Sun, 2 Aug 2009, Sam Ruby wrote:
>> Ian Hickson wrote:
>>>> Given this information, there should be absolutely no confusion over what
>>>> the poll is about.
>>> I would like to request that when the vote is actually put up,
>> It will be a poll not a vote.
> 
> What is the difference?

Per W3C process, a vote is something that only members get to 
participate in, and each member only gets one vote.

http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/policies#Votes

>>> there be a clear statement about exactly what each option means in terms of
>>> what edits I should make to the spec to match the resulting consensus.
>> I honestly don't know how much clearer John Foliot can be[1].
> 
> Which of the two options corresponds to what John is asking for and which, 
> if any, corresponds to what the HTML5 spec already says? What parts of 
> what HTML5 says would this poll set in stone, if any? If we have 
> overwhelming support for an option that matches what HTML5 says, and then 
> information comes up supporting John's position, would having had this 
> poll preclude changing the spec to take into account that new information? 
> 
> If the poll goes the other way, does that mean we are intentionally 
> ignoring the available research?

It appears that the process is: no matter how clear and complete the 
proposal is, the response is the same: some variant of "I don't understand".

That game is tiring.  Let's play a new game.  Here is a description of 
the Scientific Method: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

Put yourself in the perspective of the PF working group.  From that 
perspective, can anybody tell me which part of the Scientific Method is 
not being practiced here?

Answer: peer review.

Charles McCathieNevile indicated that the WCAG guidelines was the result 
of a process that lasted a decade, and I will assume involved much peer 
review.  When I pointed you to it, your response[1] was 'It appears this 
guidance was written before research regarding the misuse of summary="" 
was presented.'  In other words, in less than nine months, you believe 
you have access to compelling data that overturns a decade of research.

How would a careful and cautious scientist approach this situation?

The answer isn't by summarily stating that summary is obsolete.  That is 
not a true statement.... yet.  In fact, at the present time, summary is 
actively being recommended and used.

No, a careful and cautious scientist would document current practice, 
and would add an sidebar or equivalent (class="XXX") that simply states 
that recent evidence has been examined which is not consistent with the 
current recommendations, and that that evidence has been forwarded to 
the people who have made those recommendations and that we look forward 
to working together to come to a common understanding as to how to proceed.

At this point in time, I would like to ask that you update your draft 
accordingly: make summary fully and completely conforming and document 
the issue being explored.  Feel free to put an indication of what you 
believe to be the likely outcome (obsolescence or even full 
non-compliance), but do so inside the class="XXX" box.  Also in the box, 
link to the current WCAG recommendation itself.  And link to any 
evidence that you believe that a reader of this section should be aware of.

Do that and we can move on.  If you do the above, I would consider 
John's objection to have been satisfied.  At that point, and after over 
a week of review, there would be no open objections, so I would be 
thrilled to instruct Mike to publish that draft forthwith.

And I would expect John to follow through on his promise to assist with 
and expedite a review of the current WCAG recommendation on this matter.

- Sam Ruby

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Aug/0056.html
Received on Monday, 3 August 2009 11:48:25 GMT

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