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Re: My final attempt on explanation (was RE: [DRAFT] Heartbeat poll - update 2)

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 2009 19:51:52 -0700
Message-Id: <77CE53DF-58FF-4336-9E1D-700ED8411A91@gbiv.com>
Cc: "'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>
To: L.David Baron <dbaron@dbaron.org>
On Aug 3, 2009, at 7:19 PM, L. David Baron wrote:

> On Monday 2009-08-03 17:58 -0700, John Foliot wrote:
>> Within the W3C, progress is made by reaching consensus.  There is no
>> consensus surrounding @summary, and there is no consensus  
>> surrounding your
>> current advisory text that tells authors to not use @summary.   
>> Progress
>> through consensus is made when we find a meeting point that all  
>> can agree
>> to.
>
> Requiring consensus is only a viable when the parties to be involved
> in the consensus all have interests in the success of the standard.
> Parties who want to see a standardization effort fail can't be
> counted as part of the group among whom consensus is required.  They
> should instead campaign from the outside against the standard, or in
> favor of an alternative.

The standard is HTML.  Not just HTML5 as defined by Ian's latest
draft, but HTML as a technology for the Web.  If you can find me a
party that doesn't have an interest in HTML's success, whether they
know it or not, then I'll be quite surprised.

> I think in this case there is no consensus because a small group of
> people want to block consensus due to an emotional attachment to
> @summary, and therefore refuse to discuss the evidence presented to
> the group that it has completely failed in practice.  I think a
> rational discussion of that evidence would lead to the conclusions
> that Ian has already reached.  And I think the people involved don't
> care whether the standard fails, and therefore have no incentive to
> try to work with others towards reaching consensus.

I think that childish arguments that can be used to justify any
decision, no matter how inane or incompatible that decision might be,
are not useful for resolving arguments in a large working group.

John's point is that the W3C has a group specifically tasked to
make accessibility recommendations and their consensus differs
from what the editor placed in the HTML draft.  Their "small group"
far outnumbers everyone who has advocated the deprecation of summary.

And, no, I have no opinion on the value of @summary other than
noting the likelihood that its support will be required for some FIPS
or government statute for accessibility, and therefore deprecating
it within HTML5 will just make HTML5 look stupid.  People who care
about changing the accessibility guidelines should participate in
the working group responsible for those guidelines.  Otherwise,
your recommendation will be overridden by the laws, regulations,
and real standards influenced by those other guidelines.

....Roy
Received on Tuesday, 4 August 2009 02:52:28 UTC

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