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Movement on @summary

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 17:16:33 -0700 (PDT)
To: "'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>
Cc: "'W3C WAI-XTECH'" <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Message-ID: <050001ca162b$27301db0$75905910$@edu>
Earlier today, the Editor's Draft of HTML5 was modified to address some
concerns over the status of @summary.  To be perfectly clear, the final
decision surrounding @summary remains an open question.  It is my desire
that the dialog continue, and that all voices are heard so that a
consensus decision can be reached that satisfies *all* concerns, and
appreciates *all* points of view.  That is and will remain my ongoing
desire, not only for @summary, but for all aspects of our next HTML
authoring language.

The changes made today, and committed to the Editor Draft are:

1)  @summary is recognized as a conformant attribute of table - for now. 
		(
http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#attr-table-summary )  

Collectively we will likely need to finess that text *if the ultimate
outcome of the @summary discussion retains @summary as fully conformant*.
At this time, this is but one possibility for @summary's fate.

[this is positive movement IMHO]

2)  While "Section 12 - Obsolete features" no longer lists @summary as
obsolete, it does contain the following text:
	
	"The summary attribute, defined in the table section, will also
trigger a warning."
		(
http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#conforming-but-obsolete
-features )

At this time, the 'warning' remains undefined and unwritten.  *If*
@summary is ultimately deemed obsolete but conformant (again, simply
another undecided possability at this time) then this 'warning language'
will need to be determined (hopefully by consensus, and not by proxy)

[this is positive movement IMHO]

*****

As these two items were the significant differences between the WHAT WG
Editor Draft and the alternative Draft that I submitted to the chairs on
Aug. 2, *and* as the functional differnces between Ian's text and my text
are minute, and as I have no desire to impede the Working Group's
nessessity of publishing a heart-beat document in the very near future, I
would like to ask Sam Ruby to remove my alternative Draft Specification
from consideration as next Working Draft at this time.  I of course
reserve the right to re-submit this alternative, or a modified version of
that alternative at any time, but in the interest of expediancy today I
will retire my Draft from consideration.

I wish to acknowledge that much of the current WHAT WG Draft has emerged
due to the hard work of Ian and I would like to signal my appreciation of
his efforts at this time.

*****

Some thoughts:

@summary remains contentious.  There are many viewpoints surrounding
@summary that have legitimate and valid points.  We need to listen and
discuss, and not simply dismiss, those other viewpoints.  Those
discussions are on-going and will continue.  Some positive things have
emerged from this experience:

- the public-html list now has, I believe, a better understanding of what
the new Draft means when it uses terms such as 'obsolete', and the
difference between obsolete and deprecated.  We might not all agree on
*that*, but at least that dialog started.

- the notion that 'warnings' do not have to be negataive in conitation or
context. (I think perhaps we should consider 'advisories' as an
alternative word, but that is for another discussion)

- WAI PFWG is activley looking to include the feedback surrounding
@summary from the research presented, as well as some of the alternative
methods that HTML5 is offering to improve <table> accessibility, with a
goal of integrating that into the Techniques for Success Criteria.  That
to me is a huge win for all, and I hope that this work continues.

- the current Editor's Draft - which presumably will now move forward
unencumberd as the next Working Draft - has an accurate reflection of the
status of @summary today (i.e. open and actively being discussed) and that
the current accompaning text represents a compromise.  Not *exactly* what
I wanted (as an Editor of a Draft), and not *exactly* what Ian wanted (as
an Editor of a Draft) - but a meeting half way that we can accept as
workable.

- the HTML WG chairs really do want that HTML5 represents the views of the
entire community.  Sam Ruby in particular has proven that to me by opening
the possibility that anyone can be an Editor; simply step up and do so.
He was etremely helpful and accomodating to me as I took up that offer,
and the 'barrier to entry' is no more than "...can you string together a
cohesive sentence?".  Other individuals have signalled their interest in
also doing so, and *you* as a reader of this note needs to know that you
can participate as well, either via those avenues (if the other alternate
editors allow that type of input) or by becoming an editor yourself.  The
one thing I will ask though is if you do choose to take on this project
that way, do so with a 'pure' motive - it is *NOT* a game to be triffled
with.

- to those that signalled their support to me over the past few days,
thanks.

JF
Received on Thursday, 6 August 2009 00:17:17 GMT

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