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Re: summary attribute compromise proposal

From: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2009 17:38:48 -0500
Message-ID: <643cc0270908061538r79a4c86ap148b82e5929361de@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On Thu, Aug 6, 2009 at 4:57 PM, John Foliot<jfoliot@stanford.edu> wrote:
> Shelley Powers wrote:
>>
>> [quoting Sam Ruby] "... is finally well on its way to being closed."
>
> Not, closed, finalized or completed, but "well on its way".
>
> Issue 32 is *still* an open action item within the HTML5 tracker [1], and
> active discussion and vigorous debate about how to ensure that the
> information that @summary was designed to deliver is conveyed to the users
> that need it, but are perhaps not getting today, are still ongoing.
>
> <critical>
> The recent compromise that emerged yesterday *did not* close Issue 32, and
> it is important for all to realize that point.
> </critical>
>
> As well, what is *REALLY* important to remember, for accessibility (which
> is the end goal, at least *MY* end goal), is that the *HOW* we do
> something is less important than the *SUCCESS* of doing something. So
> perhaps we need to let go of the Talisman just a bit and broaden our
> perspective.
>

John, whether this was your intention or not, your tone is coming
across almost borderline dismissive of me. You might want to visit
your Talisman yourself.

I don't think anyone in this discussion isn't motivated by what
wanting the best option to be incorporated in HTML 5. And I include
Ian in that. We just disagree on what the best option is. Rather
strongly disagree.


>
>>
>> In other words, this is being played as a solution to the summary
>> attribute issue in its entirety, not just about summary attribute in
>> the Working Draft.
>
> I think that perhaps this is how you are seeing it, and while I cannot
> speak for Ian, it is certainly not how I see it, and since I was very much
> stuck in the middle of recent events I believe I have a pretty good
> vantage point to judge how things played out.
>


>From others who have responded to today's posts, I don't believe I'm
the only one who is concerned about the impression recent discussions
about summary have generated. We just want to make sure there is no
confusion about what's happening. And I'm not the only person who has
expressed unhappiness about the current changes in the WD regarding
summary.


> I believe it is safe to say however, that NEITHER IAN NOR I BELIEVE THAT
> @SUMMARY IS THE ONLY SOLUTION.  He thinks it's a horrible solution, I am
> less sure of that assertion, but do concede that there are other solutions
> that have emerged in HTML5 that *MIGHT* serve as well as or better than
> @summary under certain circumstances. Others are free to hold opinions
> outside of the two I just expressed.
>

Thank you, I do.

> Ian and I also differ on how 'harmful' @summary is to the accessibility
> cause, and we differed greatly on the advisory information that was being
> given to authors in the previous version of the Draft HTML5 Specification.
>
>
> After some discussion and protocol (and a healthy dash of diplomacy by
> Maciej), the advisory text was removed from the Draft - producing a more
> neutral stance (for now!) and WCAG / WAI / PFWG have been asked to provide
> workable advisory to associate to @summary, which they are actively
> working on. The Attribute has (for now!) been restored to fully conformant
> so as to not confuse authors who currently look to WCAG's Techniques for
> Success Criteria. I personally however agree that producing some sort of
> advisory when authors are creating complex tables that helps them better
> encode those tables for accessibility is a benefit, and others seem to be
> picking up on this idea - great! Whether you call it a warning, an
> advisory or (and I will repeat this from my blog, but please folks, relax)
> a "dancing paperclip" is inconsequential and simply not worth arguing
> over.
>

The summary attribute is listed in the obsolete section, and
"conforming but obsolete" is an abysmal solution for _anything_ much
less summary.

I'm not going to accept, with equanimity, punishing people who use
summary correctly with some bizarre warning.

> There are larger issues to worry about. Like Canvas. Like Video. Like
> getting ARIA integrated into the spec. (And there is activity on all three
> of these fronts today).  If you *really* care about accessibility, turn
> your efforts to helping solve this issues.  Don't ignore Issue 32, but
> let's move on just a little please.
>

Again, this is your view. I believe that all of the issues are
important in their own way. Frankly, there are probably going to be
more data tables in web pages than video or canvas elements. It's a
simple attribute, but that doesn't make it less important.

So, you'll have to allow me to care how I see fit to care.


>>
>> Now, it will be that much more difficult to achieve a real solution to
>> this problem, not the least of which anyone bringing up objections
>> will be seen as "not playing well", or being rigidly against
>> compromise.
>
> Standing on principle is great, fighting for real progress is commendable,
> but arguing over words is draining.  I will repeat here, and people are
> also welcome to review the minutes of today's WG conference call [2], the
> @summary issue has not been finalized. I fought very hard for the notion
> of consensus and compromise being the way forward, and to somehow suggest
> that yesterday's outcome in fact blocks consensus building is both
> preposterous and frustrating.
>
> JF
>

It isn't stopping the WD publication (though I think Julian may have
registered a protest in this regard). As far as i know, you were the
only person who was interested in blocking the WD publication.

But yes, it is still one of the open issues--one, not the only one --
that will probably block Last Call until it is finally resolved.


>
> [1 http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/issues/32 ]
> [2 http://www.w3.org/2009/08/06-html-wg-minutes.html ]
>
>

Shelley
Received on Thursday, 6 August 2009 22:39:23 GMT

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