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Moving Forward with @summary

From: Murray Maloney <murray@muzmo.com>
Date: Thu, 06 Aug 2009 19:17:16 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "John Foliot" <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Cc: "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>,"'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>
At 02:57 PM 8/6/2009 -0700, John Foliot 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.
>The recent compromise that emerged yesterday *did not* close Issue 32, and
>it is important for all to realize that point.

OK. I agree with you so far, and I am ready to leave it at that. How about you?

Let's get on with creating the next draft. I would like to participate in a 
discussion on specific wording that we would like to see in HTML 5.

John, you got the ball rolling. I see no reason that you can't continue to 
changes to a parallel draft that focuses on wording. I am more than happy
to contribute my experience and technical writing and editing skills to the 
I cannot offer to lead the effort, but I will do my part if we can form a team
of interested contributors, perhaps we can turn this ship around by presenting
the working group with a technically accurate and politically acceptable 
set of diffs.

I am not intending to suggest that Ian or anyone should be excluded from 
the discussion,
but I am hoping that we can turn our heads toward a specific set of diffs 
that we can
present, after reasoned discussion among the proponents of @summary, to the 
among us.

Sceptics, don't get me wrong. I do understand your position. I have 
reviewed the facts.
I did not reach the same conclusion as you, but I do expect to reach the 
same conclusion
in due course. I expect that @summary will eventually give way to better 
But I know that AT companies are very slow to react to change because they 
are underfunded.
They do not make progress at internet speed. I hope that by 2012, @summary 
will be long gone.
But in the meantime, it needs to be preserved for the sake of stability 
until transition
strategies can be developed and implemented. I recognize that it probably 
doesn't seem like
a lot of effort on your part, but the situation on the ground among 
accessibility publishers
and service providers is, shall we say, suboptimal. In my opinion, @summary 
will become
deprecated for at least year or two after ARIA goes in, and then obsoleted. 
Warning messages
would become especially helpful, as would QA tools to help a publisher test 
content for best practices.

I am hoping for wording that guides authors toward annotating their tables 
with legends
and captions, and providing sufficient explanatory text. That is simply 
good editorial policy.
It is good and right. I would not detract from that policy in any way. 
However, we could go
much further in offering editorial advice on accessible table design, which 
differs from
your typical visual display of quantitative information.

The discussion about @summary is not closed. I think that it is now 
incumbent upon the
proponents of @summary to put up or shut up, so to speak. And please don't 
shoot me,
I'm on your side. However, like many of the 'sceptics', I am growing weary 
of the ongoing
bickering and argumentum ad hominem.

Can we focus on the words, as Sam has been trying to tell us for weeks now?



P.S. If you are opposed to anything or everything that is in this email, 
please don't bother
to respond. If there is no support for a constructive discussion, then I 
will fail. But your
opposition alone will not dissuade me, and it will just annoy everybody by 
taking up
bandwidth. Sorry, but that's how I feel about it.

P.P.S. If you found my tone so annoying that you feel you have to respond, 
do so privately, so as not to bother the rest of the group.
Received on Thursday, 6 August 2009 23:18:13 UTC

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