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Re: Path to Last Call (was closing various issues)

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 06:44:21 -0400
Message-ID: <4A911D85.60108@intertwingly.net>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, public-canvas-api@w3.org
Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> 
> Hi Sam,
> 
> I have updates for you on some of the issues mentioned in this email 
> which I hope you will find useful.
> 
> On Aug 22, 2009, at 5:17 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:
> 
>> Given that you said that issue 53 would only going to take a few 
>> hours, if it needed to be addressed at all, I don't believe that it is 
>> on the critical path, so I'm inclined to give Maciej and Julian a bit 
>> more time to work on it.
> 
> Julian, Ian and I all seem to agree that ISSUE-53 needs some form of WG 
> decision to resolve. I have proposed a lazy consensus resolution that I 
> hope can resolve the issue. I'm not sure Julian and I need or want time 
> to work on it - what we need is a WG decision.

You have proposed a lazy consensus resolution.  I've marked ISSUE-53 
pending review.

>> Issue 35 is still open.  I believe that for us to reach closure on 
>> this will require someone like yourself or Maciej or Henri to actually 
>> talk to someone like RichardS, StevenF, or Mike Cooper.  Yes, I 
>> understand that in theory this should be something that could be 
>> accomplished via email, but in practice it simply has not happened.
> 
> Previously you said the next steps for ARIA integration[1] were:
> 
> A) The ARIA spec needs to enable host languages to make these 
> distinctions [involving host language semantics].
> B) Somebody needs to work out a matrix of potential combinations, for 
> PFWG/WAI review.
> 
> Partial progress has been made on item (A). The PFWG posted their 
> thoughts[2], but not yet full spec text, and indicated their willingness 
> to collaborate on working out the details.
> 
> Item (B) has been completed. In fact, Ian went beyond the minimum 
> requirements here and included the matrix and details of the conformance 
> requirements in the spec, so the full consequences of his proposal are 
> clear[3]. He also gave a list of questions regarding details he was 
> unable to resolve based on the PFWG's input so far[4]. This draft may 
> not be perfect in every respect, but it may be sufficient to get us to 
> Last Call.
> 
> I believe the key next step for ISSUE-35 and related is for PFWG to 
> review the draft text and the set of issues Ian raised, to determine if 
> there are any problems that they think block Last Call. Given the 
> detail-oriented nature of any likely issues, I expect email is the best 
> medium. However, if the PFWG would like to have some phone discussion, I 
> am willing to facilitate and participate as needed. If no one raises 
> objections to the draft text in the next two weeks, then I will consider 
> ARIA-related issues resolved, and will propose that they be closed.
> 
> I believe another next step is for the PFWG to produce ARIA draft text 
> incorporating their thinking on host language semantics, so we can 
> verify that ARIA and HTML5 are consistent.

These are all reasonable next steps.  I would add that rationale 
(whomever documents it) for the table in section 3.2.6 would facilitate 
and accelerate a review.  Meanwhile, I simply maintain that I do not 
believe that I have heard that there is a consensus that ARIA 
integration is done.  In fact, based on my reading of what you just 
wrote, I do not believe that you consider it done.  And I further 
maintain that consensus that ARIA integration is done is a requirement 
for us to reach Last Call.

FWIW, recent experience has proven otherwise as to whether or not email 
has been the optimal medium for making progress on this particular item; 
I have no earthly idea why that is, but it is a reality that we must 
deal with.

> May I also add, it is not clear to me why you have continued to 
> criticize Ian on ARIA. It seems to me that he did exactly what was 
> asked, namely incorporate ARIA and engage with PFWG on the details. And 
> it seems like further discussion is progressing nicely. Is there 
> anything else you think he needs to do?

Can you point to the criticism?  I simply see a point of disagreement as 
to whether we consider this item done.  I also considered this item to 
be a potential bottleneck, and encouraged him and others to talk 
directly as a way to accelerate progress.  And I believe I've amply 
thanked those that actually did talk for actually doing so.

>> I previously asked you if you could make the call of 13 August.  For 
>> whatever reason, you did not attend.  I am now asking you if you could 
>> work with Michael Cooper and/or Richard Schwerdtfeger to find a mutual 
>> time in which you could participate, via phone, in a discussion on 
>> what remains to be done to complete issue 74.  And, yes, I am 
>> intentionally saying issue 74 as that is the one that at this point in 
>> time looks like it has the most remaining work needed to be done.  
>> Issue 35 can proceed in parallel, perhaps even exclusively over email.
> 
> This Friday, there was a conference call to discuss a proposal for 
> canvas accessibility. I attended, as did Dave Singer and James Craig 
> from Apple. I believe you were invited but for whatever reason decided 
> not to attend. I know it can be hard to gauge the outcome of a telecon 
> from minutes alone at times, so let me give you my own subjective view.

This is not my area of expertise.  I asked Richard Schwerdtfeger about 
this and he said that I was simply included on the emails "as FYI". 
I've only ever worked at one employer, so I don't know if this is common 
in other cultures, but as I indicated that this call was important to 
me, including such people "as FYI" on the invite is a common practice 
within IBM.

If people feel that it is important that I attend future calls, I will 
do so.  It sounds to me that good progress is being made.  I've heard a 
similar comment from Richard.

> I believe there was rough agreement (if not yet full consensus) around 
> an approach to canvas accessibility that, if it is found sufficient and 
> effective, should be quite straightforward to integrate into the HTML5 
> draft. The basic approach being considered is to expose child elements 
> of the canvas (and their possible ARIA roles and properties) to 
> assistive technology, even though they are not rendered onscreen. Some 
> select additional APIs may be needed for certain details, such as text 
> caret/selection position.
> 
> The current next step is to prototype accessible versions of some Canvas 
> content, to determine if the approach is workable and sound, and what 
> further additions may be needed. We have volunteers to do that work. 
> Based on prototyping experience, the group working on this will make a 
> proposal.
> 
> I think more input from Ian would be welcome, but is not on the critical 
> path at this time. This assessment is based on my personal involvement 
> with work on this issue. I have also briefed Ian privately on progress 
> so far. And I have asked the informal group working on this if they are 
> willing to pull in the deadline for providing a proposal to the HTML WG, 
> to some point earlier than December.
> 
> If you'd like to know any more about the status of this issue, feel free 
> to ask.

What concerns me is that action 132 has a target date of 2009-12-17, and 
that I do not believe that we can enter Last Call until there is 
consensus that Issue 74 is resolved.

>> As can the closing of the other issues that Maciej is doing a yeoman's 
>> job of clearing out the underbrush.  Ones that look, at least to me, 
>> like they will require significantly less time than resolving how to 
>> make canvas accessible.
> 
> I'm trying to apply the methodology of software project management. It 
> is, of course, critical to monitor the critical path task (the "longest 
> pole out of the tent") and do what is needed to ensure progress. At the 
> same time, it's necessary to make progress on the smaller tasks. A 
> project can just as easily be sunk by a flood of tiny issues, as by one 
> huge issue. In fact, the former seems to be more common in practice.
> 
> In addition, I've discovered that the minimum time to close an HTML WG 
> issue -- even one where there is no disagreement and no action is needed 
> -- is about 10 days, including an average of 3 hours of effort by me 
> (reviewing the issue, drafting email, following up on responses, 
> attending at least one telecon, doing the tracker mechanics, etc.) Thus, 
> even the most trivial of issues is going to take some time.

You appear to be the right person at the right place at the right time. 
  Let me take a moment to comment on the time component of this: it is 
clear that six months ago nobody took these issues seriously.  Many of 
the people who raised the issue did not feel that they were taken 
seriously.  To be fair, many did not provide complete and constructive 
input.

We are now at a different point.  If we work together, we might actually 
make October.  If we don't, 4Q09 is still a definite possibility. 
Members of PF are now actively and visibly engaged.  Members of 
Microsoft are actively engaged.  Concrete proposals are being worked by 
members of the Semantic Web community.

The 10 days you mention is not something that needs to be done serially. 
  It can be done in parallel, as you have been.  That being said, there 
are practical limits to how many we can close at once.  You've been 
apologizing about "spam" and I've heard grumblings about rushing.

> Conclusion: we can't put off the easy issues indefinitely. And I would 
> appreciate support from the Chairs in getting them closed out.

I'd like to see you complete your first pass before we start the second 
pass.  I do consider everybody who owns an issue that you have reviewed 
as being "on notice", and I've begun the process of "demoting" open 
issues to raised that have yet to attract a proposal that even has a 
consensus of at least one[n].  I will say that I authored those 
particular words back in March anticipating this point anticipating this 
very point in time.

It may not be obvious, but I've been busy too.  And starting in 
September, I promise that I will be doing exactly what you are asking 
for now.

> Regards,
> Maciej

- Sam Ruby

> [1] 
> http://intertwingly.net/blog/2009/08/12/Mountain-Mohammed-Mohammed-Mountain-Please-Talk#c1250189423 
> 
> [2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Aug/0962.html
> [3] 
> http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#annotations-for-assistive-technology-products 
> 
> [4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Aug/1130.html

[5] 
http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/#head-47c0b55d661dcf93f76d586ddbe292c9abc597e4
Received on Sunday, 23 August 2009 10:45:06 GMT

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