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Re: Why I don't attend the weekly teleconference (Was: Input on the agenda)

From: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Jun 2009 21:35:58 -0500
Message-ID: <643cc0270906281935h457d991dp657547243251f086@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
>> Actually, those are not "studies", Ian. You and Philip accessed some
>> publicly accessing information found online, and ran some queries and
>> look at the data, and then formed your conclusions.
> If you have something better, I'm all for using that.

> In the meantime, I'll use what we have, as it is better than nothing.

But it could be worse than doing nothing.

You have stated that summary is harmful. You have provided no proof of
harm. No, the so-called "studies" are not a conclusive proof. They are
not conclusive proof, because you allow your biases to influence your
interpretation of both the data, and whether the data is an effective
measure of success.

I ask in return: where are the studies you plan to take to demonstrate
that collapsing summary into caption will be the superior solution?
I'm assuming you have an effective test in mind? Perhaps some
quantifiable exercise, or other form of psychometrics?

>> Now, this is a little naive. I think you have a bias against those with
>> years of experience and training, and it clouds your own reason, Ian.
> In the unlikely case that this is true, I actually ignore the source of
> e-mails when responding to feedback. You will notice for instance that the
> issues list doesn't list who sent what:
>   http://www.whatwg.org/issues/
> This is intentional just in case I am biased against one person or
> another, to avoid that bias.

I'm reluctant to comment on anything from the WhatWg side, because
frankly, I find much of it lacks rigor.

However, perhaps if there were more people involved in both the effort
and the decision process, you wouldn't have to resort to such
trickery. Because this form of trickery will not succeed.

One is known by both our words and our interests. If there is an issue
related to, say, RDFa, one can assume you remember those people
interested in RDFa. Same with summary and so on.

So no, this measure is no more effective in reducing bias, than
so-called studies you "conducted" in order to determine the value of
summary et al. But it does give an illusion of the reduction of bias,
bringing me back to that lack of rigor I mentioned a moment ago.

>> If there is a debate between Paul Krugman and a 12 year old, you'll have
>> to forgive me if I give more credence to Paul Krugman.
> You'll have to forgive _me_, then, for treating them identically and
> applying the same standards to both.

Again, I would say this reflects a deep seated bias against expertise.
In actually, it probably reflects other things as well, that go beyond
the scope of this email list.

>> If anything, I see a decreased interest in providing any specialized
>> help.
> If by that you mean that there is a tendency to prefer built-in
> accessibility (like <input type=date> rather than bolt-on accessibility
> (like <img alt>) then yes, that is intentional and is in fact intentional.

Now, we're seeing a new criteria being introduced into the discussion.
One that has nothing to do with tests. But also one that seemingly is
based on yet another bias.

What forms the basis for your criteria of "built in" versus "bolt on"?
What are the studies you've conducted that support this particular

Received on Monday, 29 June 2009 02:36:34 UTC

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