W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > February 2010

Re: "image analysis heuristics" (ISSUE-66)

From: Matt May <mattmay@adobe.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2010 14:14:59 -0800
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D45BE191-B52A-4248-BA5D-B8586CDD97DB@adobe.com>
On Feb 8, 2010, at 3:52 AM, Ian Hickson wrote:
> consider this: the WHATWG spec says everything 
> the W3C HTML5 spec says. Does that mean we should replace the W3C HTML5 
> spec with simply a quote of the entire WHATWG spec? If not, what is the 
> difference between that, and what you're proposing?

This is a straw man. It's not what's being argued. It's a proposition that seeks the most extreme position only to justify your position against a much more reasonable premise. It's also the kind of thing that'd get you laughed out of a freshman debate class. So let's not for a moment believe that this is the kind of reasoning we should be using to debate how specifications are referred to in a fundamental document to the web.

> I don't see that 
> there's anything any more special about the UAAG document than the WHATWG 
> document, so why the difference in argument?

I do. UAAG is what the WHATWG document is not: a standard advanced by a recognized, international body, built with input from all relevant stakeholder groups, supported by OS, UA and AT vendors, disability groups and governments. What I've taken out of this and many, many other discussions is that none of this matters; what matters is what's written by the WHATWG, i.e., you. Unless and until that impasse is broken, this entire exercise is of limited value. HTML5, as it is, is a document for the web standards community, but not of it.

>> I support matts original proposal i.e. to strike the text from the spec.
> 
> I understand that. I do not. I believe I've stated my case for why I have 
> reached this conclusion: an argument based on what is more likely to 
> result in accessible browsers

And I've already said why that's bunk. But, here we go again. I think I speak for those of us who specialize in accessibility (based on the opinions already expressed here in support of the original proposal) when I say that it is better simply to remove what is there than to advocate what has already been seen to be bad advice. The image analysis text was bad advice. OCR is bad advice, too--particularly in the one-sentence treatment it has, and based on where it is in the document.

> Could you state your case? I presume it is not simply an arbitrary opinion 
> or a something silly like "well the UAAG is written by people who are more 
> expert than we are and so we should defer to them".

How referring to a W3C Recommendation covering user agent accessibility for the purposes of specifying user agent accessibility is "silly" beggars the imagination. Though it does underscore your disrespect for those specifications that have come before yours. It looks less like an attempt to make the web better or more usable or more accessible or whatever platitudes you have given to date for why you frame the things you do the way you do in the document, and more like an act of consolidating all relevant material about the web's technology into one spec. A spec which, it needs to be said, is ultimately under the control of a separate organization with a closed membership.

(Please do spare us the "WHATWG is more open than W3C" claptrap again. It's yet another "black is really whiter than white" argument that's not worth resurfacing.)

> After all, there is 
> ample UA accessibility expertise in this working group -- we are even 
> required by charter to have multiple UA vendors involved!

Yes, Ian. There is ample UA accessibility expertise here. All of whom, in this case, you have systematically dismissed or are actively arguing against on this point--including your fellow WHATWG participants. 

-
m
Received on Monday, 8 February 2010 22:15:40 UTC

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