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

Re: Taking another round at @summary

From: Denis Boudreau <dboudreau@webconforme.com>
Date: Wed, 06 Jan 2010 17:10:12 -0500
Cc: HTML WG Public List <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <9F5AEBC9-2161-4C0B-9EE6-1E071E0989F0@webconforme.com>
To: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>

On 2010-01-06, at 2:50 AM, Jonas Sicking wrote:

> Does Quebec really have a law that mandates @summary to be used? While
> that seems like an utterly stupid law I guess I wouldn't put that past
> a government.

Maybe ill-advised, but certainly not stupid. 

We came up wth an interpretation of WCAG 2.0 that went into such details for the same reasons most countries end up with their own accessibility standards (hopefully highly based on WCAG2):

WCAG 2.0 does not specifically dictate how things need to be done to ensure optimal accessibility
Authors who think they know what they're doing, come up with their own (often faulty) interpretation of the guidelines

As a result, websites get published every day, with unequal accessibility levels and failed requirements.

In order to do our best to prevent that, and in order to ensure governmental coherence across all websites developed or maintained from now on, a committee of 25 government agencies from our public administration decided that when possibly ambiguous methods could result in different ways of making a content accessible, then the proper technique through which it had to be done should be identified. Hence the fact that @summary gets cited as the technique to use to describe a data table.

So it may seem stupid to you, but this is all based on a will to prevent errors.

These standards and all they contain are nothing more than tools. Our government, like many others, has decided to name the tools that need to be used to make sure authors don't use a screwdriver handle to hammer down a nail.

Agreed, it might have been a mistake for us to actually name it and it could just as easily have been referenced elsewhere, but whats done is done and it can hardly be changed now. 

But again, that's besides the point. 

The point I'm trying to make here is that there are no reason to drop an attribute when we could instead work on ways to improve it. So far, all reasons provided to drop it look like they're based on opinions only.


> South Korea mandates a specific encryption algorithm [1]. Do you think
> we should put this encryption algorithm in SSL because of this?

Of course not. I'm not saying the decisions we made here in Quebec should dictate what this WG is doing. But it could influence it as anything that could jeopardize the adoption of HTML5 anywhere on the planet should be treated seriously.

I'm simply pointing out the fact that situations like this exist and before removing something from the spec that could possibly delay the adoption of this spec in some parts of the world, we should make sure that it is absolutely necessary and unavoidable.

Best regards,


--
Denis Boudreau,
Président

Coopérative AccessibilitéWeb
1751 rue Richardson, bureau 6111
Montréal (Qc), Canada  H3K 1G6

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Received on Wednesday, 6 January 2010 22:10:42 UTC

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