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HTML 5 (sic) and A11y

From: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 09:28:38 +0000
Message-ID: <4D3D4646.4060102@cfit.ie>
To: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
CC: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Hi y'all,

I just saw Ian Hicksons post on the WHATWG Blog where the HTML 5
"technology is not versioned and instead we just have a living document
that defines the technology as it evolves".

What this move effectively means is that HTML (5) will be implemented in
a piecemeal manner, with vendors (browser manufacturers/AT makers etc)
cherry picking the parts that they want. It could be argued that this is
the way it _already_ is however as a specification isn't a movable feast
there is more chance for consistency and stability. This current move by
the WHATWG, will mean that discussions that have been going on about how
best to implement accessibility features in HTML 5 could well become
redundant, or unfinished or maybe never even implemented at all.

What is implemented will be dependent on where the "living
specification" is at any point in time. If I am flying in a plane, I
don't want to know the engineers were still not in agreement about how
to design the engines after the plane has taken off.

I think this will mean piecemeal implementation by vendors, with the
caveat that "the spec is in flux so we can only implement the most
stable parts of it" which is a perfect get out clause for a poor user
experience.

This is a disappointing move, and a retrograde step that could well make
the fine tuning of important accessibility aspects of HTML (5) even harder.

My 2 cents*

Josh

[1] http://blog.whatwg.org/html-is-the-new-html5
Received on Monday, 24 January 2011 09:29:19 GMT

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