W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > January 2011

Re: HTML 5 (sic) and A11y

From: Eihab Ibrahim <eihabibrahim@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 03:36:34 -0800
Message-ID: <4D3D6442.7070806@gmail.com>
To: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
CC: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On 1/24/2011 1:28 AM, Joshue O Connor wrote:
> 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".
Hi Josh,

That's a WHATWG decision and does not really affect the W3C. As far as I 
know, we still call the next iteration "HTML 5" here.

> 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.
Then follow the W3C's recommendation when it's finished and call your 
documents or engine W3C HTML5 compliant.

> 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.
The plane engine is not a good analogy in this situation. I have yet to 
author a non-conforming document that seriously injured somebody.

In all seriousness, as you have stated before that already is the case 
even with a numbered version of the spec. Browsers implement the 
features they deem appropriate and document authors write to the most 
widely deployed parts of the standard.

The way I see it, the WHATWG is (or will become) a forum for the latest 
developments in HTML, and the W3C will be the standards body you can 
refer to when you need a specific snapshot in time.

> 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.
To the contrary, I think this is a great move. It will allow the WHATWG 
to polish and iterate over features in a fast paced and somewhat formal 
environment, while giving the W3C the opportunity to cherry pick widely 
deployed features that have been tested for a while.

I know that the WHATWG is still very much involved in the W3C's HTML 5 
effort, and I doubt that this collaboration will cease to exist in 
future revisions of the standard.

Thanks,

Eihab
Received on Monday, 24 January 2011 12:53:35 UTC

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