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Re: HTML 5 (sic) and A11y

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 09:20:21 -0800
Cc: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <EC6098D3-5C1A-43E4-9FE7-D04102A1D810@apple.com>
To: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>

Hi Joshue,

The W3C, through this Working Group, still plans to publish HTML5 as a stable specification. Advancement along the W3C standards track will, over time, require addressing of all comments, a comprehensive test suite, and multiple complete, conforming implementations. You can think of this as a stable branch, while the WHATWG's HTML spec forges ahead with a development branch which may contain more experimental or less thoroughly reviewed features.

That being said, standards are almost always implemented piecemeal by browsers and other user agents. And browsers will likely even implement some experimental features before having a 100% conforming implementation of HTML5 itself. That is always the way things have worked.

Regards,
Maciej

On Jan 24, 2011, at 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".
> 
> 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 17:21:28 GMT

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