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Re: Revert request

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2012 18:05:36 -0400
Message-ID: <4F5FC4B0.1070705@intertwingly.net>
To: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
CC: "Michael[tm] Smith" <mike@w3.org>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On 03/13/2012 04:35 PM, Laura Carlson wrote:
>
> Again, I may be too naive and trusting here, but before I would do
> something like that I would like to ask if the HTML Chairs now have a
> concrete action plan with a timetable and concrete dates to expedite
> ISSUE-30. Sam, Paul, and Maciej, do you have a plan? If so what is it?

I believe what I am about to say is something that would get immediate 
agreement amongst the three chairs, but I will state up front that I am 
replying without having first verified it with them, so if I get 
anything wrong - my bad.

My biggest concern is resolving ISSUE-30.  By that I mean done.  There 
may be Formal Objections, but there won't be new information, so at that 
point this Working Group is done subject to Director approval.

Put another way, I have zero interest in a provisional decision that 
would likely lead to a reopening based on new information.  At the 
present time, I see two potential candidates for new information.  One 
is the subject of issue 204.  The other would be somebody putting 
forward a spec for something akin to an aria-describedAt attribute.

The reason I state that is that at the present time I see wide support 
for the idea of obsoleting longdesc once there is a viable and clearly 
superior replacement.  Note: some may not believe that a viable and 
clearly superior replacement is possible.  Others may not believe that 
such is imminent.  But I worded what I said carefully to include such 
people's opinion.

So the task we face is eliminating all alternatives.  Paraphrasing 
Sherlock Holmes “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever 
remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”   It may very well be 
that longdesc is that truth.  For completeness, I will also state that 
the resolution to 204 or aria-describedAt could also be that truth.  For 
completeness, it may turn out that there is no solution, but I hope we 
can all agree that that is the worst possible outcome.

Given all of that, the best way to expedite issue 30 is to come to a 
quick consensus on 204 and get a clear statement that aria-describedAt 
will not be pursued.  Once both of those are in place, I can see a 
survey proceeding.

As to 204, Maciej and I have both provided feedback to Matthew.  He has 
yet to respond.  If I can be so bold as to make a suggestion, Laura 
could you make an attempt at creating a proposal based on Matthew's, and 
hosted at a different URI, that removes all extraneous arguments.  In 
fact, I would suggest initially committing a direct copy of Matthew's 
proposal and then revising it so that it would be relatively easy to see 
diffs between the two proposals.  Best case, we get a proposal that 
everybody can live with.  Worst case, we get a proposal for which we can 
get clean counter-proposals that don't have to deal with extraneous (to 
issue-204) arguments.

As to aria-describedAt, we have statements from Judy and Janina, but a 
consensus call from the a11y TF would be helpful here.  This is a case 
where the long period of time since the issue was originally opened will 
be relevant.  People can argue that someday somebody might spec 
something that is better/more likely to be supported/etc., and even 
believe that there are plausible paths by which such could be 
accomplished -- if nobody actually does that work, that result speaks 
for itself.

Anyway, you asked for my thoughts on how to expedite issue 30, and I've 
given you suggestions of things you might be able to do.  I hope you 
have found it to be helpful.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Tuesday, 13 March 2012 22:06:12 GMT

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