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Re: Dec 17/18 meeting

From: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 23:24:21 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Liddy Nevile <Liddy.Nevile@motile.net>
Cc: AUWG <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>

At 10:24 PM 12/18/01 +1000, Liddy Nevile wrote:
>Sorry, but it was not easy to participate in today's meeting. I guess 
>there are tricks to making it possible for those using IRC to participate 
>and we should work on them.

To clarify, I was the one typing some of the content into IRC when 
possible, however this was not my expectation prior to the meeting, nor can 
I type for an extended time. Sorry if it wasn't what you were expecting.

That mode may or may not be realistic for the group to support on a regular 
basis, depending on the extent of connectivity of group members who are 
available to type into IRC for members who are not on the phone. IRC is 
used as a supplemental participation mode in a number of groups, but less 
frequently as a complete replacement mode except where there are several 
people with phone access available to type into IRC. I'll leave that up to 
the group.

>I was worried by the meeting though. It seems to me that despite the hard 
>work that has gone on recently, the final bits of the work are not easily 
>dealt with and we have not yet reached final agreement. I guess that's 
>typical of AU work - it involves several layers of embedded understanding 
>and it is not easy to synchronise everything for the final result.

Yes it usually takes extended rounds of conversation to reach a clear 
consensus in W3C WG's. But neither of the documents under discussion at 
this week's meeting were final stage specifications, so to some extent the 
group is in the midst of an on-going process on these documents.

>But boy it's important - surely the tools will make more difference than 
>all the other things put together, if they're right?
>Jutta and I have been working with tools folk in the IMS context, Jutta 
>and Jan in the UT context, helping them get up to s 508 standards, us here 
>in Oz asking them to go further to comply with our W3C-based laws. DCMI 
>has a new accessibility group that is hoping to get accessibility metadata 
>spread quickly around the world, depending on WCAG and EARL.  We have a 
>meeting scheduled for France in Feb. But oops! we're losing our W3C staff 
>person? someone who can bring all the W3C technical bits and pieces 
>together? the EARL expertise?

WAI will be replacing the AUWG staff effort, and will likely have some 
interim support until the replacement is available.

>And with all these complicated docs outstanding we're losing Ian?

The minutes were incorrect with regard to Ian's involvement, where it 
mentioned him becoming AUWG staff contact; in actuality, he will be 
reducing but not eliminating his time with the group that he has been staff 
contact for, which is UAWG. That has been planned for a very long time -- 
in fact he has extended his stay at a high level of time with UAWG far 
longer than originally planned, which, though unanticipated, has been great 
for WAI. But again, we will be replacing the balance of Ian's effort on 
UAWG, but also keeping some of his involvement there, and he will remain 
active in the WAI domain. The total effort on UAWG will be slightly more 
staff support than previously.

>Personally, I am wondering why? and especially, why at a time when we need 
>the expertise, dedication and independence of a W3C staffers to support WG 
>members, and we need to be sure that all the WAI recs are well integrated 
>into the other W3C recs? at a time when there is unfinished business that 
>is demonstrable hard? Is there expertise that will be available 
>immediately to support our work? Strikes me the world is already depending 
>upon a very small number of experts. I am worried about the work I am 
>engaged in and how it will fare with a hiatus in W3C support. Others are 
>probably in the same boat?

There are a number of reasons for the change. WAI continues to be committed 
to the specifications under development in this group; to promoting 
implementations of the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines; to ensuring 
effective integration of the specifications; etc. As I've stated above, we 
are arranging for some interim support, then for a replacement of the staff 
effort on this group, and I expect that the group should be able to make 
good progress in the coming months.

But as with any W3C working group, the progress of the group does not 
wholly rest on the staff contact, but on contributed effort from other WG 
members as Jutta reminded people at the meeting this week. W3C working 
groups often do change staff contacts; when there is commitment & ongoing 
contribution from the group members, the group continues to move ahead. One 
of the most important things that AUWG members can do is to complete the 
conformance reviews that members have committed to. With more comparative 
data on ATAG implementations, it will be easier to see the areas where 
additional implementation promotion is needed, and also to see the areas 
where there's been an actual gain in support for accessible authoring.


- Judy

>Will anybody be at the meeting in France? (I have bought a ticket and am 
>now worrying about this expensive investment!)
>We do see the world upside down from here - or is it a bit that way?

Judy Brewer    jbrewer@w3.org    +1.617.258.9741    http://www.w3.org/WAI
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/LCS Room NE43-355, 200 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA,  02139,  USA
Received on Thursday, 20 December 2001 23:24:55 UTC

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