W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 2001

Re: Rewrites

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2001 17:56:59 -0400 (EDT)
To: Joe Clark <joeclark@contenu.nu>
cc: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0108121731510.17453-100000@tux.w3.org>
This is my personal 2 cents worth about an issue I think is important. It
does not represent policy, and is entirely unenforceable. And I have thought
long and hard about writing a message like this for some time.

Normally I try to be polite on this list. But this is an extraordinary
example of rudenes coming from the author of what was claimed to be "the
first rendition that actually makes sense".

Joe, on behalf of everyone to whom your english is no more or less
comprehensible than anyone else's, let me point out that as fine a job as you
have done some of what you wrote sounds like a technical jargon that you use
too often to realise that it isn't plain everyday language. Having made such
grand claims for your writing, it seems that if your language isn't what it
is claimed to be you should be big enough to accept comment without trying to
belittle others.

Further, let me point out again that there is no place for this kind of
rudeness on the list. This is a group where people work constructively
together, not a place to belittle others with insults.

Finally, let me point out that you are not the only person on the list who
writes in what I consider an offensive manner, for example by substituting
insult for actual debate.

So in response to your message, which is admittedly only the worst example I
have seen recently, I would ask everyone to think a little before they write,
and try to be constructive about working together instead of arrogant and
rude. At the very least it makes it easier to work on improvements with you
and therefore to further our actual goal of working out how to make content
more accessible.

Clearly none of us (so far) is infallible. I have not seen one regular
contributor to this list who has not at some time or other written complete
rubbish, and I am well aware that I am included in that. On the other hand,
very many people over the last few years have made great contributions, and
the value of a working group is that we can pick the best of everyone's
thoughts and point out the worst of our errors faster than if we did it as

Joe, the best of your work is good. In other places you make claims that
don't seem to hold, but I see no reason for you to react negatively to what
seems to be constructive criticism. A little patience and tolerance when the
criticism is lacking in tact would go a long way to making you a pleasure to
work with.

Everyone, the worst of your rudeness makes me want to dump this list, but far
worse makes me understand why other people whose expertise we really need
have dumped this list, or have become very reticent about posting to it. No
member of the list has demonstrated that they are good enough to justify that
price in the years that I have been in this group.


On Sat, 11 Aug 2001, Joe Clark wrote:

  >    From: Anne Pemberton ([1]apembert@erols.com)
  >3.4 Wherever possible, use a wide range of modes of expression.
  >       Note: This too is the only rendition that makes sense.
  >The purpose of 3.4 is to encourage page authors to include graphics and
  >multi-media to the content, not to tell writers to include various types of
  >expression in the text, which is what you have said.

  Oh, for heaven's sake. Illustration, writing, video, and sound are
  examples of modes of expression.

  >There are at least three types of "modes of expression"

  Types of modes of expression? Categories of categories?

  >3.4 Illustrate your text content.

  Sound isn't an illustration, and quit picking on text.

  I would be tempted to laugh at this ridiculous inability to
  understand simple English words were the source not Anne Pemberton,
  who pretty much has this group by the gonads. She seems to be
  shouting the loudest, and everyone else is afraid to stand up to this
  extremist. Unable to accept a fair compromise of adding graphics,
  illustrations, sound, and video *whenever possible*, her goal is the
  absolute eradication of text-only sites from the Web in the putative
  guise of accessibility, an overarching, crypto-fascist goal we must
  oppose at every turn.

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Sunday, 12 August 2001 17:57:01 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:38 UTC