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Re: Structure of deliverables: are we too PC for our own good?

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sun, 09 Sep 2001 12:31:06 -0400
Message-Id: <Version.32.20010909104357.04126560@pop.iamdigex.net>
To: Web Content Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 03:29 AM 2001-09-09 , Jason White wrote:
>
>At the outset of this process, the working group decided to generalise
>the guidelines and checkpoints, and to separate them logically from
>the technology-dependent requirements and examples. That is the
>premise on which the development of WCAG 2.0 has proceeded, and I hope
>these decisions do not need to be revisited now.
>

AG::

But it would appear they do need to be revisited.  

The WAI as a whole made the mistake of chartering sequels rather than shifting
grids to target pockets of residual dysfunction.  We all share in the
responsibility for that.  But to ignore the clear signs of trouble with this
quote deliverable unquote would be unwise.

Now is better than later.  Based on what we have learned since then.  The
group
may decide whatever it decides.  But not to question those earlier
decisions at
this time would be irresponsible, in the light of the mounting evidence
against
them.

The "signs and portents" that we have a problem are all over the place.  The
troops are reduced to fighting amongst themselves because they can't seem to
get to a point where they feel they have accomplished something.  A bystander
has muttered "but, the Emperor has no Clothes."  How much more evidence do you
need that this premise needs to be evaluated for validity before moving on
further?

Let me explain what I perceive as the significance of what Kelly Ford said.

Kelly has shown us that The Emperor Has No Clothes.

Labeling active elements adequately, so that the user can be oriented to what
they do, in whatever delivery context the user happens to be operating in, is
the number one most important problem to be reformed on the World Wide Web
today.

If Kelly Ford, who understands the domain of this document deeply already
before reading it, can't find the advice for how to fix this number one
problem
in this document, it is time to set it aside  and think again about what we
think we are doing, here.

We have a draft of WCAG 2.0, but on reviewing this draft, one can clearly see
we _don't_ have a _product_, here.

This document is good for, but only fit for, internal consumption.  It's
actually good stuff, for that use.  As a working baseline for development of
the real stuff, which I agree the group has begun producing drafts of.  But it
is not something we should embarrass Tim Berners-Lee by publishing by
itself as
W3C Recommendation.  There is no external audience for which it is an
effective
message.  It is only half of the appropriate effective message for any
audience
that I can imagine targeting.  It's good stuff as the corporate memory of the
group that wrote it.   But that's it.  It's not a valid deliverable.  It is
not
an answer to any _stakeholder's_ problem.

Please think again about the shape of what we think we are delivering. To whom
are we delivering what we have learned?  How does what we hand them slide
effortlessly into their world?

Just count up the number of voices that have asked "Who _are_ the audience for
this deliverable?"  and you will have prima_facie evidence that the division
laid out in our current plan for deliverables between part (a) and the rest
would fail a consensus call, a vote of confidence, at this time.

The agenda for the F2F should treat this matter as a question, not as a given,
or we will most likely just prolong a frustrating level of wheel-spinning in
the group.

Al
Received on Sunday, 9 September 2001 12:07:44 GMT

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