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RE: "You call that a standard?" and Charter

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Mon, 3 May 2004 13:03:35 -0500 (CDT)
Message-ID: <58360.193.51.208.132.1083607415.squirrel@www.sidar.org>
To: "Gian Sampson-Wild (PurpleTop)" <gian@purpletop.com.au>
Cc: "'Yvette P. Hoitink'" <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

When I participate in this group from Sidar, I am representing (along with
other Sidar contributors) a large number of people who, in addition to
generally trying to do this work unfunded, have to track it in a language
which is not their native one.

The cost of full-time participation, or remaining in good standing, is
therefore often prohibitive, particularly for anyone whose primary
interest is the techniques task force and not the guidelines themselves.

Although some tweaking of the charter could ameliorate that a little (for
eample by valuing action items completed, or participation  in task
forces, at a similar level to dialling into a meeting of the main group),
I don't think that this changes much in the democratisation of the group.

Because I think that in the absence of sufficient funding to pay for any
volunteer who asks for it and does some work, the process provides a
remarkable degree of democracy already. The working group is committed to
responding to issues raised by anyone, which simply requires explaining
the issue in an email. When Last Call arrives this becomes a meaningful
commitment, and one can expect them to have to demonstrate that they have
indeed responded to the issues.

I  recognise  that this is not perfect, and that attrition, and the
prioritisation can act in some ways against the democratic nature of the
process, but this also permits the democratic aspects  to function given a
relatively  small amount of surveillance (the real price of democracy) on
the part of "Joe Public". Any further contributions that people can make
become part of the foundations on which the group is building, and are
available for future reference.

-- 
Charles McCathieNevile           charles@sidar.org
                 http://www.sidar.org

<quote who="Gian Sampson-Wild (PurpleTop)">
>
> I, too am from a small company and can add to the discussion that the
> cost of the teleconferences (approx $30 a call) can sometimes be
> prohibitive.  There is very little likelihood of me ever attending a
> face-to-face meeting, unless it is in Australia, and I do feel that
> sometimes I cannot contribute as much as I would like due to that fact.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> Behalf Of Yvette P. Hoitink
>
> Joe Clark wrote:
>
>> I note that the Charter advanced today by Wendy--
>>
>> <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/2004AprJun/0194.html>
>> <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/2004AprJun/0194.>
>>
>> -- is of no improvement whatsoever on the specific issue of
>> democratizing this group. I'm aware that other W3C groups
>> work the same way. The issue is that the W3C is effectively
>> controlled by corporate *and institutional* interests who can
>> afford to jet to Cannes and Tokyo for meetings. The Web
>> Accessibility Initiative deals with a different clientele--
>> arguably the most-disadvantaged clientele on the entire Web--
>> and requires a different approach.
>> [snip]
>
> Hello Joe and list,
>
> Respectfully, I disagree with you. The WCAG working group is open to anyone
> willing to donate time, it's not just a matter of money. I am an example of
> that myself. My company, Heritas, is tiny. I run it together with my
> fiancee.
>
> Even if I cannot afford to join every face-to-face meeting, I still feel a
> valued member of WCAG, which I think is reflected in my PiGS status.
>
> The bottom line of my viewpoint: you can make a difference in the WCAG if
> you want to, even if you can only donate time and effort. In my opinion,
> that makes it a democratic process. I just wished more people from
> smaller companies would take the effort...
Received on Monday, 3 May 2004 14:04:56 GMT

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