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Process request on validity

From: Matt May <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>
Date: Sat, 5 Nov 2005 19:42:00 -0800
Message-Id: <73357963-F10F-4D49-8FE8-EC22264CCDD4@bestkungfu.com>
To: WAI WCAG List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

The current debate over validity is the definition of a religious  
war. We have one faction which expresses a strong objection to  
validity as a Level 1 requirement; and one faction which expresses a  
strong objection to anything else. The debate has caused the  
participants on both sides to become more deeply entrenched in their  
own positions, rather than trying to find middle ground. If this is  
the case, the discussion has gone as far as it will go, and so we  
don't waste time going over this until the end of time, we should  
follow the process that is laid out for us.

The W3C Process Document states[1]:

"In some cases, even after careful consideration of all points of  
view, a group might find itself unable to reach consensus. The Chair  
MAY record a decision where there is dissent (i.e., there is at least  
one Formal Objection) so that the group may make progress (for  
example, to produce a deliverable in a timely manner). Dissenters  
cannot stop a group's work simply by saying that they cannot live  
with a decision. When the Chair believes that the Group has duly  
considered the legitimate concerns of dissenters as far as is  
possible and reasonable, the group SHOULD move on."

I think that it is clear by now that all points of view have been  
carefully considered over the last five or so years I've been a part  
of the WG. I encourage the chair to continue to pursue compromise  
positions, as he has done, in an attempt to maintain WCAG 2 as a  
consensus document. However, if and when it becomes clear that a  
consensus position is not achievable, we should move on as soon as  
possible, because there is too much work left to do, and this point  
has derailed us too many times.

I would then ask chair to call for a vote on the level at which HTML  
validity is placed, note that dissent exists among the participants,  
and instruct dissenting parties to file a Formal Objection[2]  
consistent with the rules set forth in the W3C Process Document. The  
Formal Objection must be noted in the document, and must be reviewed  
by the W3C Director at the next time the WG requests to advance the  
document (i.e., to Last Call WD). Once the Director makes a decision  
on this point, the matter is considered to be settled, and future  
debate on the topic will be allowed only at the chair's discretion.


[1] http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/policies.html#managing- 
[2] http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/ 
Received on Sunday, 6 November 2005 03:42:08 UTC

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