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Working group hours

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 19:54:34 -0600
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <002a01c64bc1$42b5cd60$ef64d946@NC6000BAK>
Someone remarked on the long hours note I posted and asked if that was
required for participation.   


The short answer is no.  The requirement is for "at least 4 hrs per week".
But we have been running harder the last few months in bringing this
document in. 


The long hours (40+) was on the part of support people who have been posting
the decision made by the group, updating the documents, updating our issues
log, sending notes out to people who have commented etc.    Those hours are
not required by people working in the group on content, though some have
been also working very hard in our latest push.


We have been working on WCAG 2.0 for many years now and the load for most of
this time has been normal - a couple hours a week for many - more for some
that contributed at higher levels.  In the first years we did a lot of
reflecting and discussing to figure out how the new document should be
constructed - how it should be focused to stand the test of time and new
technologies better.  This turned out to be much harder than we first
thought.  We did a lot of formative thinking and discussion - reorganizing
the document and our approach several times.    In the last year or so we
moved from exploring and formulating to producing a new standard.    Because
of the open nature of our process we also receive large numbers of public
comments- which - also by our process - we address individually.   We are at
over 1800 comments now.  


We began to come together on a set of guidelines for WCAG 2.0 about 6-9
month ago.  But decided that we wanted to be sure that they were all do-able
and testable.  So we decided to complete a set of general and technology
specific techniques with tests and a document listing techniques or
combinations of techniques that would be sufficient for each success
criteria.  This led to a very large amount of work.  But we think it has
been well worth it.    Creating these docs has given us much insight into
the wording of the success criteria and we have revised the success criteria
and sometimes the guidelines based on what we learned.    Those interested
in understanding and applying WCAG 2.0 are also finding the How to Meet docs
and techniques to be invaluable. 


Completing these support docs,  revising the guidelines,   and clearing all
the comments sent in by external reviewers of our public review drafts has
increased the workload lately.   And the working group has worked very hard
- breaking into teams and tackling sections that are then brought back,
reviewed, and either approved by the full working group or sent back for
rework (or discarded).


Our group also has another unique mode of operation to insure inclusion.
Whenever we have a face to face - we don't make any final decisions.  This
is because not all our participants can make it to the meetings due to
costs.   As a result we always bring the results of a face-to-face back to a
weekly teleconf call to review consensus of Face-to-face work results.     


As we approached the final call version we have been using extended
teleconference calls instead of face-to-faces because it allows us to
review, discuss, and reach consensus as a group.   So instead of grueling 5
day 8 hour face-to-face work sessions we have been having grueling 3 (and
more recently 4) hour work sessions teleconferences  with one (never to be
repeated ) 9 hour teleconference work session.     Plus, a good number of
the Working Group participants have been doing weekly team meetings to
create materials for the full group to review and act from. 


With the last call planned to go out soon, the group will be letting up some
as the focus shifts to the implementation stage where we get external agents
to try the standard out and provide implementation experience.   But there
is still a lot of work to do yet.  First there will be the comments that
come in from Last Call that need to be read, reviewed and resolved.   Next,
there is still a large number of additional techniques that have been
identified but not yet written up.  Finally, the How-to-meet documents need
to be updated and additional material added as identified by the
implementation stage.   We would also like to create at least one
application note as an example - though this is not required to complete the

The chairs and editors would like to express their appreciation to all who
have given so much of their time and expertise to the process to date -
especially as we have worked so hard of late to create all the support
documents that helped to test the guidelines.   We ask that others on the
list join us in thanking the working group participants when you encounter
them on the web or in person.   


And we look forward to all of your input (concerns, questions and what you
like) on the last call draft of WCAG 2.0 which should be out soon for review
along with its Understanding WCAG 2.0 document (containing the How-to-meet
sections) and the Technique Docs. 



For the Chairs and Editors

Received on Monday, 20 March 2006 01:54:52 UTC

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