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Re: WCAG 2.0 and JAWS

From: Chaals McCathieNevile <w3b@chaals.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2012 07:43:38 +0200
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>, "Karen Lewellen" <klewellen@shellworld.net>
Message-ID: <op.wh8vi1b222x22q@widsith-3.local>
Hi Karen,

On Sat, 28 Jul 2012 07:36:25 +0200, Karen Lewellen
<klewellen@shellworld.net> wrote:

> But...my original question was if the w3c has a pr arm equal to the  
> standards creating one to help curb the sort of assumptions that started  
> this thread in the first place?

The answer is "no". WAI (the bit of W3C most focused on accessibility) has
about 4-5 staff. The work of creating standards is done by many people, a
lot of them paid for by organisations who first pay for W3C to exist,
through membership fees, then put up the resources to do most of the work.

We're talking big bikkies, too. Microsoft and Google are very big  
companies, with their revenue very substantially tied to the internet. But  
Opera (my former employer) is orders of magnitude smaller, yet has  
literally dozens of active participants working at W3C. Add up membership  
fees, travel and similar expenses for meetings, and the time that people  
like Patrick, the people who chair working groups, and the people who work  
on HTML5 and other standards put in, and their commitment looks like a  
real proportion of their annual revenue.

The W3C is unusual. It positively welcomes active participation by the  
public and works to deal with all that feedback, which is not cheap (and  
slows down the work). This is because the members who are paying for the  
work agree that this leads to better standards in the long run.

Adding a W3C PR effort to this is not cheap. W3C has 50-100 staff, and  
speaking as someone who was once one of them generally they work very  
hard. Adding a couple of new people is a significant impact on their  
budget, and trying to re-assign existing staff raises the question of what  
they should stop doing. Many members spend significant amounts of their  
own money and resources doing PR, and while naturally it is focused on  
what they want it also effectively provides outreach capability for W3C.  
Patrick Lauke is one of a number of Opera employees actively involved in  
developer outreach, which provides a big focus on W3C work.

W3C does indeed influence the world. But as good as the staff are, it is  
not just them who make it happen - it is very much a community effort.  
Some of the community puts up a lot of money to help. Even then, many of  
the people involved add work done on their own time to what the company  
paid for. As Patrick says, it really is up to us. We the people made W3C  
what it is, and we should be thinking about how to make sure it continues  
to be effective and valuable.

There ain't no free lunch, bring your own. And a bit extra to share is  
always appreciated, and helps to make the table a happy place.

cheers

Chaals

-- 
Chaals - standards declaimer
Received on Monday, 30 July 2012 05:44:15 UTC

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