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Re: Straw man list for WCAG.NEXT, another proposal...

From: <jason@accessibleculture.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2016 11:48:59 +1200
Message-Id: <0D374B44-CB1F-4965-AF7C-E52A0AEE090E@accessibleculture.org>
To: WCAG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
After considering the comments on the various WCAG Next Possible Models threads, and coming from the position of someone setting government web standards, I’m most in favour of Option 2.2, integrating into new WCAG 2.x standards, and on a date-driven schedule, the Success Criteria that are ready at those points in time from across all task forces. Below are my comments on why, although many or most of them repeat and support what others have already said.

Adding separate extensions, either by task force (option 1.1) or by technology/platform (option 1.2), makes, from a government/policy perspective, establishing conformance criteria more complicated, since it would involve pointing to multiple documents instead of just one. And depending on how and when these extensions are published, the updates to conformance schedules that any WCAG.next work will entail, will only be further complicated by having to point to more and separate extensions.

Options 1.1 and 1.2 also group, but at the same time divide, Success Criteria into different disability and technology camps, something that I think is contrary to the more integrated, holistic and agnostic approach initiated with WCAG 2.0.

Integrating extension requirements into new WCAG 2.x standards by task force (option 2.1) would similarly group or isolate Success Criteria into separate disability and/or technology-specific collections, and for that reason should be avoided.

On that note, I’d like briefly to suggest that the Mobile Accessibility Task Force consider renaming itself and/or moving away from an explicit focus on “mobile”. The Task Force’s proposed Success Criteria are almost all about different input devices and interfaces (i.e., touch, gesture, speech) that are not specific to mobile devices, and so the reference to and focus on “mobile” is misleading and inconsistent with WCAG’s general approach to describing and addressing accessible outcomes and interaction.

Back to WCAG.next, I think David’s “model 5” proposal (option 3.1) to integrate all Success Criteria from across all task forces only once they are all ready is ideal, but not practical given the complexity and amount of effort involved in delivering a complete and comprehensive set of accessibility requirements, as WCAG efforts to date have shown. Waiting for consensus on readiness across all task force work will take too long, I fear.

It is better, I think, to establish some dates when whatever Success Criteria are ready at that point from across all task forces can be integrated into a new version of WCAG 2.x. While this won’t prevent government/policy from having to update its formal conformance requirements, at least those updates will only need to point to the next and latest version of a single document.

In my experience, governments and government websites are always playing catch-up in terms of meeting any web standards, and that’s not likely to change given the nature of the web and the various resource constraints and processes involved in how governments deliver online information and services. In that regard, having a new version of WCAG 2.x even every year or so is not such a great burden, as government agencies and their websites will simply continue to readjust their target conformance as they always have, ideally aligning that ongoing work with their particular development and redevelopment cycles.


Jason Kiss

> On 12/04/2016, at 3:25 AM, David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca> wrote:
> I will go with the group conscience on the model going forward ... I had responded to Charles that I'd be willing to amend my proposal 
> https://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/wiki/WCAG_Next_Possible_Models/Model_5 <https://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/wiki/WCAG_Next_Possible_Models/Model_5>
> to go with a Dec 2017 ship date... and then fall back to the model 4 if groups are not ready... 
> So I'm guessing the only difference between mine and #4 is that I would like to give the Task forces and WCAG another 6 months or so to try to put one comprehensive update together....
> I'm nervous that if Mobile success criteria ship without the COGA and  LV Success criteria, that cognitive and Low Vision will be under represented again, and there won't be a lot of motivation to make the hard decisions and compromises necessary to get these more difficult requirements (that are harder to test etc.) included in WCAG, and they will live in note world largely ignored.
> On Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 9:54 AM, Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com <mailto:akirkpat@adobe.com>> wrote:
> David,
> I’ve shared these comments with you separately but will add to the list here regarding your proposed item.
> I don’t think that it is necessarily different from option #4, but I think that your #5 is making more assumptions than I’m comfortable with.
> In both we are encouraging the task forces that currently exist to get moving and come up with draft SC’s.
> If the draft SC’s from the TFs are agreed on quickly, and there are no additional task forces suggesting SC’s, and no additional SC’s coming from the working group, then maybe we wind up with a WCAG 2.1 and there is no need for a WCAG 2.2.  I think that is a lot of maybes.  
> We are talking about a 3-year window for this work.  I don’t think that three new versions would be possible.  Two might be, but it might not be needed if all of the “ifs” indicated above come to pass.
> I think that it is risky to plan for a WCAG 2.1 that needs to build in all of the task force work.
> What if one of the task forces is slower than the others?  How long should we wait?
> What if there is a new task force?  Do we wait for SC from that TF?
> I think that we can, and probably should have a regular update cadence for WCAG 2.x, and for future major versions also.  We know that new technologies present ongoing challenges to WCAG’s original language.  Some of this can be addressed in techniques, but some cannot.  Even in this discussion we are talking about integrating UAAG and ATAG criteria into a future combined guideline, and that will take time.  What if we can’t get that major update out until 2022?  Would it be better to plan on incremental WCAG 2.x updates until that new standard is ready?
> Circling back to the idea of an all-encompassing 2.1 – I’m not opposed to this idea, but what I’m most worried about is it taking forever because there are always new reasons to delay the publication:  There’s a new TF and it is really important; lack of consensus on a couple of new SCs delays publication because people want to take "one more try” (again) to convince people; and more…  As co-chair, what I really want is to get a standard out that addresses as many gaps as we can, in an efficient, timely, and predictable process and time-frame.  Part of the reason that we can get techniques out every six months is that there is another publication on the horizon.  When we didn’t do the techniques twice a year we published them once every two years and there was always this same sort of pressure to wait and publish after the group did more because where we were at was not good enough. It never is, and the same will be true of WCAG 2.1 if we take that approach.
> You also say " it is incredibly expensive and time consuming for stakeholders to update policy, legislation, and their web sites every year.” - How many countries update their policies and legislation every year?  I’d guess zero.  I’d love to hear from actual policy-makers about this.  I hear lots of people saying we can’t do something because the policy-makers won’t like it, but we really need to hear what policy-makers say rather than what people who aren’t policy-makers think that they would say.
> Great discussion everyone – keep it coming!
> Thanks,
> From: David MacDonald <david@can-adapt.com <mailto:david@can-adapt.com>>
> Date: Friday, April 8, 2016 at 19:01
> To: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org <mailto:w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>>, WCAG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org <mailto:w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>>, John Foliot <john.foliot@deque.com <mailto:john.foliot@deque.com>>, Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com <mailto:akirkpat@adobe.com>>
> Subject: Straw man list for WCAG.NEXT, another proposal...
> I *don't* think we should be saying we'll have 2 or 3 new versions of WCAG in the next 3 years... it is incredibly expensive and time consuming for stakeholders to update policy, legislation, and their web sites every year... if we're not ready to incorporate all the task force work then lets wait to release the next version we are 
> Currently there is *no* model that says we will have one important 2.x release that incorporates *all* the task force work. I think that needs to be discussed... I put up a WIKI page here, and would like to see this added to the straw man list... 
> https://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/wiki/WCAG_Next_Possible_Models/Model_5 <https://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/wiki/WCAG_Next_Possible_Models/Model_5>
> Cheers,
> David MacDonald
> CanAdaptSolutions Inc.
> Tel:  613.235.4902 <tel:613.235.4902>
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Received on Tuesday, 12 April 2016 23:49:34 UTC

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