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Re: PROPOSAL: Procedure to Promote Progress With Accessibility Issues in HTML5

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2009 08:47:18 -0400
Message-ID: <4A6315D6.3050509@intertwingly.net>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, wai-liaison@w3.org, Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, Michael Cooper <cooper@w3.org>, Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>, Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Sun, 19 Jul 2009, Laura Carlson wrote:
>> To that end, we propose that the HTML working group adopt the following 
>> statement as an official procedure and publish it in HTML working group 
>> Web space.
>>
>> Procedure to Promote Progress With Accessibility Issues in HTML5
>>
>> Procedure Overview:
>>
>> The HTML WG will look to the W3C WAI groups for guidance, listen to 
>> their advice, and collaborate with them to reach mutually agreeable 
>> accessibility solutions. Furthermore, collaboration will be promoted in 
>> a pro-active manner, i.e., whenever possible, design features known or 
>> foreseen to have an impact on accessibility will be explored and 
>> discussed with the Protocols and Formats Working Group (PFWG) [2] prior 
>> to decisions in order to ensure mutually beneficial resolution of 
>> issues.
> 
> Laura, in the interests of the collaboration you espouse, could you reply 
> to the e-mail I wrote to you last month?
> 
>    http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Jun/0669.html
> 
>> Collaboration Framework:
>>
>> 1. Approach issues on the basis of the shared goal of making HTML 5
>> the best solution for everyone, including people with disabilities.
> 
> This should mean working for accessibility as a whole, not working for 
> specific features. For example, in the context of tables, it should mean 
> focusing on making tables accessible, not focusing on the summary="" 
> attribute to the exclusion of discussion of other solutions. (I have been 
> informed that in fact the WAI groups are more interested in voting on 
> whether summary="" is in or out than on voting on what accessibility 
> solutions should be used to make tables accessible, for instance.)
> 
> Can we get a commitment from members of the WAI to approach issues on the 
> basis of the shared goal of making HTML 5 the best solution for everyone, 
> including people with disabilities and people without disabilities?
> 
>> 2. Work from concrete issues as to what in HTML 5 needs to be improved 
>> by asking PFWG to clearly identify accessibility functional requirements 
>> and provide rationale.
> 
> I most recently tried to approach the WAI on the topic of <canvas>:
> 
>    http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2009Jun/0093.html
> 
> I've yet to receive any concrete functional requirements suggestions for 
> changes to the specification on this topic from the WAI (although I have 
> received several suggestions from members of the HTMLWG who are not 
> members of the WAI). I am still hopeful that the WAI will clearly identify 
> accessibility functional requirements and provide rationale. Is there any 
> chance the WAI could provide an ETA for such advice on this topic?
> 
>> 3. Listen to their input, ask for clarification, and work together to
>> devise solutions to satisfy accessibility requirements.
> 
> I have asked for clarifications, for example in June, regarding tables:
> 
>    http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Jun/0173.html
> 
> I received an official reply to the effect that my questions were not 
> welcome because they were not from a group:
> 
>    http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Jul/0260.html
> 
> ...and my reply to that, asking about which groups would qualify to get a 
> reply, received no replies at all:
> 
>    http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Jul/0262.html
> 
>> 4. Ask PFWG if proposed solutions meet accessibility requirements.
>>   * If they say no, ask what functionality is still needed and
>> continue the collaboration.
> 
> As noted above, I did this with <canvas>, and received no concrete 
> replies. (I received many thanks, but no technical replies.)
> 
> I look forward to further collaborations with the WAI, and hope that 
> concrete advice such as the advice you suggest that we ask for will be 
> forthcoming.

+1 to what Ian said.  Continuing where Ian left off:

Laura Carlson wrote:
>   * If they say no, ask what functionality is still needed and
> continue the collaboration.
>   * If they say yes, incorporate text for the mutually agreed upon
> solution into the specification.

These options are available to every member of the HTML Working Group. 
Many members of WAI are members of the HTML Working Group.  Those that 
are not currently members but are interested in exercising the above 
options are also encouraged to join.

> Collaboration Tools:
> 
> Tools to facilitate the procedure include but are not limited to:
> 
> * WAI XTECH Mailing List [3]
> * PF's Caucus on HTML Issues Weekly Teleconference [4]
> * Joint Task Forces/Ad Hoc Groups
> * Joint Sessions at Face-to-Face Meetings
> * HTML WG Teleconferences [5]
> * W3C ESW Wiki [6]
> * Tracker [7]

All of these exist as possibilities and many are actively being used.

> All interested parties, in particular HTML WG editors, are encouraged
> to make use of these collaboration tools and opportunities.

I am particularly puzzled by the stance "we don't make formal replies to 
individuals" and "in particular HTML WG editors...are encouraged to make 
use of [WAI XTECH Mailing List and HTML WG Teleconferences]".

> Respectfully,
> 
> Laura L. Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
   (public) Invited expert (good standing)

> Bruce Lawson <bruce@brucelawson.co.uk>
   Opera Software (good standing)

> Catherine Roy <ecrire@catherine-roy.net>
   (public) Invited expert (good standing)

> Debi Orton <oradnio@gmail.com>
   (public) Invited expert (good standing)

> Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>

> Jason White <jason@jasonjgw.net>
   (public) Invited expert (good standing)

> John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
   (public) Invited expert (good standing)

> Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
   (public) Invited expert (good standing)

> Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>

> Steve Faulkner <sfaulkner@paciellogroup.com>
   W3C Invited Experts (good standing)

In a word, I am disappointed by this proposal.  In addition to the two 
things Ian is waiting on, I am waiting on text for a vote on the summary 
issue to be made available for a public review.

> [1] http://www.w3.org/2007/03/HTML-WG-charter.html#wai
> [2] http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/
> [3] http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/participation.html#Subscribin
> [4] http://esw.w3.org/topic/PF/XTech/HTML5/Caucus
> [5] http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/Teleconferences
> [6] http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML
> [7] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker
> 
> A copy of this proposal is also in the ESW Wiki at:
> http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/AccessibilityIssueProcedure
> 
> --
> Laura L. Carlson

- Sam Ruby
Received on Sunday, 19 July 2009 12:49:07 GMT

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