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

From: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 12:40:16 -0500
Message-ID: <643cc0270907201040k3a808ee5pf1d234f9cdc1e51b@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>
On Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 9:42 AM, Sam Ruby<rubys@intertwingly.net> wrote:
> Joshue O Connor wrote:
>> Ian Hickson wrote:
>>>  (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.)
> Ian: such use of passive tense is unnecessarily provocative.  One
> possibility is that your unnamed source or sources are mistaken.
>> and again.
>>> Can the WAI commit to approaching accessibility issues holistically,
>>> instead of following one-solution agendas as I was recently informed is
>>> explicitly being done with the summary="" issue?
>> What is that supposed to mean? We are /all/ about holistic solutions,
>> however the current vote (as I understand it) is to be about @summary as
>> it currently is. While we (PF) do wish to talk about engineering a
>> better solution (as I am sure we can come up with one) this is /not/ on
>> the table at the moment.
> Joshue: clearly holistic means different things to different people.
> Identifying text as specifically targeting a set of individuals, and thereby
> excluding others, is apparently not something that some considers
> "holistic".  Others feel that identifying text as being potentially
> redundant for those who are fully sighted, and thereby providing an option
> to render or hide this information based on user preference and abilities is
> the result a holistic approach to the issue.
> This situation is made more complicated by the fact that @summary is already
> implemented by a number of tools, had limited uptake on the public web, and
> often appears to be misused.
> Action 128 is assigned to you.  My suggestion is that you focus on it.

Sam, I realize that you're frustrated at the debate, and this cycle of
discussion, but sometimes you have a habit of shooting down legitimate
concerns and questions, and leaving one feeling like we've just been
sent to stand in the corner, and reflect on our general misbehaving.

Frankly, this cycle would not be happening if there really were
genuinely open approaches to submitting alternative proposals. I'm
sorry that the W3C saw fit to open the can of worms by allowing the
process that started in the WhatWG to continue into the W3C, but
that's really the W3C's problem.

If you're really serious about alternative proposals, then the WhatWG
HTML 5 specification should be considered just one of a variety, and
others should be linked directly from the front page, and the process
carefully delimited, again on the front page, so folks don't have an
assumption that the WhatWG version is the de facto version. That it is
potentially one of many. Each proposal, each group of editors, should
be given the same level of prominence and front page access. A note to
that effect should also be posted at the WhatWG.

Otherwise, this whole process is nothing more than a way to get people
running around in circles, while Ian's HTML 5 slips through the cracks
because supposedly no one is submitting proposals, when they are, but
they're being ignored, back channel linked, and forgotten.

Not having a gatekeeper would have prevented all of this, but the W3C
put in a gatekeeper. And no, neither you, nor Chris, are the
gatekeepers. We can pretend otherwise, but that just leads to yet more
confusion, resentment, discouragement, and general unhappiness with
the HTML 5 effort.

Laura's recent proposal is nothing more than a group of people trying
to level the playing field. She certainly didn't submit it because it
was fun to do so, and she has nothing better to do. Perhaps a little
respect might have gone a little to reassure people that their
concerns really do matter, rather than folks feeling like no matter
what we submit, it will just get dropped into a black hole [1].

I know that Last Call is coming up, issues are being brought up again
and again, we can't seem to make head way, and a lot of people are
unhappy, and you most likely feel right in the middle of it, but blame
the responsible people at the W3C for the problems, not us.

My 2 cents worth, since this is the 2 cent email list.

>> Cheers
>> Josh
> - Sam Ruby

[1] http://www.cssquirrel.com/comic/?comic=28
Received on Monday, 20 July 2009 17:40:56 UTC

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