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

From: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 07:55:57 -0500
Message-ID: <643cc0270907210555n4d641d03i6307823bff85df44@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>
On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 4:33 AM, Sam Ruby<rubys@intertwingly.net> wrote:
> Shelley Powers wrote:
>>>> 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.
>>> To get listed as such will require a decision.  See Decision History[2].
>>>  I
>>> personally would support such a decision.
>> To be honest, two alternatives, one from the WhatWG, and one
>> consisting of a collaborative efforts most likely pulled in from
>> several WhatWG members, in addition to accessibility folks, as well as
>> SVG, and RDFa, and MathML folks, not to mention folks from the XHTML
>> 2.0 working group, seem like a way to progress forward. I hinted as
>> much with my use of the term "alliance" [1].
>> Most likely much of the two documents would be the same. But there
>> would be differences. But both documents would be immediately
>> accessible to anyone accessing the HTML WG page at the W3C, with an
>> understanding of what is driving two document.
>>>> 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.
>>> Hindsight is 20/20.  I will note that Ian has done that has prevented
>>> Manu
>>> from producing a document.  His role as a gatekeeper is greatly
>>> exaggerated
>>> (with apologies to Mark Twain).
>> Of which, no one knows about said document, unless you happen to
>> follow the RDFa working group, or happen to catch it when it flew past
>> in the HTML WG email list.
>> But one can easily see the "editor's draft" of the HTML 5 document.
>> Now, put these on a scale...oops! It just fell over.
>>> My frustration is that more people haven't followed Manu's lead -- so
>>> far.
>>>  Presumably, given time this will work out.
>> I wouldn't recommend anyone doing anything, until there is an
>> assurance of parity.
>>>> 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].
>>> If she wishes to produce a document that gets listed on the front page, I
>>> will ask Mike to provide her with CVS access, and once produced we can
>>> seek
>>> a Decision.
>> Nope, nada, don't work. That scale just fell over again. I think we
>> should seek a decision now. The two documents, WhatWG and Everyone
>> Else. I think this is fair. The Everyone Else document can begin with
>> a snapshot of the existing HTML 5 document, and then be edited through
>> a collaborative process.
>> Folks from the EE version can use additions to the WhatWG document,
>> and vice versa. But when there is disagreement, then folks have a
>> legitimate outlet for their work that will not be lost, back channel
>> linked, ignored, or otherwise relegated to poor relative status.
>> Didn't Michael Smith also deliver an alternative HTML 5 document? Now,
>> I wonder where it is. And where is Manu's?
>> What are the advantages? People can see, at a glance, where
>> differences exist between the two groups. Rather than rehash and hash
>> again in the email lists, edits can be made to whichever of the
>> document.
>> There may end up more than one document, but the point is, each has to
>> be given parity. Same footing, same linkage, same level of respect.
>> Otherwise, the dice is loaded, the game is lost, and all you're
>> recommending is that people waste their time.
>> Fair's fair. If the WhatWG document is the superior document, let it
>> compete in a level playing field.
>>>> 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.
>>> Much appreciated.  Seriously.
>>>>>> Cheers
>>>>>> Josh
>>>>> - Sam Ruby
>>>> [1] http://www.cssquirrel.com/comic/?comic=28
>>> [2] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/
>> OK, 4 cents worth. I don't have more than a nickel, so I've spent my
>> allowance.
> I realize that what I am about to say isn't directly responsive to what you
> said, nor is it likely to win me any friends, but here goes (in no
> particular order):
> 1) Where we are today is due in a large part to effort by the WHATWG in
> general, and Ian in particular.  They closest we can come to a level playing
> field is a draft-hixie alongside a draft-sporny or a draft-faulkner or the
> like.  I won't pretend that anybody here as the credibility that Ian has
> built up to date.

Where we are today, is on track to deliver what I feel is probably the
worst markup specification since HTML 3.2. Yes, it is moving forward,
if you count activity as progress, but the more one looks at it, the
more one sees it to be problematic. And not just as relates to
accessibility or RDFa.

Canvas is built-in, which means it can't progress without having to
update the HTML 5 specification just specifically for it. Built-in
vocabularies, which will soon be out of sync with that, which are
copied from. So-called semantic elements, which are based on, well,
weblogging terms and news sites, and don't take into account either
the future structure of the web, or the fact that they don't reflect
web structures that exist today.

Conflicting writing, writing that will make the specification not
backwards compatible.  Confusion about conformance.

It appeases the browser makers, totally ignores most authors and
users, and seems to be filled with all sorts of new toys that will
make the kiddies happy. But not enough of the good solid markup stuff
that will make a web that can be built on for the future. It basically
forces us into a gatekeeper situation, and we've already heard Ian
announce plans to maintain ownership, most likely indefinitely. He's
so quick to toss out HTML 6 and HTML 7, where we'll "fix" things
deliberately introduced now.

The XML serialization really isn't extensible, it builds walls against
the work the rest of the W3C is doing, the whole process actually
makes it more difficult to not only try out new elements and
attributes in the future, but to use elements and attributes in
existence today.

This is where we are today, Sam.

> 2) Documents to date have made it to FPWD on the basis of a vote.  I am
> willing to try lazy consensus[3], but realistically it would not surprise me
> if somebody were to call for a vote.

Fair enough.

> 3) Manu has indicated a willingness to work with Laura, John, and Steve.
>  For all I know that willingness may not be reciprocated, or may not work
> out.  In fact, every indication I have seen is that Laura and John would
> rather work on a process document than the spec itself.  If that is indeed
> what they wish to work on, then I will support them as I have supported Manu
> - separately.

But what happens when people do submit things. You yourself completely
forget about instances and cases where what you call for has been
provided, and more than once.

Why? Because there is nothing to hand that enables the majority of
people to go to the HTML WG site and actually see points of
contention, to hear alternatives, to be aware that submittals have
been made. Oh, the issue tracking is a computer geek tool -- it
obfuscates, lets the members feel like they're moving forward. But it
doesn't communicate.

No, what is communicated is that everything in HTML 5 land is happy,
and well formed, and inclusive, because that's the page that people
see when they come to the W3C.

> 4) Ideally, no special status would mean that authors would be able to
> include material from each other, and Ian wouldn't be excluded from the
> ability to incorporate suggestions from others.

There is nothing about parity that would mean any of the parties
couldn't use each other's work. Parity would mean that there would be
equal visibility of effort, nothing more, nothing less.

> 5) Neither Mike nor Manu have yet to indicate that their respective
> documents are ready for FPWD.

So is that the procedure then? They produce these documents when
they're ready to progress, and the HTML WG puts the documents to a
vote for FPWD, in conjunction with the WhatWG's version? And then, if
the vote is favorable, the working group would have multiple working
documents referenced from the front page?

> 6) I can not guarantee that any document will gain consensus, including
> Ian's.  Simply put, there is a small but distinct possibility that everybody
> is wasting their time here.  Clearly, I wouldn't be devoting my time here if
> I felt that were likely.

The possibility grows, daily.

>> Shelley
>> [1]
>> http://realtech.burningbird.net/semantic-web/semantic-web-issues-and-practices/survivor-w3c
> - Sam Ruby
> [3] http://www.apache.org/foundation/glossary.html#LazyConsensus

Received on Tuesday, 21 July 2009 12:56:38 UTC

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