W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-apa@w3.org > July 2016

Re: Reconsidering our Decision Policy

From: Léonie Watson <tink@tink.uk>
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2016 09:48:58 +0100
To: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, W3C WAI Accessible Platform Architectures <public-apa@w3.org>
Message-ID: <3a9ebb95-e38c-8fb6-230e-832f7ea0b6d4@tink.uk>
On 19/07/2016 21:21, Janina Sajka wrote:
> The assumption here is that we don't want to burden ourselves with CfC
> calls unnecessarily. Clearly, the operative term here relates to
> necessity. Often our comments to other groups are frankly basic
> accessibility guidance long established and well known, e.g. provide alt
> for graphics, textual descriptions for complex graphics, etc.

The CFC process is useful for people who find attending calls difficult 
but who still want to participate asynchronously - even when the thing 
requiring consensus appears relatively straight-forward. Our charter 
calls this out:

"At charter time, the decision policy is under review within the group 
in order to develop a decision process that supports greater 
asynchronous participation
and minimize dependence on weekly teleconferences."

> I would like to propose the following additional language for our
> Decision Policy to explain when we do, and do not require a CfC, and as
> a starting point to clarify our process. This is an early draft for your
> consideration on list here, and in our upcoming teleconferences.
> Draft Decision Policy Addendum
> Not all APA dicisions require a formal CfC.
> A CfC is required whenever APA requests changes to normative language in a
> W3C specification.
> A formal CfC is not required when APA resolves to send comments to a W3C
> group:
> *	On nonnormative language in their publication
> *	When APA's comments reflect well established accessibility best
> *	practices guidance.
> *	When there is no substantive disagreement in APA on the
> *	changes sought. For this purpose discussion of how best to
> *	present APA's comments does not constitute substantive
> *	disagreement.

This seems a bit paradoxical. A CFC is the thing that determines whether 
there is substantive disagreement within the WG, beyond the people who 
happened to be on the call(s) where it was discussed.

Whether something is "best practice" is too nebulous a thing to be the 
basis for deciding whether a CFC is needed or not - you need only read 
discussions in WCAG to know there is often enthusiastic disagreement 
over the most simple seeming recommendations!

There would be uncertainty too. When comments include both normative and 
non-normative recommendations, would there be a CFC for all the comments 
or only the normative bits? How would someone reliably know?

> In all cases, whether or not a CfC is relied on, the substance of
> comments must be fairly summarized in
> APA email archives, and supported by a RESOLUTION: adopted during an APA
> teleconference or face to face meeting.

I think our current decision policy is clear, robust and easy to use - 
and it is intended to encourage participation from the WG as a whole.

FWIW the ARIA WG recently adopted a useful approach to CFCs. When a 
resolution is reached on a call, an email is sent to the WG. The subject 
of the email includes the CFC topic, the period of the CFC, and the 
deadline for responding. The email itself points to the minuted 
resolution etc. This makes it easy for WG participants to quickly 
process a CFC and respond in the appropriate time.

> While APA members are free to voice their views to any W3C group, such
> comments are not to be represented or construed as formal APA comments
> without URI reference to the relevant APA RESOLUTION.

This is a good point, but the counter-point is that if comments are made 
on behalf of the WG, the WG should have been given the opportunity to 
consent or object.


@LeonieWatson tink.uk Carpe diem
Received on Wednesday, 20 July 2016 08:49:34 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Thursday, 24 March 2022 20:23:01 UTC