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ACTION-660 Reprise (was RE: Relationship to other WCAG in BP2 draft)

From: Jo Rabin <jrabin@mtld.mobi>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2008 21:37:23 -0000
Message-ID: <C8FFD98530207F40BD8D2CAD608B50B4B8865D@mtldsvr01.DotMobi.local>
To: "MWI BPWG Public" <public-bpwg@w3.org>

Like a number of others, I expect, I have been knocked back by the
unprecedented success of ACTION-660 in generating comments.

However, also like others I am a little unsure as to what has been
discussed and/or agreed. I was about to try to summarize, when I
realized that I am not the editor of this doc, so it's not my job! So by
cc, I wonder if Bryan can summarize the principal points of discussion
and agreement from this recent exchange?

For my part I have a couple of observations.

1. We need to be very clear what this document is about. I am nervous
that following what I thought was a resolution in Boston on this there
is still some uncertainty in the group.

We really have to pin this down. I think we need to be particularly
clear on the following:

1. What are people doing that we want to change?
2. What are people not doing that we want to change?
3. What, of the above, is specially "mobile"?

2. I don't agree with Bryan that the DDC was a point in time. Discussion
of how it came about was certainly along those lines, but in the end my
belief is that we defined a baseline for "something that is Web capable"
- specifically that is not something that will change with the market.
Though it may change for other reasons.

I don't want BP" to get hung up on the same kinds of discussions. And to
that end think that ADC is gone and should stay gone.

3. I am not clear that we have defined what a Web application is with
enough clarity to write sensibly about it.

In particular sections 1.4  and 2.8 seem to be misaligned as to the
meaning. This is worth spending quality time on to get right. How could
I tell if I was developing a Web application and that therefore these
guidelines apply to ME?

4. I agree with Sean Owen's point that this thing should not wander off
into general statements and I believe that Bryan is trying not to do

However, we are not giving him much help. 

a) Where are the references for good practice? No one has come up with
any on this list afaik.

b) We need some trial assertions e.g. 

"Do not mangle the fungle unless the foo is at least bar"

"If the level of gamma rays is more than critical, undo the manacles"

Noone has suggested any of these. [Well, not these specific examples, of

Just to remind you Bryan is the Editor of this document, you - the WG -
are the authors.

5. I don't think it is a necessary condition for Best Practice
statements to be testable. It's perfectly acceptable to talk about what
is desirable without making it measurable.

A lot of the precepts of Western society, it seems to me, are based on
untestable best practice. Don't lie, don't bear false witness, honor
your father and your mother. 

Just because it is not testable doesn't mean it's not "Best Practice".
This is a Best Practice document, not mobileOK tests.

6. I think section 2 requirements should be illustrative of specific
problems rather than dwelling on general issues that are perceived to be
problems. Contributions are needed for this.

Hope that helps

> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-bpwg-request@w3.org [mailto:public-bpwg-request@w3.org]
> Behalf Of Sullivan, Bryan
> Sent: 19 February 2008 08:51
> To: Sean Owen; achuter.technosite@yahoo.com
> Cc: MWI BPWG Public
> Subject: RE: Relationship to other WCAG in BP2 draft
> Sean,
> Thanks for teaching me a new verb: elide.
> I agree to your and Alan's proposed edit, though I wouldn't call it
> name-dropping since the goals are honest and do translate to real best
> practices. But if WCAG is moving on to device-independent focus then
> relationship to the BP may be getting less focused as well.
> the BP will continue to focus on usability.
> On testability: I have proposed a criteria for recommendation
> that they be testable, at least manually (preferably automatically).
> There are enough testable recommendations to consider I believe, and
> will help get BP2 done sooner.
> I agree that telling developers "test your product" doesn't add much.
> But making recommendations that are backed up by tools such as the
> MobileOK Checker (even if I would tweak it a little bit) does add a
> whole lot.
> Best regards,
> Bryan Sullivan | AT&T
> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-bpwg-request@w3.org [mailto:public-bpwg-request@w3.org]
> Behalf Of Sean Owen
> Sent: Monday, February 18, 2008 9:08 AM
> To: achuter.technosite@yahoo.com
> Cc: MWI BPWG Public
> Subject: Re: Relationship to other WCAG in BP2 draft
> On Feb 18, 2008 3:41 AM, Alan Chuter <achuter@technosite.es> wrote:
> >
> > The "1.5 Relationship to other Best Practices and recommendations"
> > section says "These recommendations follow in the footsteps of the
> > BP1, and as such are in part derived from the Web Content
> > Accessibility Guidelines [WCAG]." I'm not convinced of the
> > of this statement, which sounds like a bit of name-dropping. I think
> > it causes more confusion than it clarifies.
> I suspect that BP2, whatever it is, won't begin life by borrowing from
> WCAG this time. This statement was far more true in BP1, and
> nevertheless maybe cause a few people to pause and be confused. I
> if asking me, I'd just elide this reference to WCAG.
> > One of the advances in WCAG 2.0 is that it is device-independent.
> > Translated to MWBP this would mean making the BPs independent of the
> > DDC. Another is that the WCAG success criteria are testable. While I
> > wouldn't suggest excluding BP that are untestable, it would be
> > to indicate in the document which ones are testable and likely to be
> > included in conformance.
> My broken record will come out here. It's probably more appropriate
> WCAG to express general principles than particular practices. It would
> be nice, but not essential, to tell people how these principles can be
> applied in practice too.
> BPs, being about practice foremost, has a different mandate. I am not
> sure it's possible to talk about "practice" without talking about real
> technologies or a profile of some fictitious, yet plausibly real
> I don't think anybody's suggesting saying the word "iPhone", but not
> mentioning HTML, touch screens, display dimensions, etc. seems
> impossible.
> I also don't like the idea of writing about a Best Practice that
> can really test. Certainly nothing like that can go into mobileOK,
> is probably the analog of WCAG success criteria. So we seemed to have
> allowed the luxury of writing untestable BPs like "TESTING" last time,
> and while that's not completely out of the question, I do think we
> should avoid this this time around. TESTING, in retrospect, was not a
> bad Best Practice, but simply said little.
> Done again, maybe we'd have dumped it.
> But then we would have had 59 BPs instead of 60, and round numbers are
> comforting. This is why the US named Hawaii its 50th state of course,
> and why Puerto Rico simply can't be one.
Received on Tuesday, 19 February 2008 21:37:57 UTC

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