W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-a11y@w3.org > April 2010

Re: Proposed deadlines on HTML issues

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2010 14:48:16 +0100
To: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Cc: brewer@w3.org, janina@rednote.net, cooper@w3.org
Message-Id: <20100426131811.M32764@hicom.net>
> Note that 
> we will be held to these deadlines and the issues will be closed 
> without prejudice if we do not deliver by the deadline, so they 
> are serious dates.

why has this been accepted?  once again, the accessibility community
is being put between an artificially created rock and a hard place --
we did not strip out of HTML5 the markup that was added to HTML4x 
specifically for the purposes of accessibility, but we are being 
forced to re-introduce and re-engineer solutions under an artificial 
deadline; it is the HTML WG which is to blame for this delay, as it 
failed to replace them with equal or superior mechanisms, yet we are 
still being told that unless we dance to the ever-changing tempos of 
the HTML WG our work and our concerns will be "dismissed without 
prejudice" -- how, then, is the task force to perform its duty -- to 
ensure that HTML5 has equal or superior mechanisms to enable 
accessibility than existed in HTML4x?

i am extremely displeased by the bum-rush being given to accessibility
concerns and with the VERY real holes that exist in the HTML5 draft --
to hold a task force to an arbitrary deadline that reflects aught but 
an overwhelming herd-mentality to "be done with this troublesome spec"
WITHOUT ensuring that the spec meets the needs of all users, and not 
just of developers, the chairs, the editors, and those who dance to 
tunes called by those whose agendas and timelines accord not with the
drafting of a technical specification, but reflects a craving for the 
imprimatur of the W3C on a document which is already being implemented 
piecemeal without due concern for accessibility or usability -- 
inaccessibility is a legitimate show-stopper, full stop, and no amount 
of bullying of the Task Force by the HTML WG can change that...

agreeing to these deadlines is the WRONG developmental model for a 
technical specification -- the accessibility community has been seeking
to work on these issues in tandem with the HTML WG; it was the HTML WG 
that delayed in recognizing that it had a responsibility to solicit the
advice. counsel and expertise of the WAI which has caused such major 
delays and the perpetuation of accessibility black holes in HTML5 
implementation...  the drive to bring HTML5 to Last Call is a tacit 
admission that the process is broken, and that the practice of "paving 
cowpaths" is intellectually bankrupt...

i for one do not agree to arbitrary timelines, especially when attempts 
to resolve issues were routinely ignored until a task force was formed, 
but the simple convening of a task force on accessibility issues does 
NOT mean that those issues will be resolved in accordance with an 
artificial timeline...  as long as bits of HTML5 are being implemented 
without accessibility markup, and as long as the HTML WG insists on 
abusing ARIA (a bridging technology) instead of working upon native 
solutions, we are in an artificially created impasse which places an 
undue onus on the TF to provide solutions for problems exacerbated by 
the HTML5 draft and its draconian decision to eliminate elements and 
attributes due to specious claims of their "lack of use" by those with 
no experience with assistive technology or real cognizance of the 

in the end, is the W3C attempting to produce a technical recommendation,
or is it simply attempting to make the best of a very bad situation?

The optimist thinks that this is the best of all
possible worlds; the pessimist knows it is.
Gregory J. Rosmaita: oedipus@hicom.net
   Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus
Received on Monday, 26 April 2010 13:49:18 UTC

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