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Re: Notice of impending Formal Objection to Issue 30 Decision (@longdesc)

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 15:17:08 -0400
Message-ID: <4C6448B4.8050205@intertwingly.net>
To: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>
CC: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, Aurelien Levy <aurelien.levy@free.fr>, John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Michael Cooper <cooper@w3.org>
On 08/12/2010 01:40 PM, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
> aloha, sam!
> just a note to you and the other chairs to ask why you don't give the
> credence to WCAG that you would to other Technical Recommendations?

You are drawing a number of inferences, and your understanding of the 
chair role seems to be different than what the W3C provides.

As to what actually occurred: I'll repeat that what the chairs did was 
evaluate the arguments provided.  The change proposal for longdesc made 
absolutely no reference to WCAG.  WCAG did come up in subsequent 
discussions, and those discussions were taken into consideration.

Nobody is contesting that longdesc is a part of WCAG 2.0.  Nobody is 
contesting that being inconsistent with WCAG isn't a valid objection. 
What was stated during the discussion, and specifically cited in the 
decision, was "no stated reason that this feature will actually be used 
more in the coming 10 years than it has in the past 10 years".  In our 
opinion, that significantly reduces the weight any objection to being 
inconsistent with WCAG.

Again, I want to reemphasize: it may very well be that there is reason 
to believe that longdesc is vital.  All I am saying is that we asked 
people to comment, provided ample opportunity to do so, and that we 
evaluated the answers given.

  - - -

As to your inference that the WAI domain doesn't carry the same weight, 
that simply isn't true.  I cataloged the list of willful violations that 
were currently in the spec in April, and while the specifics may have 
changed slightly, I don't think it affects the overall picture.

Summary: HTML5 violates RFC 3986, HTTP, XPath 1.0, XSLT 1.0, RFC 5322, 
RFC 3986, RFC 2046, ECMA 262, RFC 2046, W3C CHARMOD, RFC 2781, and Unicode.

Full presentation here:

Put in simpler terms, the chairs read of the sentiment of the working 
group is that "It don't work" is the basis for a stronger objection than 
"It says so right here".  That's true whether the original statement 
came from ECMA, the IETF, or even here in the W3C.

  - - -

Again, just so it isn't crystal clear: I am not saying that longdesc 
doesn't work or that WCAG doesn't matter.  I am saying that we asked for 
arguments and counter arguments, and evaluated the input that we were 

Paths forward from this point (as listed in the decision itself):

     * use cases that specifically require longdesc,
     * evidence that correct usage is growing rapidly and that that
       growth is expected to continue, or
     * widespread interoperable implementation.

Additionally, there is the path forward of a Formal Objection.

- Sam Ruby

> you wrote:
>> The existence of these guidelines (standards, laws, etc). that
>> you and others cited is a valid argument.  To my knowledge, no
>> one is contesting that these guidelines exist.  Some have argued
>> that these have had little impact.  None of the proposals or
>> objections clearly established that these guidelines had an impact.
> WCAG 2.0 is a W3C recommendation, not a nebulous guideline -- are the
> chairs saying that Technical Recommendations that come from the WAI
> domain don't carry the same weight as any other w3c-produced Technical
> Recommendation?
> gregory.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> CONSERVATIVE, n.  A statesman who is enamored of existing evils,
> as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them
> with others.         -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
>               Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
>    Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
Received on Thursday, 12 August 2010 19:18:07 UTC

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