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RE: Review of second reopen request for issue 31b [alt-location]

From: Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2012 16:08:45 +0000
To: "Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net> (janina@rednote.net)" <janina@rednote.net>, "Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org> (jbrewer@w3.org)" <jbrewer@w3.org>, "Michael Cooper (cooper@w3.org)" <cooper@w3.org>, "Michael(tm) Smith (mike@w3.org)" <mike@w3.org>
CC: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, "public-html-a11y@w3.org" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <E3EACD022300B94D88613639CF4E25F83CF6DF79@TK5EX14MBXC136.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
The Chairs have not seen any kind of respond to our Feb 22 review of the second reopen request for ISSUE-31b [alt-location].  See below and:

If a revised change proposal is not received for this re-open request by Fri Mar 23 the Chairs plan to mark ISSUE-31b [alt-location] as POSTPONED as per our original notification in:

HTML WG co-chair

Paul Cotton, Microsoft Canada
17 Eleanor Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K2E 6A3
Tel: (425) 705-9596 Fax: (425) 936-7329

-----Original Message-----
From: Sam Ruby [mailto:rubys@intertwingly.net] 
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 5:24 AM
To: public-html@w3.org
Subject: Review of second reopen request for issue 31b [alt-location]

Despite the extension of the 48 hour consensus call (see bottom of this email for dates and link), the chairs have decided to provide this feedback early.


The Change Proposal identifies four points of potential new

1.  "a pattern of rejected bugs relating to the content of the text
     alternative advice in HTML5"  As evidence, 5 bugs were identified.
     Relevant portion of the original decision:

         This objection lists 4 bugs with specifics; bugs which were not
         raised separately as issues, but for which the only remedy
         advocated is to remove large amounts of text from the HTML5 spec
         and also remove the entire "HTML5: Techniques for providing
         useful text alternatives" document.  What is missing is any
         evidence that these issues couldn't be raised, and that they
         couldn't be resolved per the current Decision Process.  Lacking
         such evidence, this objection was found to be weak.

     Evaluating the bugs listed: bugs 9215 and 9216 were in fact one of
     the original four listed in the survey, and as such are not new
     information.  Bug 13651 was escalated as issue-202, which was
     subsequently deferred due to a lack of change proposals.  Bug 9077
     was raised as issue 122, and fixed.  Bug 14937 was raised as issue
     190 and is currently awaiting a counter proposal.

     As no evidence was presented that these issues couldn't be resolved
     per the current Decision Process, the new information presented
     would not likely to have materially affect the decision.

     Furthermore, despite quoting from the original decision, this Change
     Proposal fails to "identify a solution that specifically addresses
     the underlying causes".  The closest we could find in in the
     Rationale section "difficulty in gaining traction".  Failure to gain
     traction for a proposal is not sufficient technical justification
     for adopting that proposal.

     In a separate place in the Change Proposal, the following bugs were
     also listed: 9216, 9215, 8827, 8652, 8645, 7362.  As previously
     mentioned, the first two were identified in the survey and addressed
     by the original decision.  The remaining 4 were a part of the
     original issue 31.

2.  "2 sets of contradictory normative requirements"

     WCAG 2.0 was adopted in December of 2008.  As no new documents have
     been introduced since the original decision, this does not represent
     new information.  At most, it merely is a restatement of the first
     objection.  Relevant text from the first decision:

         This objection simply states that the examples should be in one
         place, and doesn't specify where that place should be.  If there
         are examples that should be removed, we encourage specific bug
         reports.  Lacking evidence of the right place for these examples
         to go, this objection was not found to be relevant to the
         decision at hand.

     Additionally, the first decision recognizes that there is a tradeoff
     between generic and modular specifications and providing
     documentation that contains all of the necessary advice for a
     specific element or attribute in one place.  Quoting from the Change
     Proposal that originally was selected:

         Defining the requirements that apply to HTML's <img> element's
         alt="" attribute in the same specification as the requirements
         for the <img> element's src="" attribute makes it more likely
         that authors reading the requirements for src="" will see the
         requirements for alt="".

     As such, this point was not also found to contain new information
     sufficient to merit the reopening of this issue.

3.  "majority of normative authoring requirements for alternative text
     currently contained within the HTML5 specification are not

     As evidence, one paragraph is cited which contains three specific
     references.  In fact, these references are the exact same ones
     mentioned in the final quote included in the second point.

     As described above, this is a recognized trade-off as the proposed
     solution (i.e., the removal of recommendations intended for authors
     that make use of these attributes and elements) would make it less
     likely that those recommendations would be seen by those who would
     benefit from such.

     Again, this point was not found to contain new information
     sufficient to merit the reopening of this issue.

4.  "The WCAG WG is more suited to development and vetting of the
     requirements and guidance of alternative text at this level, while
     the product of that development and vetting process can be equally
     available to developers using any specification."

     This fourth point starts out by restating portions of the third
     point.  It then concludes by making a point that is uncontested:
     nobody is proposing that the WCAG WG stop producing WCAG documents.

     Again, this point was not found to contain new information
     sufficient to merit the reopening of this issue.


We clearly have duplication and inconsistencies, and that is suboptimal.

One way to proceed is to identify specific deviations and provide rationale as to why those sections should be changed.  Citing new issues that have been resolved is not evidence that this is unworkable.

If the preferred solution to this problem is to remove the text from the HTML 5 specification, what is needed is here is a proposal that doesn't merely cite bug numbers, but instead identifies root causes for these differences and identifies a change that addresses those root causes.

Another approach would be to address head on the assertion that having information relevant to authors that make use of elements such as <img> and attributes such as alt="" in the same place as the definition of those elements is counter productive.

The above two paragraphs are merely examples of the type of information that the chairs would consider as sufficient for reopening this issue. 
This list is not meant to be exhaustive.


History and Links

The original deadline for reopen requests was February 11th:

Original Re-open request:

Chairs original response (request found to be incomplete):

Plan to resubmit on Monday:

48 hour consensus call (plus extension):

Change Proposal:

Original Decision:

- Sam Ruby
Received on Tuesday, 13 March 2012 16:09:41 UTC

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