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My final attempt on explanation (was RE: [DRAFT] Heartbeat poll - update 2)

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 2009 10:52:37 -0700 (PDT)
To: "'Lachlan Hunt'" <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: "'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <025d01ca1463$3046e1f0$90d4a5d0$@edu>
Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> The problem is that the PFWG have not presented their research.  They
> have only provided position statements and fallacious arguments from
> authority that lack any empirical evidence whatsoever.


Please forgive the "street" vernacular of what I am about to say: Stuff the 

Please re-read my previous posting to you, where I said:

"What I've argued, from the beginning, is that in the section "12.1 
Obsolete" content creators are told specifically *NOT* to use @summary. 
This directly contradicts WCAG 2 guidance in this matter."

<John leaves everyone a minute or two for that to sink in>

[To put this into pseudo-programming terminology, you have created a loop]

"I maintain that it is not the role of the HTML WG, and the editor in 
particular, to be offering this
guidance, especially when it contradicts the consensus position of the W3C 
Group chartered to speak on web accessibility issues.  Simply put, you are 
messing in somebody else's yard, and it is against W3C process to be doing 

<Statement of Fact>

Evidence here:

i) About W3C Process

"Most W3C work revolves around the standardization of Web technologies. To 
accomplish this work, W3C follows processes[*] that promote the development 
of high-quality standards based on community consensus; an introduction to 
the W3C Process gives a sense of how we accomplish our work. All 
stakeholders can have a voice in the development of W3C standards, including 
Members large and small, as well as the public. W3C processes promote 
fairness, responsiveness, and progress: all facets of the W3C mission. 
[*http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/ ]"

[source: http://www.w3.org/Consortium/process ]

ii) WAI Mission and Organization

"WAI develops...

    * guidelines which are widely regarded as the international standard for 
Web accessibility
    * support materials to help understand and implement Web accessibility
    * resources, through international collaboration  "

[source: http://www.w3.org/WAI/about.html ]

iii) Protocols and Formats Working Group (PFWG) Charter

"The mission of the Protocols and Formats Working Group (PFWG) (Member 
Confidential PFWG) is to increase the support for accessibility in Web 
specifications. This mission flows from the W3C mission of promoting 
universal access and interoperability across the Web."

[source: http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/charter200612 ]

"If HTML WG feel that they have compelling evidence and data that suggests 
that the WCAG guidance needs to be reviewed and revised, there is a process 
for that, and it is not by running a short cut via HTML 5 Working

<summary conclusion based upon data and evidence presented>


Playing By The Rules:

By the evidence presented above, there are *rules* for achieving progress at 
the W3C.  This is important: the W3C is a large, multi-facetted, 
internationally supported organization that oversees numerous initiatives 
(many in various states of progress) that affect how the web as we know it 
works today.  Large organizations need protocols, processes, and mechanisms 
to ensure that what is produced by that organization truly reflects all 
parties within that organization.

In contrast, "The WHATWG process isn’t democratic. There’s no voting on 
issues. Instead, Hixie acts as a self-described benevolent dictator who 
decides what goes into and what comes out of the spec." - Jeremy Keith [1], 
(recapping anecdotal evidence propagated around the web today).

By all appearances, you and others are happy with that arrangement; others 
however are not.

So last Friday, I set into motion an illustration of why the WHAT WG process 
is flawed - using WHAT WG rules.  As an alternative Editor, I invoked 
'benevolent dictator' status and made a minor change to an existing document 
that is clearly licensed [2] to allow me to do so. I then submitted that 
alternative Draft to the Working Group Chairs for consideration as the next 
Working Draft. [3]

By all appearances now, this has caused a state of 'crisis' within the 
Working Group as there are now 2 Editors Drafts vying for the status of next 
Working Draft.  While I can appreciate that this is seen by many as a real 
issue, (and others as a 'political game') it is an issue that was created 
*simply because I used the WHAT WG rules of engagement* instead of the W3C 

As well, throughout this entire exercise, I have provided thousands upon 
thousands of words of explanation, justification and interpretation of "my 
data set", data that I have used to reach the positions and conclusions that 
I have reached.

Finally, I have offered numerous alternative proposals to the WHAT WG editor 
over the past 72 hours that would satisfy my concerns and re-align the WHAT 
WG version of the Draft Specification to what I believe is the W3C position 
regarding consensus. Those alternatives remain on the table still [4].



I don't know any other way of stating this case.  I have tried here (and via 
other emails to the list) to present the 'data' that I am working with in 
multiple ways, and have outlined, step-by-step how I have arrived at the 
conclusion I reached, using the data I have available.  I have used both W3C 
'rules', as well as WHAT WG 'rules', and I think that it is pretty obvious 
to all why the WHAT WG 'rules' have an underlying flaw.  I do not seek to 
re-write WHAT WG rules - if you and that group are happy with them, then 
please by all means continue to use them.

But as an active member of the W3C HTML WG I believe that today I can state 
(and have illustrated) that those 'rules' are in conflict with W3C 'rules', 
and the HTML WG must decide which rules they will use.  My alternate Draft 
document will hopefully be the catalyst for that decision.


[1 http://adactio.com/journal/1600/ ]
[2 "The WHATWG version of this specification is available under a license 
that permits reuse of the specification text." 
http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-html5-20090423/ ]
[3 http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Aug/0080.html ]
[4 http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Aug/0090.html ]
Received on Monday, 3 August 2009 17:53:21 UTC

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