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RE: PROPOSAL: Procedure to Promote Progress With Accessibility Issues in HTML5

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 10:39:54 -0700 (PDT)
To: "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "'Laura Carlson'" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>, "'Chris Wilson'" <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>, "'W3C WAI-XTECH'" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, <wai-liaison@w3.org>, "'Janina Sajka'" <janina@rednote.net>, "'Michael\(tm\) Smith'" <mike@w3.org>, "'Dan Connolly'" <connolly@w3.org>, "'Michael Cooper'" <cooper@w3.org>, "'Gez Lemon'" <gez.lemon@gmail.com>, "'Robert J Burns'" <rob@robburns.com>, <schwer@us.ibm.com>, <sfaulkner@paciellogroup.com>
Message-ID: <006f01ca0961$1794dcf0$46be96d0$@edu>
Sam Ruby wrote:
> Laura Carlson wrote:
> >
> >> My suggestion is that everbody focus on filling public-html (and
> >> wai-xtech and the teleconferences) with actual concrete proposals.
> >
> > Our proposal is real.
> I was unclear.  I meant concrete technical proposals on specific
> features to add to the work products of the HTML Working Group (i.e.,
> specs).

We have offered a concrete procedural proposal that is very real, very much 
required, and is seriously and in good-faith submitted to the working group 
and chairs as a formal request.  Deal with it as such.  Either the proposal 
has merit and should be implemented (with or without further discussion on 
*merit*), or it is without merit and will be discarded by the chairs.  Being 
'disappointed' and attempting to re-direct the discussion away from a 
legitimate request is the very reason *why* we are requesting an 
entrenchment of formal procedure - all too often it is exactly that tactic 
that is used to dismiss concerns - redirect and obfuscate (and sometimes 
spread around a little bit of FUD for good measure).

> As an aside, you seem to want to increase collaboration.  As a general
> rule, it is best to start with an open discussion, on public-html.

Sadly Sam, we've already seen where that takes us, which is into endless 
loops of parry and thrust with no real progress being made.  The PFWG 
specifically responded to the @summary question on June 3rd, 2009 by 
requesting that it remain in HTML5; Ian bickered back and forth with Janina 
over a series of emails, and then deemed to include @summary in the draft 
spec as an 'obsolete' attribute with guidance that says that authors should 
not use this attribute.  Says who?  Ian Hickson? Sam Ruby? The IRC gang? 

> Starting with a PROPOSAL with ten signatories is an anti-pattern, i.e.,
> something to be avoided.

Making ad-hoc decisions via an IRC channel is an anti-process, i.e., 
something to be avoided.  There is little transparency, it is done in real 
time (when not all interested parties might be available for input), and it 
does not allow for proper discussion and debate.  Having two working groups 
(HTML WG and WHAT WG) producing one specification, one without proper 
oversight or process, is an anti-pattern as well, and also something to be 
avoided, yet it exists.

> I realize that people are frustrated[1].  John says that "supposedly"
> there is an open issue.  There is no supposedly about it.  There is an
> issue[2], and its status is open.  Yes, on summary Ian has proposed
> specific spec text.  To the best of my knowledge, he is the only one who
> has done so.

This is patently false.  Steve Faulkner reminded you that he forth a 
proposal [1] - at your request(!) - and the PFWG also provided official and 
reasoned input [2], both via official channels.  In contrast, where is the 
'official' suggestions to make @summary obsolete recorded? Where is the 
decision to now write "Authors should not specify the summary attribute on 
table elements." in the specification recorded? If the issue is currently 
open, then the draft specification should state *just that* and nothing 
more.  Instead, it currently states Ian's opinion as 'fact', a decision 
reached in some obscure, undocumented way, to which developers (Henri 
Sivonen for example) are now developing code to address. It is *exactly* 
because of these types of moves on behalf of the editor that a more formal 
and accountable process is required, which is what the Proposal requests.

> I am looking forward to concrete proposals on this issue.  Failing that,
> I am looking forward to an open discussion on the wording of a vote or
> straw poll.  Failing that, I am fully prepared to recommend that we
> proceed with the one and only tangible proposal that we do have.

Again, there are currently 2 proposals, plus the *consensus* request from 
PFWG to retain @summary as envisioned in HTML4, but with better guidance and 
instruction, so your perception that there is only "one tangible proposal" 
is mistaken.


[1] http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/SummaryForTABLE/SummarySpecification
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2009Jun/0026.html
Received on Monday, 20 July 2009 17:42:46 UTC

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