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Re: Discussion: Accessibility Issues Procedure

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 23:51:43 -0600
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Message-id: <2BBAD4A1-73C5-457F-AFE9-ACD4EC506D71@apple.com>
To: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>

I propose the full text of this proposal should be deleted and  
replaced with:

"Decisions on accessibility issues should be made in the same way as  
any other issue before the HTML Working Group, in accordance with our  
Charter and Decision Policy".

Rationale:

The proposed policy has several flaws.

First, the proposed policy suggests to give veto power to the PWFG  
over accessibility issues (the proposed process is that no issue may  
be considered closed until the PFWG is happy, and can be closed as  
soon as PFWG is happy.). While it's W3C practice to consult with and  
consider the input of other Working Groups in related areas, it is  
also accepted standard practice that requests of other Working Groups  
may be declined. For example, I have seen the CSS WG and SVG WG  
decline each other's requests many times, in areas of their respective  
expertise. Thus, the proposed process is out of line with the norms  
and official Process of the W3C.

Second, the request to give WAI/PFWG a veto power does not even come  
from WAI itself; instead it is made by an assortment of people, some  
of whom are not WAI members at all. If WAI really wants that kind of  
power over other W3C Working Groups, then I think it should officially  
make the request itself.

Third, I think the proposal is inappropriate because essentially  
demands that the HTML Working Group should genuflect and kiss the  
ring. I think respect and collegiality with other W3C Working Groups  
is appropriate, but obsequious subservience is not. The HTML WG has  
the authority to make decisions on the documents within its charter,  
and is not obliged to get the approval of external groups.

Fourth, I think the proposal is in bad faith because its proponents  
have been unable to get their way on certain issues by arguing  
technical merits or by consensus building, so they want to change the  
rules so they can automatically win. I think trying to change the  
rules so you can get your way is inappropriate.

Fifth, there's no reason accessibility issues can't be handled in the  
same way as any other issue within the purview of the HTML Working  
Group. Anyone can become a member of the HTML WG and be heard the same  
as anyone else. In fact, the signatories of this proposal are all HTML  
WG members and have been among the most vocal.

Regards,
Maciej

On Jul 24, 2009, at 5:59 AM, Laura Carlson wrote:

> Hello Everyone,
>
> As you know a procedure to promote progress with accessibility issues
> [1] was recently submitted to this HTML working group.
>
> We would like to invite everyone's input and suggestions for alternate
> wordings of the procedure. Please include:
>
> 1. The specific text that you are addressing.
> 2. Proposed verbiage for the change you would like made.
> 3. The rationale behind your proposed change.
>
> Please send your comments to this thread by July 31, 2009. A
> discussion page for the procedure has also been set up in the Wiki
> [2].
>
> Thank you.
>
> Best Regards,
> Laura
>
> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Jul/0556.html
> [2] http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/AccessibilityIssueProcedure/ 
> Discussion
>
> -- 
> Laura L. Carlson
>
Received on Saturday, 25 July 2009 05:52:33 UTC

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