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Re: Design Principles

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 20 May 2009 10:25:55 -0500
Message-ID: <1c8dbcaa0905200825j22f7f898g8ff2bf9679a00eba@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: public-html <public-html@w3.org>
Hi Sam,

You wrote:

> Is there anybody here who feels that neither of these two approaches is
> sufficient?

There has been no meeting of the minds on the content of the design principles.

If the Design Principles were to be re-worded to address the formal
objection it would open up the *possibility* of group consensus, but
another poll would then be needed to see if consensus is actually
reached. Is this correct?

It was in good faith that I agreed in the survey to have the
principles published as a draft. My comment in November 2007 was:

> Thank you for removing the escape clause of "when possible" from the accessibility
> principle and making it a principle in its own right, as well as splitting up the aspects
> of universality.
> There is still much work to do on this document (see my comments from the last survey
> on the subject [1]). But this is progress.
> [1] http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/40318/dprv/results

The Design Principles document has stagnated for almost two years in
it’s current state. No progress has been made. None of the comments
that I raised in http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/40318/dprv/results have
been addressed with the exception of the "when possible" accessibility
escape clause. And that principle itself has been abused.

As DanC has said, the design principles "main utility is as
justification in discussions. If they don't work that way, they should
be dropped".

The principles do not always help. Take for instance the table summary
issue and the accessibility principle.

Maciej’s attempt to use it:

To which Matt May responded:

> It's all well and good that HTML5 has design principles. But it's
> indefensible to claim accessibility as one of them, and then make (or
> defend) a design decision that _reduces_ accessibility to people with
> disabilities on the premise that able-bodied users are being left behind.
> It's a red herring

The principles are open to various interpretations. In practical use,
no real consensus exists on what they mean.  Group members have
fundamental differences with them.

If we are not going to have another poll to find out if we have real
consensus of the content of the principles document, I propose that
the entire document be obsoleted.

If  it is decided to publish the document as a note anyway, I propose
that at a minimum, a  disclaimer is attached saying “Publication of
this document does not constitute endorsement. There is no working
group consensus on the content of these principles but it was decided
that further effort to refine them and gain consensus was not a
productive use of time.”

Best Regards,

Related References:
Laura L. Carlson
Received on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 15:26:36 UTC

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