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Re: Accessibility Task Force

From: Michael Cooper <cooper@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 15:05:14 -0400
Message-ID: <4AA94DEA.8040002@w3.org>
To: Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>
CC: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, "Maciej Stachowiak (mjs@apple.com)" <mjs@apple.com>, "Sam Ruby (rubys@intertwingly.net)" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "Michael(tm) Smith (mike@w3.org)" <mike@w3.org>, Cynthia Shelly <cyns@exchange.microsoft.com>
The PFWG has no issues with the HTML patent policy, and I don't expect
most of the individual members of PF would have a problem joining the
HTML WG under its policy.

The issue for us is not the patent policy. It is the need for a channel
where we can work together to engineer accessibility features in HTML.
The group-to-group communication has been difficult to manage, and there
has been a lot of confusion about who represents whom. We believe a
joint task force would provide a way to address that. If the task force
becomes just an HTML task force, even if PFWG participants join it, we
would still have the group-to-group communication uncertainties.

My understanding is that there is a lot of precedent for joint task
forces at W3C. I have been involved in many of them and the question of
the patent policy has never come up. There must be ways this was made
acceptable to the participants. I certainly don't want this task force
to create patent policy concerns, but I also don't think that patent
policy concerns should be a reason to break a key feature of the task
force, that it be joint.


Philippe Le Hegaret wrote:
> Michael,
> if the WAI PF participants want to make substantial contributions to the
> HTML 5 specification, they ought to comply with the W3C Patent Policy
> like anyone else. The WAI/HTML TF proposed charter makes it clear that
> the goal is to make substantial contributions to the HTML 5
> specification. The easiest for that is for them to join the HTML WG. The
> mandate of the TF would not differ from what is proposed in the WAI/HTML
> TF charter and could still be managed by both Groups. It will still be a
> joint TF, but we shouldn't create task forces that permit to go around
> the W3C Patent Policy.
> Philippe
> On Thu, 2009-09-10 at 12:53 -0400, Michael Cooper wrote:
>> A concern for me with this approach is that, if the task force is not
>> a joint task force, its mandate is different. An accessibility task
>> force that is only answerable to the HTML WG could come up with
>> approaches for accessibility in HTML that would not be acceptable to
>> the PFWG - even if there are several PFWG members who participate as
>> HTML members. Being a joint task force helps to ensure the requirement
>> that its outputs are satisfactory to *both* working groups.
>> Also, the goal of the PFWG in setting up a joint task force was to
>> create a new formal channel for communication between PFWG and HTML
>> WG. Communication in the past has been difficult and disorganized at
>> times, and we are hoping this channel would help to improve that
>> situation, literally by creating a way to "channel" discussion. By not
>> being a joint task force, that opportunity would be reduced.
>> I am not speaking on behalf of the PFWG, as there has not been
>> opportunity to check with the group. It is possible that the PFWG will
>> not share these concerns and will approve going ahead as planned. It
>> may be difficult for us to arrive at a consensus quickly as our
>> teleconferences are canceled next week due to a conference. I will see
>> if we can come to consensus by email in time for the next HTML
>> meeting. I myself will be unable to attend that call due to the same
>> conference but there may be someone present who can represent PFWG.
>> Michael
>> Philippe Le Hegaret wrote: 
>>> So,
>>> the current TF proposed charter mentions:
>>> [[
>>> As part of the above, the task force expects to participate in the
>>> following deliverables of the sponsoring Working Groups:
>>>       * Commiting spec edits of HTML (HTML WG deliverable)
>>>       * Formal spec review of HTML on behalf of PFWG (PFWG deliverable)
>>> ]]
>>> It doesn't say anything about WAI ARIA.
>>> As such, the easiest solution to resolve the Patent Policy question is
>>> indeed to create the task force within the HTML Working Group and gets
>>> the WAI PF folks who wants to participate in the TF to join the HTML WG.
>>> Philippe
>>> On Wed, 2009-09-09 at 14:01 -0400, Janina Sajka wrote:
>>>> PF discussed the 8 points below during our weekly telecon today, 9
>>>> September:
>>>> http://www.w3.org/2009/09/09-pf-minutes.html
>>>> We are in agreement with the 8 points as given below.
>>>> Janina
>>>> Paul Cotton writes:
>>>>> >From the Sep 3 HTML WG minutes:
>>>>> http://www.w3.org/2009/09/03-html-wg-minutes.html 
>>>>>> mjs: chairs will be together face-to-face tomorrow, and this can be
>>>>>>   among what we discuss
>>>>>>   ... anybody have comments to make about this on the call today?
>>>>>>   ... not seeing any comments, propose we move to next agenda item
>>>>> The HTML WG chairs and W3C Team did discuss this topic last Friday and came up with the following outline for a joint Accessibility TF:
>>>>> Accessibility TF:
>>>>>  1. Any WG member from either the HTML or PF WGs can join (opt in model)
>>>>>  2. Separate email list for TF (email address TBD).
>>>>>  3. Both WGs would be obligated re Patent Policy on any W3C Recommendation track document that is impacted by the TF work.
>>>>>  4. The Patent Policy obligations would be mentioned in the Status section of said documents.
>>>>>  5. TF would have a separate meeting slot (day and time TBD).
>>>>>  6. TF would not make final decisions which would be made by HTML and/or PF WGs
>>>>>  7. Someone from each WG would be designated to report back to their WG on the work of the TF.
>>>>>  8. Facilitators of the TF would be selected jointly by PF and HTML WG chairs. 
>>>>> Discussion on this matter ended with Philippe taking the following Action Item:
>>>>> ACTION ITEM: Philippe is going to look into some questions we have about how the W3C Patent Policy obligations would apply to a joint TF.
>>>>> Comments on the above outline are welcome.
>>>>> /paulc
>>>>> Paul Cotton, Microsoft Canada
>>>>> 17 Eleanor Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K2E 6A3
>>>>> Tel: (425) 705-9596 Fax: (425) 936-7329
>> -- 
>> Michael Cooper
>> Web Accessibility Specialist
>> World Wide Web Consortium, Web Accessibility Initiative
>> E-mail cooper@w3.org
>> Information Page


Michael Cooper
Web Accessibility Specialist
World Wide Web Consortium, Web Accessibility Initiative
E-mail cooper@w3.org <mailto:cooper@w3.org>
Information Page <http://www.w3.org/People/cooper/>
Received on Thursday, 10 September 2009 19:05:30 UTC

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