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Re: Adopting the media accessibility requirements

From: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2010 15:10:09 -0400
Message-ID: <AANLkTin50CeM9=hAjCfy2=g-tDFpy-cumnPC_MUHO7Cd@mail.gmail.com>
To: Philip J├Ągenstedt <philipj@opera.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
On Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 10:03 AM, Philip J├Ągenstedt <philipj@opera.com> wrote:
> Since the two groups involved here (browser implementors and
> accessibility experts) have obvious issues communicating with each other, it
> would be helpful if we were all involved in the discussions as they happen,
> rather than communicating via requirements lists.

I agree with this general point.  It seems like right now, task forces
are formed, discuss things amongst themselves at length, and only at
the very end present their findings to implementers and spec editors.
The latter are then forced to either accept the findings on the basis
of authority, or demand detailed explanation of the rationale for
every finding before they accept it.  The latter is usually what
happens in practice except for very minor or obvious changes, and in
that case, it would make much more sense if the implementers/spec
editors were involved in the discussions from the beginning.  Or
alternatively, that task force findings be written in a persuasive
rather than authoritative manner, and present the evidence and
reasoning for their decisions in a form that will convince people who
aren't domain experts.

In the end, the implementers are the ones who have to make the
judgment on what features they'll implement.  When a proposed
accessibility, internationalization, or other feature requires a
tradeoff of some kind, it's impossible for them to make that tradeoff
intelligently unless they're given the full background on why the
feature is needed, as Henri says.  We aren't going to get anywhere if
we have the stone wall of a task force separating experts on some
particular matter from everyone else, with only limited communication
over the wall.  It would be to everyone's benefit if all concerned
parties were involved from the start.  Hopefully that way implementers
will learn more about accessibility, accessibility experts will learn
more about implementation, and more workable proposals can be crafted
from the get-go.
Received on Thursday, 28 October 2010 19:11:02 UTC

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