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RE: Adopting the media accessibility requirements

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2010 19:49:31 -0700 (PDT)
To: "'Maciej Stachowiak'" <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: 'Philip Jägenstedt' <philipj@opera.com>, <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <01ba01cb7713$e99a0420$bcce0c60$@edu>
Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> Based on discussion so far, I can imagine a couple of potential steps
> forward:
> (1) Clarify the intent of the requirements document - it identifies a
> comprehensive set of needs, but in further review only some of these
> will be considered MUST-level for the HTML5 spec itself.

It is important to underscore here that requirements currently noted as
'shoulds' and 'mays' are so noted as it is understood that certain
configurations of hardware/software may result in the inability to support
a specific feature (for example, we've oft pointed to low-end mobile
devices that will likely not support multiple concurrent audio streams).
These 'shoulds' and 'mays' however should not be considered any less
important in serving accessibility needs and requirements.

> (2) Continue review of the document, particularly by implementors who
> have not followed the TF discussion, since we have identified some
> important points of disconnect in the discussion so far.

We welcome this kind of constructive feedback - it is what we have been
seeking for a number of weeks now.

> (3) Consider revising the document to remove requirements that are not
> directly related to accessibility (if there is consensus on that).

It is our belief at this time that the requirements captured are all
related to aspects of accessibility needs. We may have used some wording
or language that may seem vague or unclear to some readers (or as Henri
noted - dated), however the broader concepts and intent of the checkpoints
have all been discussed and reviewed by both the active accessibility and
engineering participants of the media sub-team, and we do not believe, at
this time, that there is anything here that could be considered
superfluous. Are you thinking of any particular requirement(s) here?

> (4) Instead of officially adopting the requirements as representing
> consensus of the HTMLgroup, perhaps we can just accept it as one piece
> of input into the broader conversation. For other ISSUEs, we haven't
> officially adopted a requirements document, and that has been ok.
> Still, evaluating proposed solutions against this document could
> provide a useful piece of information.

Whether or not this User Requirements and the on-going Requirements
Checklist documents become part of the HTML5 Standard or not is actually a
secondary consideration (at least for me) - what is important is that
moving forward we all have a clear understanding and acknowledgment
(consensus) of *ALL* the user requirements, a general idea of the
technologies affected/involved/required, and the path forward to solving
the issues - what I once referred to as the Promise of a Solution. Rather
than being just *one* piece of input into the broader discussion, I see it
as the *framework* or guiding principles for the broader discussion.

As far as we can see, these are all significant and real issues - none can
be dismissed, and it is now that we need the collective help of the
engineer community to help us solve these problems (and not to just cherry
pick through the easy ones.) Yes, it's not going to be easy, and yes some
of the issues will be solved before others, but what is critical is that
none get 'left behind'. (The 80/20 rule doesn't (can't!) apply here.)

Forming consensus around this broader goal, and using these requirements
to make scientific (as opposed to emotional, or "my favorite" type)
decisions will serve us all well, and hopefully speed progress: does
proposal "X" meet all of these requirements?
Yes/No/With_Further_Modification (go and modify). *THAT* has been our
desired end-game for some time now, and a review of these documents will
note that we have striven to be as technology neutral as possible at this
time - we're not yet proposing specific solutions; instead we're saying,
here's the complete problem set, let's get to work.

As much of the work on this document has already seen cross-working group
effort from multiple groups, we have at one point also tossed around the
idea that the 2 documents might someday become W3C Notes, perhaps within
the WAI domain. That however is but one thought, and a loose and vague one
at that.

> I would strongly urge anyone involved in implementing HTML5 media
> elements, or authoring content using HTML5 media elements, to read over
> this requirements document and comment, so we can discuss the best path
> forward.

+1 to that!


Received on Friday, 29 October 2010 02:50:07 UTC

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