W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > January 2012

HTML5 design philosophy disconnect

From: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 11:18:42 +0000
Message-ID: <CA+ri+VmRXGORg2RCTgQt9ju3QnNi0VAU6QCqoP_zYdVM7ayiwg@mail.gmail.com>
To: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Cc: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Hi all
One of the purported benefits of the the 'living standard' is that
implementors always get the most up to date implementation
information. In W3C terms this means that editors drafts are promoted
as the documents to refer to and use. I don't disagree with this idea,
but am a little perplexed by the differing strategies about providing
the most up to date and correct information to one group
(implementors) while continuing to provide information that is not up
to date and correct to another group (developers) in the very same
editor's drafts.

One example (there are many more),
The use of implicit labels is found in examples in the HTML5 spec,
something that has been a documented feature of HTML since at least 24
December 1999, yet at least one major browser has not implemented
accessibility support for it yet. [1]

When it is suggested that this method should not continue to be
promoted alongside the more robust and better supported for/id method
the HTML5 editor's assistants response is

"Examples that do not work everywhere yet is not a reason to change
the examples. It's an incentive to get the software fixed." [2]

So we have a method that has been promoted for 10 years and continues
to be promoted which is broken, how is that useful for either users or

When will specifiers give users and developers the same level of
consideration in the provision of useful practical information as is
afforded implementors?

"In case of conflict, consider users over authors over implementors
over specifiers over theoretical purity."[3]

The HTML design principles do not seem to be taken into account here
or am i missing something?

[1] http://www.html5accessibility.com/tests/form-labels.html

[2] https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=13531#c6

[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/html-design-principles/#priority-of-constituencies

with regards

Steve Faulkner
Technical Director - TPG

www.paciellogroup.com | www.HTML5accessibility.com |
HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives -
Web Accessibility Toolbar - www.paciellogroup.com/resources/wat-ie-about.html
Received on Friday, 6 January 2012 11:19:35 UTC

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