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Re: Process for WCAG 3.0 document updates

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2021 15:42:52 +0000
To: Gregg Vanderheiden <gregg@vanderheiden.us>, Rachael Bradley-Montgomery <rmontgomery@loc.gov>
CC: "w3c-waI-gl@w3. org" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, Silver TF <public-silver@w3.org>
Message-ID: <98BD9E14-E7A8-4DA4-910C-75DDB83D79E8@adobe.com>
Thanks Gregg. I share many of your concerns.

In WCAG 2.1 we made a mistake in adding proposed SC into the editor’s draft and luckily we caught it before the 1st WD but it was a painful no-win scenario – on one hand there was no way that we were going to go out to public review with >50 new SC that hadn’t been fully vetted, but on the other there were ideas that were important to many people and some had the expectation that once it was in the editor’s draft that it was going to be in the final spec.

I believe that the risk of including content that hasn’t reached consensus into the editor’s draft and the working draft is risky and we will wind up spending more time responding to comments and critiques for unvetted content than we can afford. There is also a problem that I don’t see addressed in your presentation related to how content that is exploratory, maturing, or mature gets removed from the working drafts. Does it require consensus to remove it or consensus to keep it? At what point does this decision happen?

I can envision a proposed criterion that gets put in early and while it does mature to some degree, ultimately has problems (related to conformance or AT support or whatever). The WG may want to remove it but this is strongly opposed by a few individuals and at the same time keeping it in is strongly opposed by just as many or more. I think that this creates more problems than having items need to have consensus for inclusion in the draft.

Several times we have heard requests to add content into WCAG 3.0 that hasn’t been fully vetted by the WG, and the WG has grown increasingly uncomfortable with doing this. The result of that discomfort in August was that the WG agreed that we wouldn’t do that anymore and that the lack of a conformance model couldn’t be ignored any longer as it prevented the WG from fully analyzing proposals. We have heard many times that the ideas that are being proposed are very good and the idea seems to be that once the rest of the WG sees the positive response from the public review they will get it and we will be able to move forward. I don’t agree with that approach – there are many people on the WG with decades of experience and getting consensus across the WG is essential prior to expecting that a less-engaged public will provide additional scrutiny.

Yes, it is super hard to get new things into WCAG, but if you have a great idea then I believe it can run the gauntlet and enter the working draft stronger for that process.


Andrew Kirkpatrick
Director, Accessibility


From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gregg@vanderheiden.us>
Date: Friday, October 15, 2021 at 8:52 AM
To: Rachael Bradley-Montgomery <rmontgomery@loc.gov>
Cc: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, Silver TF <public-silver@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Process for WCAG 3.0 document updates
Resent-From: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Resent-Date: Friday, October 15, 2021 at 8:51 AM

RE: Levels of Maturity

I think the idea of level of maturity labels is a great idea

There are a lot of good bits to it

But I would change one bit - which I think is critical to process

  *   Once something is in — it is very hard to get it back out
  *   Getting something back out - can use up a LOT of time and discussion getting it back out - slowing the group way down and creating bad feelings.
  *   If a subgroup can put things in without WG review (for expediency) it is likely to slow down the process down much more later (much more than any time saved up front) - and again - create bad feelings.
  *   The only reason to include something early - is to get input on it because there is a question or sticking point where input is sought.

     *   That nothing go into any draft without WG consensus
     *   The WG would be less strict about what goes in at lower levels - allowing things that it thinks might be added (there is some evidence that it might) even if wording is not worked out.
     *   Language attached to such items would be commensurate with belief that they can make it or the concerns that need to be addressed.      And they should include a request for comment or input to address those.

  *   If the subgroup cannot convince the working group to include something, even the lower level, it shouldn’t be there yet.
  *   The editor’s, working, and public docs are all communication instruments of the working group - not any subgroup - so the working group should know and determine what is in its communications.

I had a second thought at the meeting but cannot recall it now.  So I will pass this one on.

Otherwise I think the basic concept — labeling things with level of Maturity — is a good one.



Professor, University of Maryland, College Park
Director , Trace R&D Center, UMD

On Oct 12, 2021, at 2:22 PM, Bradley-Montgomery, Rachael <rmontgomery@loc.gov<mailto:rmontgomery@loc.gov>> wrote:


I am adding in the Silver list.  When commenting on this proposal, please respond all this email.

Kind regards,


From: Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com<mailto:acampbell@nomensa.com>>
Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 11:51 AM
To: "WCAG list (w3c-wai-gl@w3.org<mailto:w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org<mailto:w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>>
Subject: Process for WCAG 3.0 document updates
Resent-From: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org<mailto:w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>>
Resent-Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 11:50 AM

Hi everyone,

Regarding the presentation I gave on our process & WCAG 3.0 document, that presentation is here:

The main point of the proposal is to change the expectation that the entire document has consensus and is ‘recommendation ready’.

You could consider the entire current Working Draft (WD) to be ‘exploratory’, but we have internal (and probably external) confusion about the intended maturity level of the document.

The proposal is to apply labels to each section of the documents which indicate the level of maturity, and have a level of review that each section needs to get to for that level.

The official Working Draft would have the more mature content, the Editors Draft would include everything being worked on. Both would have the labels.

Meeting time is rather precious at the moment, we wanted to put this proposal in front of everyone, get some feedback (here) for broader points, and then have a survey/discussion.

Kind regards,



@alastc / www.nomensa.com<https://nam04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nomensa.com%2F&data=04%7C01%7Cakirkpat%40adobe.com%7C78125adbd07f4308d96008d98fda8be0%7Cfa7b1b5a7b34438794aed2c178decee1%7C0%7C0%7C637698991500935487%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C2000&sdata=nA8wBTvsbn4p2VMVdD70m%2BYDY7PsTjA87K3q30XKQ58%3D&reserved=0>

Received on Friday, 15 October 2021 15:43:11 UTC

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