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Re: Observations regarding tools used in W3C work

From: lisa.seeman <lisa.seeman@zoho.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2017 16:18:56 +0200
To: White <jjwhite@ets.org>
Cc: "WAI Coordination Call" <public-wai-cc@w3.org>
Message-Id: <15a4748763f.b503000e38958.933635421203883781@zoho.com>
Hi Jason

How are you with google docs?

All the best

Lisa Seeman

LinkedIn, Twitter

---- On Thu, 16 Feb 2017 01:20:24 +0200  White&lt;jjwhite@ets.org&gt; wrote ---- 

    Important qualification: I am commenting in what follows primarily as a working group participant rather than in my role as Research Questions Task Force Facilitator.
 For accessibility and usability reasons, I have a strong preference to avoid WYSIWYG editors. I am comfortable with using Git and other command line tools, which I find conducive to productivity. However, I’m less enthusiastic about GitHub as a Web-based service built on top of Git. For example, as I discovered this week while reviewing Pull Requests for the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group, I find the table-based Web interface for presenting diffs awkward to use with a screen reader. It’s accessible, but cumbersome.
 Having plain text diffs for all of the pull requests under discussion (e.g., in a Survey) would make the task of reviewing them easier. I know Git can generate word-by-word diffs as well as line-by-line, and this feature could be useful – especially if lines are wrapped or otherwise changed in places where the text remains the same. A tool that can find all of the pull requests associated with a file and extract them as text files would be useful. I ahven’t completed my search to find out whether this is available. (I expect it would need to use the GitHub API). There may be other ways of presenting diffs that would suit the needs of different users better than the default presentation in GitHub.
 A further, more significant challenge which is particularly noticeable in the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group is the fragmentation of comments across tools – GitHub, the working group’s mailing list, meeting minutes, and surveys. This creates difficulties in trying to track comments that have been made in response to an issue or proposal. Unfortunately, I’m responsible for contributing to the problem, so I’ve probably forfeited my right to comment on it.
 In the Research Questions Task Force, some concerns have been expressed about tools, principally the project’s wiki. Further discussion needs to occur before I can explain the issues in a way that would be informative to this group. An informal strategy that definitely works is for participants to help each other in the use of tools. I am also keenly aware (recalling my involvement as WCAG Working Group Co-Chair) of the necessity of issue tracking databases, especially as the number of issues and comments grows. We do need these tools, just as we need revision control software such as Git.
 From a personal standpoint, I find the user interface of WebEx clients to be challenging. Any move toward the use of WebEx chat, for example, or screen sharing, as an expected part of meetings, would raise difficulties. (No such move has so far been foreshadowed.) The tool isn’t absolutely inaccessible, but it’s difficult to use with a screen reader despite evident attempts on the part of the vendor.
 I would expect accessibility to be carefully evaluated with respect to any WebRTC-based solution that the W3C moves toward as a successor to WebEx.
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Received on Thursday, 16 February 2017 14:19:27 UTC

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