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RE: Recommendation to move WCAG Techniques out of TR, concerned about Failure Techniques loosing authority

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>
Date: Tue, 19 May 2015 20:32:16 +0000
To: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
CC: Loretta Guarino Reid <lorettaguarino@google.com>, David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>, WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, Gregg Vanderheiden RTF <gregg@raisingthefloor.org>
Message-ID: <BY1PR02MB1115CDBF7C66FDD82F0D7837C7C30@BY1PR02MB1115.namprd02.prod.outlook.com>
Me too!

How would you feel about a process that allowed bugs to be fixed as soon as the work group addresses them rather than waiting until a prearranged publication date, and in addition to publishing more rapidly was also able to address issues or make improvements on an as-needed basis?

One concern might be that this could reduce the ability of the public to make comments and effect change in the techniques documents.  I actually think that it will increase it.  Right now there is generally a 3-4 week period for review before we publish.  In reality, few people engage in any type of real review because they:

·         Don’t have time to review the changes

·         Aren’t engaged with the techniques during that window of time so don’t know (or care?)

·         Are demotivated because any change suggested is likely going to be published in ~6 months. (of course if you find an issue during the review we will fix it, but many of the comments we get are more far-reaching and need to be addressed over time)

I think that going to a more flexible model as allowed by the W3C’s new publication process will help with much of this, and if the group wanted to do what I’ve indicated above as a straw man then the change in the charter would allow that. Of course, none of this is decided yet, just putting a few ideas out for consideration…

AWK

From: Steve Faulkner [mailto:faulkner.steve@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 4:11 PM
To: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Cc: Loretta Guarino Reid; David MacDonald; WCAG; Gregg Vanderheiden RTF
Subject: Re: Recommendation to move WCAG Techniques out of TR, concerned about Failure Techniques loosing authority

I would like to state unambiguously: I am greatly in favour of a publishing/editing process that makes it easier to fix bugs in techniques and to update/improve techniques in a timely manner.
Regards
Stevef

On 19 May 2015, at 21:00, Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com<mailto:akirkpat@adobe.com>> wrote:
I don’t like trying to present techniques as more authoritative than they are, or less so for that matter.

Techniques are informative, but they are the (often extensively) considered opinions of the working group.  They are offered for review to the public prior to being published. If a company or country wants to specify that you need to require use of the non-normative techniques in their own rules we can advise against this (and we have) but have no means to stop them.  No means to stop them doesn’t mean that we need to change what we do though to compensate for their decisions.

“However, there is a discussion that the weight and authority of failures might be affected by this, and there may be legal implications in environments that look to the common failures as evidence in court.”

Failures are exactly the same as techniques in that they are non-normative but thoughtfully reviewed by the working group.

Techniques say “if you do X then the Working Groups thinks you are meeting a success criteria for this specific bit of content but we can’t promise that you haven’t violated the success criteria somewhere else on the page.”

For example, an author might use G87 (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/G87.html) to provide closed captions for a video on a page, but then provide captions using WebVTT for another video on the page and leave a third video uncaptioned on the same page.

The success criteria for “captions (prerecorded)” – 1.2.2 is met for the first video with G87, is (I claim) met using WebVTT for the second video, and is not met for the third.  In fact, Failure F8 (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/F8.html) could be referenced to indicate that the third video fails the SC which makes the page fail.

So failures say that “if you do X then the Working Group thinks that the page fails the SC”.

Obviously the big difference is that it is easier to disprove something than to prove it.  This is the case with scientific hypotheses and WCAG conformance.  One issue in a page and you have a failure.  One bit of success on a page and you merely haven’t yet failed.  I’d say that this doesn’t make failures any “stronger” than techniques, just that they have a lower bar to clear to be considered applicable.

Regarding the possible change, there is no intent to change how the documents are perceived, nor any intent to support currently erroneous views.  If there are legal implications to hosting techniques in non-TR space I have no idea what they might be, and as we’ve advised expressly against such things, I don’t think that we need to concern ourselves too much with that.  We will still have a process for reviewing draft techniques and a way to indicate that techniques are published, and all of that process will be documented and transparent.

AWK

From: Loretta Guarino Reid [mailto:lorettaguarino@google.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 2:14 PM
To: Steve Faulkner
Cc: David MacDonald; WCAG; Gregg Vanderheiden RTF
Subject: Re: Recommendation to move WCAG Techniques out of TR, concerned about Failure Techniques loosing authority

Yes, non-normative! :-)

On Tue, May 19, 2015 at 11:05 AM, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com<mailto:faulkner.steve@gmail.com>> wrote:

On 19 May 2015 at 19:03, Loretta Guarino Reid <lorettaguarino@google.com<mailto:lorettaguarino@google.com>> wrote:
I'm quite concerned about discussions that give weight or authority to any of our normative documents.

do you mean non-normative?

--

Regards

SteveF
HTML 5.1<http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/>

Received on Tuesday, 19 May 2015 20:32:47 UTC

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