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Re: charter update with two year cycle

From: lisa.seeman <lisa.seeman@zoho.com>
Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2016 07:35:03 +0300
To: Gregg Vanderheiden <gregg@raisingthefloor.org>
Cc: "GLWAI Guidelines WG org" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <15798441d17.f4946706129833.3611650782377695401@zoho.com>
I find myself agreeing with Gregg. We need WCAG to be definitive, and the best we can do. However that can include working harder, getting each SC as good as we can. I do not think we should be culling any SC for the sake of speed

(Small note  - I do not remember reaching complete consensus on issues to do with cognitive, but that is a side point)

All the best

Lisa Seeman

LinkedIn, Twitter

---- On Thu, 06 Oct 2016 07:18:37 +0300 Gregg Vanderheiden&lt;gregg@raisingthefloor.org&gt; wrote ---- 

I hope that people are listening carefully to the posts of Allen, Katie and others. 

WCAG is not an application note.   It is a landmark standard with extremely wide application and adoption. 

This was possible because 
it was very carefully done
the time was taken to carefully work out all of the SC
techniques and sufficiency was established for each new SC to test the SC with ourselves as well as with the public to be sure we knew how to do each one.
we examined each SC and ensured they were testable.
we did multiple releases of the guidelines for pubic comment and carefully responded to each comment - and carried on discussions with commenters to clear them
we reached complete consensus in the working group for each item
we took the time to create Understanding WCAG 2.0  - with description, rationale, examples, sufficient techniques, common failures where appropriate and resources for each.

I am rather stunned that I see discussion of releasing a new 2.1 without anything like the care above being taken.   I have looked at the work so far and it is about where we were 5 years before we completed WCAG 2.0.   I am not saying it will take 5 more years before you are ready with any 2.1 but you are many years away at the pace things are currently going.  (We had multiple people working 20-40 hours a week every week on WCAG 2.0 for months on end getting it to one stage or another. )   It is VERY hard.

Standards like this also need to be stable so that people can create tools and regulations and adoption can occur.   Talking about updating them every x years completely misunderstands the role and constraints of standards like this.    Such a schedule would create chaos - and pretty much ensure that they standards will not be used -and that your goal will be missed. 

There is a famous quote that goes

For Every Complex Problem, There Is an Answer That Is Clear, Simple, and Wrong. So almost said H.L. Mencken as part of a longer aphorism. The whole quote is, “Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.”Dec 7, 2015

Wanting to have a strong - well thought out - adopted standard that is rapidly updated is a nice thought — but not possible technically, logistically or rationally given the time spans needed for any of the three (development, public review/testing, and adoption). 

The current timeline for 2.1 is already unrealistic.    One should never set a date for something this complex based on when it would be good to ship.  It should  ship when it is ready — and the focus should be on WORK to get it done sooner.   Not setting a deadline and deciding that you will ship whatever you have at that point. 

The WCAG 2.0 working group was incredibly frustrated by the time it took to complete WCAG 2.0.   But our response to the time it was taking was to work harder - get out more public reviews so that we could advance it and find the holes — in order to get it done, and recruit and increase the time spent per week getting it done.    

The current 2.1 is not tested, not reviewed, not implemented, and not done yet there is a lot of talk about ship date.    Until we have it complete and out for review - we aren't even half done.  (Believe me). 

PLEASE - don’t listen to your angst or clammoring for something new to ship.   Act in haste and repent at leisure.    If we ship something with out review and incomplete - and say that we will ship another soon to finish it of fix it — we are just inviting people to ignore it.  First because it will have flaws that make it easy to criticize,  and second because we have told them not to - because there will be another soon that will be better and fix holes in the last.    The adoption and support curve is 5-8 years.    Why would people/agencies begin it for any version that will be replace by another before its get adoption.     We can say that a 5-8 year adoption curve is too long but that I like saying 9 months is too long for a pregnancy.    We can complain all we like - but that is what it takes.  And there is nothing we can do about it. 

DO PLEASE ship regular updates to techniques.  

DON’T change the rules regularly  or prematurely or we undo what we are trying to do. 

I too am frustrated by how long it takes.  And how hard it is.   But I can’t and won’t change desires for reality — or make the mistake of trying to hatch this before it is done being developed.  You have wisdom and impatience fighting each other.     Be wise.  

Received on Thursday, 6 October 2016 04:35:33 UTC

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