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Re: charter update with two year cycle

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gregg@raisingthefloor.org>
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2016 23:26:08 -0400
Cc: GLWAI Guidelines WG org <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <BF5A7086-E044-44E7-88FF-56A601D9E80F@raisingthefloor.org>
To: Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com>
Good thoughts Alastair


The one thing to keep in mind though — is that a regulatory standard is completely different than a technical one.    To change what technologies you use only requires a decision of the technology authorizers.  To change a regulation requires years of vetting, review by all of the agencies, economic impact reports,  review by the white house office of management and budget etc.    It is a very very long process.   Also technical standards are all voluntary. Even the companies using them can use them or not or parts or whatever.   Regulations are totally different.      WCAG is a guideline not a regulation but if you want it to be picked up in regulations you need to live with those timelines.   look at 508.   How long was it between its revisions.   And even when the decision was made to change it, it took more than half a decade to make the change.  The new one is coming out soon (months) - and it will be a long time for the next one.        Even with a will to update it more often - it will take a long time to vet and get approvals for any revisions.   And each time you release a new version — you reset the clock and the vetting process needs to proceed anew.    Worse yet - if it keeps changing - there will be great pressure by those who don’t want it, to keep advocating to wait for the next one.   Or claiming that the standard is not stable because it keeps changing. 

So it is kind of complicated.    

But the people I would talk to are those at the Access Board.   They actually have a better idea of what is or isnt possible and timing etc than I or anyone else on this list.   Give David Capozzi a call and talk to him.    If what he says agrees with my comments — the good for me.   If it differs from what I said - believe him.   I am speaking from experience and the past.  He can speak from both experience and the past AND a much better understanding of the present and the future than I can.



gregg

> On Oct 6, 2016, at 10:28 AM, Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com> wrote:
> 
> I echo the hear, respect and trust comment from John, but also think that this is true:
> “working on an "All or Nothing" sum-total proposition, where they believe​ we need to get *all* the new proposed Success Criteria into the next dot release of WCAG for fear of "missing out".“
>  
> I’m fairly ambivalent about the time between 2.1 and 2.2, but there are two main problems I’m picking up:
> 1.       Scale of work needed.
> 2.       Impact on / take up of stakeholders such as governments. 
>  
> Scale of work:
> Even from outside the process I could see that a huge amount of work that went into WCAG 2.0, and if I thought 2.1 was going to need the same level of work I would agree with Gregg.
>  
> There is an implicit assumption in the 2.1 approach that might not be obvious to people who haven’t been involved in Agile projects in the last few years. I could also be wrong that this is an assumption, so let’s make it explicit.
>  
> Apologies to everyone very familiar with Agile, but for everyone else: the assumption is that you fit the work into a time-box, and release what is done in that time.
>  
> If there are only 3 new SC that get consensus by the deadline, then 2.1 may have only 3 new SC. Given the time between 2.0 and 2.1, I think we can manage a lot more than 3, but that is an assumption of the process.
> (I appreciate that the guidelines need to work as a whole, so we should also get consensus on the whole at each dot release, not just the individual SCs.)
>  
> The rest of the W3C appears to be working in this way, I suspect we need a very good case not to follow suit.
>  
> Governments / legal stakeholders
> This is an important point and important stakeholders, but I’m not sure how much of a problem it will be to have more regular updates.
>  
> How do Governments deal with changing technical specifications, e.g. Do they still specify HTML 4.01 because they haven’t updated? Do they say latest version?
>  
> I know accessibility guidelines are different, but they are also trying to keep up with technical specifications and changes. Touch interfaces weren’t popular in 2008, now they are ubiquitous.  We can produce more techniques and understanding, but many of the new SCs are for things that were not around previously, covering gaps in the normative text.
>  
> If it is pitched to Governments as a steady progressions of a standard that will be backwards compatible, it is up to them to decide at what point they want to take a snapshot. That is assuming they can’t do what the UK does and simply not specify a particular standard. In the UK a legal case would ask “what is the standard in the industry”, to which the obvious answer at the moment is WCAG 2.0 AA. A year or two after WCAG 2.1 that answer would change.
>  
> At the EU level their Government procurement guidelines say things like “Where ICT is a web page, it shall satisfy WCAG 2.0 Success Criterion 1.4.4 Resize text.” [1]
>  
> If that anchor point is still there, it should not cause them issues.
>  
> I have to admit I have a slight allergy to how big government organizations work (it sends me to sleep), but it seems like the dot release approach should work…
>  
> Cheers,
>  
> -Alastair
>  
> 1] http://mandate376.standards.eu/standard/technical-requirements/resize-text <http://mandate376.standards.eu/standard/technical-requirements/resize-text>

Received on Friday, 7 October 2016 03:26:38 UTC

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