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Re: Silver process

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2016 20:15:22 +0000
To: "White, Jason J" <jjwhite@ets.org>, WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D69C2513-69F0-46B2-A6E4-ED985A9CEF86@adobe.com>
The underlying intent of Silver is to figure out what is next, which is the primary reason that this is called “Silver” instead of "WCAG 3.0”. This certainly leaves open the possibility that user agent requirements and authoring tool requirements will be incorporated, and I believe that we expect that will be the case.

Silver is not necessarily WCAG 2.0+ATAG 2.0+UAAG 2.0 in a “grand unification” sense, but the plan is to talk with end users, authors, browser vendors, mobile OS vendors, mobile application authors, and many more groups to get as clear a handle on what the full problem space is as we can. We will talk to people who are consuming content and having problems and learn about issues that roll up to how it was authored as well as how the user agent provides supports the user.

I understand the concern that the process document feels WCAG-focused, but know that the entire ecosystem of tooling has been part of the focus all along. This is even part of the draft charter:
"In addition to WCAG 2.1, and as a result of the research conducted in the various task forces and the experiences working with WCAG 2.0 for several years, a substantial evolution of WCAG is also needed to better integrate guidance for content and user agents, and to address authoring tool requirements as an essential part of the process for delivering accessible information. With the closure of the User Agent and Authoring Tools Working Groups in the past year, many participants of these groups have joined the current WCAG Working Group in order to participate in the various task forces and have made the need for a major update clear. The requirements for the next major version will be defined in parallel with (and are substantially informed by) the development of WCAG 2.1."

I think that this is all in the service of what you are concerned about and if you either feel like you can live with this or can live with the addition of a few explicit reminders that UAAG and ATAG topics are expected to be part of the process, I think that we can make that sort of change as it is in keeping with the discussion for Silver all along and can be regarded as an editorial oversight.


Andrew Kirkpatrick
Group Product Manager, Standards and Accessibility


From: "White, Jason J" <jjwhite@ets.org<mailto:jjwhite@ets.org>>
Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 14:14
To: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com<mailto:akirkpat@adobe.com>>, WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org<mailto:w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>>
Subject: RE: Silver process

I have a few issues to raise with the CFC.

One of the underlying intentions of Silver, as I understand it, is to supersede not only WCAG 2.x, but also ATAG and UAAG. Yet, there is no mention in the proposed design process of engaging users (or potential users) of ATAG and UAAG, or of requirements derived from them.

Increasingly, Web technology standardization ceases at the API level (e.g., for authentication or Web payments), leaving the user interface to be defined elsewhere – possibly by the user agent in some instances. Equally, there is a growing variety of Web applications (social media applications, content management systems, etc.) that serve the function of authoring tools. Under these circumstances, it makes good sense to cover all of the requirements in a single specification, but there is a need to decide upon the scope and to determine which requirements should be included.

The proposed Silver design process is entirely WCAG-focused. There is room to include other interested parties, but I would rather see the issues arising from ATAG and UAAG explicitly taken into account.

Another lacuna in the current suite of W3C specifications which should be investigated as part of Silver is the lack of an accessibility Guidelines specification to which libraries used by developers to build applications can conform. Currently, they can say that they conform to ARIA, but that’s only one component of accessibility, and they could even implement ARIA without implementing proper keyboard accessibility, for example. The ARIA Authoring Practices Guide is not a specification. Further, there is more to accessibility than compatibility with assistive technologies that use accessibility APIs. Having Guidelines to which libraries, components or frameworks could conform would facilitate the task of developers who use these materials to write applications. I think this issue should be on the Silver agenda.

In summary, I think there’s a fundamental scope discussion that needs to take place in the Silver design process, and correspondingly a range of people to be consulted beyond the users of WCAG, but this isn’t reflected in the Silver process proposal, as currently written, which gives the impression (intentional or otherwise) of a focus entirely on WCAG and its stakeholders. I would like to see these issues addressed (or at least considered) before the working group adopts the proposal.

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick [mailto:akirkpat@adobe.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 4:44 PM

The decision is that the process defined at https://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/wiki/Process_of_Designing_Silver is agreed to by the working group as the way forward with a longer effort to research, develop requirements, and begin to produce a major update to WCAG. Please review the minutes of the call and the survey responses as you consider this CfC.


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Received on Wednesday, 26 October 2016 20:15:53 UTC

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