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Re: CFC - Transition UPDATED WCAG 2.1 Editor's Draft to Candidate Recommendation

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2018 20:10:36 +0000
To: "tink@tink.uk" <tink@tink.uk>, Katie Haritos-Shea <ryladog@gmail.com>
CC: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <F8A29050-8DA6-4490-8C80-B550D208CDFF@adobe.com>
A few comments on Leonie’s points within:

    > I am shocked at all that we did not do because there was no time. As the 
    > global standard relied upon for the civil rights of millions of people 
    > are we really OK with privileging the schedule over the content?
    I think the goal is to be able to move in a timely fashion, and have the 
    right content. I don't think we got it right with 2.1.
    We tried to move from a 10 year cycle to an 18 month cycle, but we 
    didn't define a clear path beyond 2.1 (setting aside Silver for the moment).
    For a regular release cycle to work, people have to have confidence that 
    the next version will happen. That way if something needs a little more 
    time to reach maturity, it can do so, because the next version will soon 
    be there.
    So we took the first step towards a regular release cycle, but didn't 
    follow it through properly. This meant many people were stuck in the 
    mindset that if something didn't make it into 2.1, it wouldn't make it 
    at all.

I strongly disagree with the idea that the Working Group hasn’t discussed the plan to move forward. I do agree that it isn’t finalized but that is because it couldn’t be finalized without knowing what would and wouldn’t get into 2.1 and where Silver would be at when we started this.

The charter (https://www.w3.org/2017/01/ag-charter) is very clear that the plan is to produce regular guidance. It reads:

“The Working Group intends to produce updated guidance for accessibility on a regular interval, starting with WCAG 2.1. Depending on the outcome of the requirements development for the next major update to WCAG, it may be necessary to pursue further dot-releases of WCAG until a major release is ready to be completed in time for a scheduled release date.”

Furthermore, in the project plan (https://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/project) that is linked from the charter we lay out that both a WCAG 2.2 and Silver are each possibly on the near horizon.

If someone believes that something that didn’t make it into WCAG 2.1 won’t have a chance to be in a WCAG version for 10 more years, then the reason is that they don’t trust the W3C and WCAG to operate on a more aggressive schedule. This is the opposite concern that we faced in getting our charter, where we were denied a longer period for WCAG 2.1 because some member companies believed that we would debate for years and have little to show for it in the near term. As a result we set off on a course to demonstrate that we can deliver an update on a short timeline.

In the process of threading that needle, we do the best we can, and we have reached consensus on 17 new Success Criteria. No one got exactly what they wanted, but people felt that they could live with what you now see in the editor’s draft.

    > Does it need to take another 10 years to get it right? Absolutely not. 
    > And I said before, there are options between 18 months and 10 years. I 
    > suggested 3 years as a reasonable "iteration"  timeline for an 
    > international accessibility standard.
    On reflection, I think three years might have been a better target for 
    2.1. It may well have been an easier transition for some people to make.

Perhaps. We didn’t have that as an option. We put it forward in the charter and it was not going to be approved without the 18 month WCAG 2.1 development process. Maybe going through this process is what will be needed for the group to collect the information to make that argument more convincingly.
    That said, had we not adopted this timeline, the EU would have 
    legislated without any of the 2.1 SC at all.
That is undeniably true. And, they might have invented additional standards outside of the W3C. On balance, I think that our current course this will prove to be the best one we could have chosen.


Received on Friday, 26 January 2018 20:11:03 UTC

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