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

From: Léonie Watson <tink@tink.uk>
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2018 21:57:12 +0000
To: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>, Katie Haritos-Shea <ryladog@gmail.com>
Cc: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <792b0bea-5b14-d076-61ed-f72760e3e420@tink.uk>
On 26/01/2018 20:10, Andrew Kirkpatrick wrote:
> 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.

The critical phrases are: "may be necessary to pursue", and: "possibly 
on the horizon". I understand why things were phrased that way, but the 
result is that there was no concrete commitment to 2.2, and so people 
weren't sure they could count on it.

> 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. 

With an average of 10 years between releases until now, it's perhaps not 
unreasonable for people to think that both the W3C and this WG need to 
demonstrate they're capable of moving faster. I think there has been a 
concerted effort to achieve that this time around, but it's been equally 
clear that old habits die hard.

> 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.

Setting aside the discussion between 18 or 36 months, I absolutely think 
this was the right choice. A set of guidelines that is revised once a 
decade is frankly not fit for purpose on a web platform that is 
constantly evolving.

> 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.

I think the WG has introduced several SC that will improve accessibility 
on the web, and that's undoubtedly a good thing.  Had we had a concrete 
commitment to 2.2, we might have saved some angst along the way, but we 
have made progress. I'd now like us to continue doing that at the same 
pace, until such time as Silver is ready to take the spotlight.

>      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.

I don't think there's any reason not to aim for 18 months again, my 
reflection was that a 36 month cycle might have been an easier 
transition on the way to 18 months. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!
>      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. 

It isn't a sentiment I agree with, but it's been said before that this 
WG should move at a pace that legislators can cope with. I don't think 
it was said with the 18 month timetable of the EU in mind however!

On balance, I think that our current course this will prove to be the 
best one we could have chosen.

I think it was the right choice too. I also acknowledge it was never 
going to be an easy thing to accomplish, and I think you and Josh have 
done an admirable job of steering the WG through these choppy waters.


@LeonieWatson @tink@toot.cafe Carpe diem
Received on Friday, 26 January 2018 21:57:52 UTC

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