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Re: testing versus expert opinion

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 03:52:24 -0700
Cc: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, www-archive@w3.org
Message-Id: <C47DA2B8-4F29-4BE5-8793-F6E4603FFED3@apple.com>
To: Steve Faulkner <sfaulkner@paciellogroup.com>

Removing public-html from Cc list.

On Sep 11, 2007, at 3:16 AM, Steve Faulkner wrote:

> hi maciej,
> >Can we please not post out-of-context comments from IRC on the  
> working group list, with the apparent intent of instigating a  
> flamewar?
> My intention was not to instigate a "flamewar" my intention was to  
> further debate on a legitimate subject.

Asking provocative rhetorical questions on a public mailing list based  
on comments in an external forum is an attack tactic, not a legitimate  
means of debate. Asking people to explain actions taken by others they  
are seen to be associated with is also an attack tactic.

> The most inflamatory response of the 2 so far, is yours.
> I see the IRC logs as a legitimate source of material to inform the  
> debate as are many other public sources and as such will continue to  
> quote them. I have cited the IRC log so people can go and read more  
> if they desire to understand more fully the context.

Dropping context and asking people people to follow a chain of links  
to find it is the sort of thing that makes people feel attacked and  
compelled to defend themselves. Even more importantly, you dropped the  
context that neither Anne nor I made any edits to the spec ourselves,  
so asking us to give the basis for such decisions is not appropriate  
in the first place. That context is not to be found in the IRC logs,  
yet the framing of your email appears to hold us somehow responsible.

>  >Being unwilling to ever change your own mind, and picking a fight  
> with people who change their position to be closer to yours, are  
> both >unproductive.
> I for one am willing to change my mind if research and discussion  
> provide a basis for such a change. That is why i have started doing  
> research and asked others in the HTML WG to provide data to continue  
> it.
> >More significantly, trying to create a dispute where there is none  
> is trolling. I will do my best to look past it in this case but  
> please try to >keep this kind of abusive behavior off the mailing  
> list in the future.
> The working group is not agreed upon changing the status of the alt  
> from required to optional and so in this sense there is a dispute  
> (disagreement).

You framed your email as if you have some bone to pick with myself and  
Anne. Your email was addressed to us in addition to the list, and the  
salutation named us directly: "Hi anne and mjs". Such "open letters"  
are a form of needless grandstanding and divisiveness that the chairs  
have specifically asked us not to engage in. Especially when there is  
no actual substantive disagreement. If the point you care about is  
making alt mandatory, what is the value in attacking me?

>  And how exactly is asking the question
> "Just wondered what testing was done before deciding to make the alt  
> attribute optional? Or was the decision based solely on expert  
> opinion?"
> being abusive? provocative maybe.

Your email was clearly meant as an attack, or at the very least to  
make people appear foolish, by dropping the relevant context. Based on  
your remark here, it was clearly deliberate, and you seem to think  
this kind of behavior is acceptable. I am frankly tired of this sort  
of behavior from the self-styled accessibility advocate camp, and if  
you continue to do it I will call you on it.

Furthermore, you choose to provoke me for coming around to agreeing  
with you more. I hope you can see this this is not only abusive but  
foolish as well, if your goal is to persuade people and not just to  
score cheap debating points.

I guess in summary, I'm not sure what you are trying to achieve. Why  
call me out by name? The only reasons I can think of is if you  
actually disagree with something I said (which you don't appear to) or  
if you are just trying to stir up trouble.

Received on Tuesday, 11 September 2007 10:52:34 UTC

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