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Re: ISSUE-30 counter-proposal

From: Shelley Powers <shelleypowers@burningbird.net>
Date: Sun, 14 Feb 2010 14:38:40 -0600
Message-ID: <4B785F50.4020403@burningbird.net>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
CC: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>
Sam Ruby wrote:
> Shelley Powers wrote:
>> Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>>> On Sun, Feb 14, 2010 at 11:36 AM, Shelley Powers
>>> <shelleypowers@burningbird.net> wrote:
>>>> Now, those disclaimers were very well done. Notice the items marked 
>>>> **. The
>>>> survey editors specifically warned against using the results to form a
>>>> conclusion.
>>> No they did not.  They said that "care should be taken" in
>>> interpreting the results.
>> Actually, I would say that means a person should use caution before 
>> forming a conclusion, and making the attribute obsolete. But we can 
>> disagree on what it means.
>>> Note as well, of course, that this disclaimer applies to a study that
>>> was not done by Ian, and which provides the totals for each answer
>>> inline in the study (I'm not sure if the actual raw data is
>>> available).
>>> Finally, the relevant part of the survey (the question concerning
>>> preferred treatment of a complex image) was very clear - the current
>>> longdesc behavior was *extremely* unpopular compared to the other
>>> proposed methods (all of which used existing technologies).  The only
>>> less popular treatment of the image was ignoring it altogether.
>> Again, though, there could be other factors. I'm not necessarily 
>> defending longdesc, I leave that to the accessibility folks. The 
>> point on my original email was to question the soundness of the 
>> studies that Ian's using as his primary proof for the counter-proposal.
>>>> I have a degree in Psychology (industrial emphasis), in addition to 
>>>> a degree
>>>> in computer science, and most of my time spent within the 
>>>> discipline was
>>>> focused on testing, research, and how to conduct these types of 
>>>> studies. I'm
>>>> not an expert, I only have a BA not an advanced degree, but the 
>>>> points I
>>>> made are a fundamental, and not something I'm making up.
>>> If your expertise is relevant, then you can articulate your problems
>>> with the studies used more precisely, as Maciej requested.
>>> Vaguely-stated but impressive-sounding objections are not just
>>> useless, but *actively harmful* to the discussion (see "Gish Gallop").
>> Actually, I was precise. Did you need some kind of number to make it 
>> seem more precise? Do I need to say, "I'm 99.453% sure that  Ian has 
>> not provided access to the raw Google index data"? Or something like 
>> that? Your comment is confusing.
>> As for the statement about my objection being harmful to the 
>> discussion, and casting a negative connotation about my concerns 
>> ("Gish Gallop") is a very personal, and negative, statement to make 
>> about my objection, Tab. Could you please justify how my objection is 
>> "actively harmful"?
>> Is "harmful" in this context, the same use of "harmful" that has been 
>> used about longdesc and @summary? I'm trying to figure it out, 
>> because I can't see how my objections are harmful, at least not with 
>> my understanding of the word.
> How about the two of you figure this out off-list, and then report back?
> I'd like to keep public-html for technical discussions.
> - Sam Ruby


I will be glad to have these discussions off list. Or frankly, not have 
these discussions at all. My initial email response to Ian was valid, 
and on topic. The WhatWG tag team response, less so. I have no problems 
with people questioning the statements I made, but the pushback was 
focused on my intentions, rather than on my statements.

I am concerned though that too often the co-chairs are undermining my 
integrity, authority, and usefulness, by following a pattern of allowing 
several emails accusing me of negative behavior, personal attacks, or in 
this case, causing harm to the discussion, and then, when I defend 
myself, then, and only then, do the co-chairs, such as yourself, step in 
to shut the discussion down.

I no longer know how to participate in the group. I cannot participate 
in the group if the co-chairs continue in their uneven stewardship of 
the group.

Received on Sunday, 14 February 2010 20:39:16 UTC

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