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SpecGL & WAI issues

From: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 15:09:21 -0600
Message-Id: <>
To: www-qa-wg@w3.org


This will be a topic on Wed (3-sep) telecon...

We have been working on the SpecGL Disposition of Comments (DoC) (see draft 
at [5]).  We only have a placeholder for the "Resolution" of Jon 
Gunderson's SpecGL accessibility issue, LC-55 [3].

As we saw with his OpsGL issue, this turned contentious.  It is at the same 
time bigger than a simple QAF question, and (interpreting his statements in 
email discussion), more likely to impact SpecGL.

Therefore, I think that QAWG should clarify its position on the issue 
further.  We could then link such a position from [3] (and hence [5]), to 
have a complete and clear Resolution.  Here, therefore, is a draft proposal 
for a QAWG position, drawn from recent mail discussions...

### begin draft ###
About the broader QA-WAI issue(s)

The broader QA-WAI issue that has come up will impact SpecGL and possibly 

That issue could be summarized as follows:  is it within the scope, 
responsibility, authority and mission of QA to define W3C-wide policy 
mandating accessibility features within all W3C technologies, and to 
document and enforce that policy through its QA Framework guidelines documents?

This issue synopsis is synthesized from JG's statements:

A.) "Description" in the two issues raised against OpsGL and SpecGL, LC-56 
[1] & LC-55 [3]

B.) Statements in rejecting QAWG' disposition of those comments [4]:

>"It seems to me that part of the quality assurance process should be to 
>make sure that the needs of people with disabilities is taken into account 
>as part of the recommendation process ... [and] ... based on the 
>resolution [1] that anything a working group does not want to test, they 
>can just make an informative part of their specification ... [and] 
>...  that your resolution basically says that a working group does not 
>need to deal with accessibility issues if they leave them out of the 
>specification, putting the burden back on the limited WAI resources to 
>pursue the working group for accessibility issues."

For further background, the current scope of OpsGL:

>The scope of this specification is a set of verifiable requirements for 
>the process and operational aspects of the quality practices of W3C 
>Working Groups. The primary goal is to help the W3C Working Groups (WGs) 
>with the planning, development, deployment, and maintenance of conformance 
>test materials (TM).

For further background, the current scope of SpecGL:

>The scope of this document is a set of requirements for W3C Technical 
>Reports (TRs) that if satisfied, will enhance the clarity, 
>implementability, and testability of TRs. It describes what goes into a TR 
>with respect to conformance and conformance topics, dealing with how a TR 
>establishes, defines, and presents its conformance policy.

QA's Positions on the broader issue(s):

1.) The requests in LC-55, LC-56, and subsequent email are clearly beyond 
the current scope(s) of the QA Framework.
2.) QAWG believes that the definition, documentation, and enforcement of 
accessibility policy is the primary responsibility of WAI.
3.) QAWG has not seen any convincing argument that these primary 
responsibilities should be transferred to QA.
4.) QA should coordinate with WAI, as well as I18N, multi-modal, etc.
5.) The nature of optimal coordination would be as follows:  WAI defines 
the policies and gets them endorsed by W3C as binding requirements on the 
WGs; when the WGs write Recommendations in which the policies are to be 
testable conformance requirements, QA helps to ensure that the 
specifications meet minimal criteria of clarity and testability, and that 
derived conformance test suites accurately cover the requirements.
6.) The QA Framework is not the place to define, document, and enforce 
accessibility policy.
7.) WAI has far more resources than QA, and QAWG feels that it is 
inappropriate to suggest that QA should add more responsibility to its 
already over-taxed resources.
8.) QA questions the appropriateness of submitting a substantial issue of 
QA Framework scope at this time.  OpsGL and SpecGL are at Last Call, they 
have been available for over 1-1/2 years in approximately 5 published 
Working Drafts, and their scopes have been clearly stated all along.
### end draft ###



[1] http://www.w3.org/QA/WG/lc-issues#x56
[2]  http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-qa-wg/2003Aug/0008.html
[3] http://www.w3.org/QA/WG/lc-issues#x55
[4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-qa-wg/2003Aug/0016.html
[5] http://www.w3.org/QA/WG/2003/08/SpecGL-DoC.html
Received on Thursday, 28 August 2003 17:08:52 UTC

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