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Re: Draft minutes Boston F2F, 4 Friday 2005 PM

From: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 12:36:34 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: QAWG <www-qa-wg@w3.org>
Quoting from Dom's minutes summary:
>Summary: The QA WG and the WAI CG could not get on consensus on how to 
>best represent the accessibility requirements in SpecGL; the QA WG 
>proposal to put a notice in the scope and gives details and links in a 
>non-normative part of SpecGL only partially addressed the WAI CG needs for 
>a greater coordination of horizontal activities that the QA Activity was 
>supposed to stand for. The lack of resources in the QA WG and the likely 
>non-renewal of the WG was acknowledged.
>Resolved: add a new item in the new "workflow" part of SpecGL about 
>accessibility and other "horizontal" aspects of qualities for a Specification.

Could someone please clarify what "new item in new 'workflow' part" 
means?  What is the nature of this "new item"?  From this summary, and from 
the detailed minutes (below), it appears that we agreed to so something 
about accessibility and other horizontal bits.  This despite "not get on 

I think WAI is doing great work, and am a great fan of it, and have high 
regard for the people, but...

I am against making any significant content in SpecGL for WAI, 
Internationalization, or any other worthy cause.  All of the reasons 
against, and objections, are stated in the detailed minutes (below).  All 
of the arguments for (by WAI) are also stated there, and I remain 
unconvinced that QA should take this on.

Recall that Jon Gunderson brought this up in the previous SpecGL Last 
Call.  We resolved the issue, after much email and special telecons, by 
declining the request, for all the reasons stated below.  He did not accept 
that resolution, and it went to W3M (or the CR Director's telecon -- can't 
remember which).  Our position was upheld.

What new arguments have convinced us (or rather those present Friday 
afternoon) to resolve the request differently this time?  Is it just a 
matter of submitting an issue enough times, or getting the right mix of 
people present when the issue is re-argued, or what?

I still believe that this is not our job, and we should not take it on 
until / unless someone changes the scope of our charter, and supplies 
resources.  Because of my regard for the WAI work, and the people, it is 
actually tempting for me to accede to the request.  But I don't think it is 
the right thing for QAWG to get involved in, other that at the passing 
mention and non-normative references level.


At 02:30 PM 3/4/2005 -0500, Patrick Curran wrote:

>1:00 Joint meeting with WCAG
>Present from WCAG
>Al Gilman [AG]: Protocols & Formats WG
>Wendy Chisholm [WC]: WCAG staff contact
>Michael Cooper [MC]: chair: WCAG Techniques Task Force
>1) WCAG would like the QAWG to address accessibility in SpecGL
>[DH], [KD]:
>We have addressed this (or will) in our scope statement. (see AI SpecGL - 
>Add to Scope)
>This is a content issue.
>[WC]: we recommend specs should contain test assertions: where should
>the recommendation come from if not from QA?
>[LR]: different groups have their own wishes (eg, security). We wrote specgl
>from a conformance perspective - these other issues are very important, but
>just out of scope given our approach.
>[PC]: can we include a checklist somewhere? The list of stuff a good spec
>should contain/address is a good thing.
>[LR]: how about adding it to the new appendix (explains this to the WCAG 
>accessibility, internationalization, device independence, security
>[WC]: where does the recommendation that test suites be written come in?
>[DH]: this too is out of scope
>[KD]: this is a separate work-item
>[AG]: Given the "QA Framework", he's expecting an overview document that pulls
>everything together. The informative appendix would allow us to provide the
>[LR]: the Primer also provides some of this overview
>[AG]: where's the "executive overview"?
>[WC]: why can't you say "consider this stuff" and provide the list and the
>[AG]: QAWG is in fact saying that the appendix will serve this purpose.
>But then goes on to say - make the examples we provide dual-purpose; they
>can address accessibility.
>As a "consumer advocate" I can't see why you don't include what we're asking
>for. Only a very specialist QA person or a document-centric person can 
>your "scope" argument.
>[LR]: Some of these requirements should come from W3C management. If we 
>inserted these requirements, how could we test/measure conformance?
>Mark: look at the scope of this group. Our background is in testing, and in
>quality. Need for precise, clear, unambiguous testable spec. What WCAG is
>asking of us addresses worthy goals, but it's orthogonal to our work & our
>charter. Should come from management. We don't know how to test what you're
>asking for.
>[WC]: I understand the argument about "non-testable".
>[DH]: the "out of scope" argument is also significant
>[WC]: WCAG is trying to follow SpecGL. There are lots of interdependencies.
>QAWG has a major role to play. For the Web Accessibility Initiative to meet
>its goals, they need QA help.
>[TB]: one way to measure whether an accessibilty goal was met, CSS3 specs
>try to use accessible examples, and also discusses accessibility in their
>introduction (design principle).
>[MC]: Accessibility requirements can at least be verifiable if not
>testable, using the checklist approach adopted by WCAG.
>[DH]: Yes, we could add a section requiring that specs address these other
>issues, but we are just too overloaded. We have defined our scope, and
>we can't/shouldn't change now (would dilute our efforts). We're trying
>for a minimalistic SpecGL. We wish we could have pushed more of our
>ideas into the Process Document. Even after SpecGL becomes a recommendation
>most groups will probably ignore it.
>[WC]: we should be working together
>[DH]: agreed
>[KD]: Requirements should be added to WGs' charters. This would be more
>effective. Guidelines for charters would be a better place to address
>these requirements. Putting this into SpecGL would open a Pandora's box.
>We are addressing how to write a spec rather than design a technology.
>[AG]: How do we ensure that specs have "the right stuff" in them (address
>the content rather than the form). This question should be addressed
>when the 'requirements document' is created.
>[DH]: What problem are we trying to solve? Some examples?
>[WC]: HTML 4.0.1 mentions addressibility, but ineffectively (eg,
>access keys). SVG spec used to reference UA Accessibility Guidelines
>and required conformance to those guidelines.
>[PC]: We are focusing on form rather than content. We are very
>sympathetic, but it's not our business to talk about what a good
>spec should *contain* rather than the form it takes.
>[DH]: agrees.
>[AG]: has a concern that certain messages get out. W3C documents should
>be spreading the messages. Won't the appendix do this?
>[DH]: explains that the appendix will address process issues rather than
>objectively verifiable aspects of the spec.
>[AG]: can we use this section to reinforce the messages. Use the examples.
>[DH]: the QA team (as opposed to the WG) is certainly willing to spread
>these messages.
>[LR]: appendix could be labelled "beyond conformance"
>[WC]: understands the "out of scope" arguments - reinforces that this
>is a really important issue
>[LR]: maybe we shouldn't call it an appendix. Part 2?
>[DH]: emphasizes it won't be normative.
>[WC]: main concern was to have the message heard
>[AG]: main concern is to ensure that the SpecGL doc will promote the message.
>He believes that QAWG have offered to do this. Accepts that our scope is
>what it is.
>[KD]: points out that Webarch document provides a similar disclaimer to
>ours ("accessibility is out of scope")
>[AG]: expected QA group to play a stronger role than that...
>General discussion: importance of the QA work. How can we recruit more
>[WC]: there are QA people within the individual WGs.
>[DH]: people are willing to work on tests, but not on the high-level
>theory that we're engaged in.
>[KD]: people are willing to work on their specific stuff but not
>necessarily on general-purpose stuff.
>[LR]: there are benefits to sharing
>[WC]: perhaps the group should be transformed into a coordination group.
>[DH]: we tried this last year - asking test folks from various WGs whether
>they would be willing to work together (just on a mailing list). No real
>[LR] and [KD] leave for the airport at 2:00 pm
>2) Issues/questions raised by WCAG in response to their attempts to to
>conform to Spec GL
>QAWG will respond by email. [WC] will respond if any additional
>Next telecon will be on Mar 14.
>Adjourn: 2:20 pm
Received on Sunday, 13 March 2005 19:36:45 UTC

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