Working together for standards The Web Standards Project

The comment period for WCAG 2 has been extended to Thursday, June 22. If you are thinking about giving feedback, I suggest reading the directions for commenters.

The ATF will be publishing a broader set of issues shortly, and working to help the WCAG Working Group cover narrower technical issues as we go.

I have reviewed the current Last Call Working Draft. My opinions, and those of the rest of the ATF, are on the way. In a nutshell, I think there’s a lot more good than bad in the document. Its key problems are not its technical faults, which can be identified and rewritten, but general usability issues, which cause it to be unapproachable by new readers.

My advice to commenters is to separate the two: document technical issues you may have, then give a general comment on how you would like this content structured, and what kind of supporting educational and reference materials you will need to support it.

Just don’t expect the group to produce all of that material. We shouldn’t demand that they produce a spec as concise and comprehensive as the US Constitution, but as readable as a Dummies book. We need books and tutorials and code samples, but anybody who understands the subject can produce those later.

The most important requirement of WCAG 2 is that it be technically solid. If it is long, dense, and no fun to read, but complete and accurate, that’s what we want. Specifications specify. We should expect the working group to work toward that singular goal: not policy considerations, not flexible baselines, not complex conformance and scoping schemes, not flowery prose, not measures for the immeasurable. WAI has the support of many, many people who can explain how to do the work, once that core set of requirements is established. The Working Group shouldn’t be responsible for doing any more than defining the issues and testing their solutions. That’s a big enough job by itself.

Your Replies

#1 On May 26th, 2006 3:14 pm