MINUTES EOWG 01 Jul 2011


  1. Why Standards Harmonization is Essential to Web Accessibility revision - Discuss any remaining issues from previous Survey Results
  2. Survey Form (WBS) - EOWG Review: Standards Harmonization doc (final)


Char, Jennifer, Sharron, Judy, Vicki, Sandi, Jason Helle, Shadi, Sylvie,
Shawn, Liam, Wayne, Ian, Alan, Denis, Andrew, Emmanuelle


Introduction - status of member review of standards harmonization document

<judy> http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/standards/standards_harmon.html

Judy: I have gotten some comments, and there have been some side discussions. Will cue up the language level discussion and review of other docs.

Jennifer: I'm done, comments submitted

Vicki: I think it's looking good with a few minor comments still to submit.

Judy: Next week maybe?

Vicki: Sooner
... very minor, some editing or word choice, sequence.

Sharron: Have read, will comment today.

Helle: I think I am done. I have read, have no additional comments.
... will sign off

Char: Have read, will comment as soon as I can.

<Sylvie> yes

Judy: Thanks for your comments Sylvie, look like edits more than substantive changes.
... If you can do a thorough review by early next week and I will track down the others who have been on the conversations about this.

Shadi: Completed high level review will try to get to it as soon as possible.

Judy: Sandi and Jason, are you planning on reviewing?

Sandi: Yes I have looked at the document, it is a very different approach than what I would take. I would take a marketing approach and so rather than commenting, I am observing the process to understand how I can contribute.

Judy: We are trying to complete the process so the survey will ask if you approve it for publication. This is a more white paper approach rather than a marketing piece. For what it is, then, it would be useful for you to comment within the current context.
... we may have an opportunity to produce a marketing approach later on, but for now it would be useful to have your input.

Sandi: I prefer to simply observe rather than put my foot in.

Judy: So you may decide to abstain?

Jennifer: Yes, that could be a good approach for you Sandi. And then, when it is done, you could contribute to the blog post or whatever is the choice for marketing it. I think your skill will be very valuable at that point.

Sandi: I am a bit out of my depth and hope to contribute more actively when we next produce a document of this type.

Jennifer: We really should keep the marketing aspect alive and take advantage of your skils to increase the visibility of the document once published.

Judy: Agreed, I like the ideas about outreach to groups and blogging, etc.

Language Level of document

Judy: Cliff raised the issue of plain language. He suggested a substantial rewrite. However, given this is a policy-oriented document, plain language was not part of the requirement. Plain language is a AAA requirement and may not be appropriate for this particular paper. It is not really feasible to do a complete rewrite, but given the audiences we are aiming at, what does the group think about that perspective?
... Since we are expecting to translate widely, the idea of clear language is important and I would appreciate your input. How is this document? Are there specific parts that need revision with that in mind?

Jennifer: Cliff and I have had some side conversation. My work with the Daisy consortium has made me accustomed and perhaps more comfortable with the vocabulary and tone from work in standards world.
... it is my specific experience and is likely to be different for others.

Char: I work for the NFC forum and am familiar with spec language. I have tried to get my clients to write more sparely for three reasons: SEO, translation, and general clarity.
... I encourage people not to go for the biggest word, but the best word. EO documents sometimes seem to me to need a guide - you need a Freshman college reading level. Long paragraphs, long sentences, need to trace sentences down too often.

Judy: The emphasis on clear, good writing is useful. WCAG looked at that and did not build that into many of the guidelines - it is mentioned as AAA. Maybe we should have more deliberate conversations about that at the beginning of many of our documents.

Char: I was not trying to imply that this issue is in WCAG, but speaking from my experience as a writer/editor. People need to retrain their brains for thinking in shorter sentences, active voice, etc. Avoid florid language and big words.

Judy: The detail that builds within the Techniques addresses those issues more specifically.
... we are at a place in the process where we would prefer not to have to do wholesale rewrite, but would appreciate hearing about specific places where the complexity could be dialed down.

Helle: We need to clarify that while we do have standards documents, not all of the supporting documents need to adhere to standards-type language. We may need to consider plain language requirements more actively. It helps with translatins and we may need language editors revise it before it can be effectively translated.

Judy: Translators are assigned to this and I would appreciate review. This discussion so far is abstract. can we drill down to specific sentences?

Helle: In the first part of Exec Summ - "However, some governments develop multiple divergent standards, potentially slowing progress towards the goal of an accessible Web."

Judy: Conceptually dense? I don't want to strip the concepts out entirely and some of the suggestions that were submitted seemed even more complex. We need to also continue to engage the readers.

Helle: I feel that there is an attempt to try to say a lot of things in one sentence.

Shadi: I am also a candidate for longer, more complex sentences. Trying to channel Shawn, it may be a good approach to separate the sentence into two, since there are two major points squeezed in there.
... needs editorial improvement.

Judy: Will see what comes in from review comments. Will try to break up certain things in it, appreciate the feedback. I want to be careful about making it also interesting to read.

WCAG emphasis vs all Accessibility Guidelines

Judy: The more we tried to stengthen the importance of the WCAG, the arguments for the others became weaker.
... strong claims about WCAG being well tested, demonstration of various implementations, widely adopted and other strong reasons to support WCAG. But we found that we could not credibly make the same claims about the others.
... I can't find a better way to address it now. Shall we leave it or try to find a way to bring in the others more.

Sharron: Just as WCAG has done all these things, the others are expected to follow as they are more widely understood and adopted.

Jennifer: On the blog post to be, the promotions that we use to spread the word will also be an opportunity to set expectatins. When UAAG and ATAG do their own outreach, those pieces can link back to this document.

Judy: To be realistic, the other Guidelines may not unfold the same way. Part of the risk is that WCAG is particularly - perhaps uniquely - amenable to this. Because the content of web sites more frequently falls under regulatory scope, it is a different process.
... there is a different policy interaction at play. For business efficiency, conformance tools may come to be required...but may not be a similar process.

Sharron: Procurement is a powerful incentive and internal processes can work as well.

Judy: We need to figure out the right thing to say ...something about the mutual reinforcement among adoption of the various Guidelines

<Vicki> good idea

Judy: Now, if someone can figure out how to say that clearly and quickly, you get the award.
... I will see if I can do something on that for the final version. Any other comments on where we may more visibly draw out the benefits of ATAG, UAAG, WAI-ARIA?

How to reach out about standards harmonization

Judy: I was thinking of a spinoff of Think Globally/Act Locally but must consider the bad press for globalization. Curious if anyone else has a version of that as a catchy blog headline or bumper sticker.

<shadi> [your local global standard]

<Vicki> :)

<judy> judy: "standardize globally, implement locally" is kind of where i'd like to go, but doesn't play well

Judy: So think about a catch phrase and, while on the call, if anyone has come up with items that need discussion, please feel free to bring them up.

Helle: When we get the editor's draft update, is it easy for me to skim the Exec Summary and go directly to the Intro so I don't have to read portions twice?

Judy: A few people mentioned concerns that Exec Summary was too long. I have reduced it by about 30%, and we have had a series of discussions. Various people and not always the same ones, have been in attendence so there is some discontinuity. Have gone through several alternatives, some have been posted to the list. The last discussion seemed to agree with the rationale for having alonger ES.
... I could not find a way to shorten without losing the compelling reasons contained in it.

Helle: I like the content, the bulleted list is good. I just felt that when I read further along that much was repeated and perhaps I had not needed to read the Exec Summary.

Jennifer: If I were a policy maker in a hurry, I would have gotten everything I really needed in the Exec Summary.

Judy: We have not been talking at all about the last section, and that section has changed a lot. I piled in a bunch of links and tried to make it without redundancy to the Exec Summary.

Sharron: and it is actionable with all those links.

Jennifer: You do have the Table of Content with links that allow the reader to skip over. I have not commented on the last section because I think it is great as is.

Judy: What if we make the Harmonization and Fragmentation section more skippable rather than the Exec Summary?

Sharron: +1

Judy: If there were short and elegant phrase that we could put at the first of each section that indicates what will be found in the section.

<Vicki> that could work

Judy: would that help?

Helle: Just be careful that we don't make a big issue out of something that may not be one.

Judy: I'd be interested in playing with it because I think you are not the only one who is soemwhat annoyed at getting the same info twice.

Helle: Maybe the content will be more visible without the box of "editor's draft"

Judy: We have gotten reviews and initial comments from five people so far. Probably within the next few days there will be more comments. I'll check with Shawn about who is due back from vacations, etc. I set up the survey again. As soon as we hear from the members, the intent is to publish without the Draft box at the top but with a note at the bottom that we are accepting comments.

<Vicki> sounds good

Judy: At the same time, we will have translations that track the progress of the draft. Any objections or comments on that proposed process?

<hbj> OK from me too

<Sylvie> No objections

Jennifer: OK

Judy: Thanks very much for the feedback. I appreciate the fact that we have worked at an accelerated pace. It will be interesting to see what the feedback will be when the document is published with the increased number of translations.
... may have some slides. For those who have finished with this review, the next consdieration will be of the Business Case slides.

<Vicki> thanks, Judy

Helle: What about the support slides for Harmonization? It would be interesting to see them.

Judy: I have a draft of about 20 slides that I would like EO to consider if possible.
... another is a short group of 3 or so that speakers could adapt and fit into thier own presentations.

Jennifer: Yes, and maybe that will be a place for more marketing and plain language considerations.

Helle: Thanks, sounds interesting

Judy: Will be a change in the version number but not substantial changes, date stamp will change for approval review. s

Jennifer: So those who are taking the survey for the first time, make sure to note the date
... and thanks Judy for all your hard work.

<Vicki> bye

Judy: Thanks, we made progress, bye!

<Vicki> -vicki

Summary of Action Items

[End of minutes]

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