Clear language/Internationalization

14 December 2023


EA, JohnRochford, julerawe, katy, kirkwood, matatk, Rachael, tburtin

Meeting minutes

Internationalization update

julerawe: Update about i18n and a question.
… We had a very productive meeting on 2023-11-29.
… The i18n team agreed to our proposal about doing tests in 5 'guardrail' languages, but also reaching out for input for other languages.
… Addison wrote to me about a work plan. The main take-away from the 2023-11-29 meeting was that i18n wants to see and review our drafts early.
… We got a question from Richard [r12a on IRC] about _how_ we will work together.

<julerawe> https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1DrF-BaI5C8UsAa3ndM8SFjlb8eDrGwHr/edit#slide=id.p1

julerawe: We didn't get much time in that meeting to discuss this.
… See slide 5.
… Last bullet - creating guidance for translation into other languages.
… Richard suggested to me that we create some way for people to add to the guidance in any local language. We had discussed that we're planning to make a CG and recruiting broadly.
… As we were asked about process, we wondered if we should have another meeting with i18n, or start a new thread, with AG + APA chairs looped in.
… Summary: We had a productive meeting; Now we are discussing how specifically we'll work together. Keen to build a positive relationship with i18n.
… Hard to schedule calls due to the timezone spread.
… Question: how do we respond to moving this work forward for all languages?

JohnRochford: I suggest we go back to the i18n WG, and ask them to propose how we could work together, but also some details about how they wanted to engage people who speak languages all over the world.
… Could they give us an example as to how to go about that? E.g. some questions, or a form/survey?

julerawe: Asking them to give us a clear idea of what they mean, and then meeting to discuss their idea?

JohnRochford: Yes, exactly. My hope is then we could work with them in that [proposed] way, and not need to schedule further meetings.

julerawe: Any other thoughts?

julerawe: matatk mentioned i18n likes to work async.

julerawe: What we were hoping to do (which I thought we had) was a main way to get the work done. Making the guidelines as useful as possible; pressure-test them in 5 languages.

julerawe: We want to make sure we have a feasible scope of work.

<kirkwood> curous, do we know of any other teams that have experience effectively working with them? or a model?

kirkwood: Do we know of any other teams that have worked successfully with i18n? E.g. async

JohnRochford: I don't think they were questioning what we agreed upon, but that in addition to what we agreed on, they'd like those things.

julerawe: The tricky thing is that is the 'in addition to' opening us up to the entire world of languages?

JohnRochford: What we're doing/they're suggesting is to provide a method/opportunity for communities around the world to join in with their own efforts.

JohnRochford: If that's the case, then that's great, as it serves more languages, but doesn't give us a lot more work to do.

Rachael: Have we written down what was agreed upon, and mailed it out? If not, that would be a good exercise to capture our understanding and iron out details, without the need for another meeting.

julerawe: We had the presentation before, but I've not sent a follow-up since.

JohnRochford: At the end of the meeting, Lisa prompted everyone to agree to what we agreed to, and we +1'd it.

julerawe: Yes, though I've not sent the follow-up to say what we agreed to.

Rachael: We could have a wiki page saying how we're working together.
… This will be very clear to everyone, and we can bring up the question of how to address the additional comments.

<Rachael> matatk: I think there was more agreement than Julie, you may fear there is. I think they are suggesting we open it up so others can contribute. I agree with the wiki page to document and then also mention the CG as a way to contribute.

<Rachael> ...one thing that came up several times was that they didn't feel that set of 5 languages would work for every success criteria. They were saying for some tests, a certain set of languages would be best and for others a different set would be best.

<julerawe> community group = community group

<Rachael> ...AG would prefer a preset group of languages. The one source of difference was that difference. They didn't seem to think it was a show stopper. We may just acknowledge it and proceed.

<Rachael> ...I do think we should create a wiki and they can edit if needed. I do agree with John that our expectations are closer than not.

julerawe: Do we need approval from chairs to make a wiki page?

Rachael: I believe COGA has its own wiki, so you can just make a page, and point us all to it.

julerawe: Is everyone aligned with the plan of making a wiki and then sharing it?

<Zakim> matatk, you wanted to mention about the guardrail languages; process

<kirkwood> +1 to creating a wiki

+1 to creating a wiki page

<Rachael> +1 to wiki

<JohnRochford> -1

<julerawe> +1

<JohnRochford> +1

<katy> +1

<JohnRochford> +1

<JohnRochford> +1

julerawe: Ok. Will do this. We can move on.

<Rachael> matatk: Matt is happy to review it though you are welcome to create it without permission. We can help with technical issues. Are you volunteering to make the wiki page?

<Rachael> julerawe: I may need help.

Rachael: where and how the wiki is created will depend on our resolution of the next item.

Community group

julerawe: Rachael emailed me to ask if we could broaden the scope to have one CG that supports the efforts of 2 WCAG3 teams: Clear language, and Text appearance and semantics (lead by Jeanne?) who are looking at line spacing.

julerawe: I think it makes sense to make one CG that can help with both.

julerawe: I don't know what that means with respect to what the group should be called. Maybe the WCAG3 Internationalization CG?
… But I'm not sure.
… Also we don't know where it would live, as it spans these two WCAG3 teams.

<julerawe> https://docs.google.com/document/d/15Xpar0r12cbPMvWE54NJ0OACEbceNeUHg2iY_z0oUYw/edit#heading=h.8kp3qhmkq00q

julerawe: ^ link is the draft. Does that answer your question JohnRochford about why we're talking about line spacing?

<kirkwood> Clear and Localized Language Grroup (?)

julerawe: Any questions about broader scope of the CG?

Rachael: This came up (line-spacing) because of the 2.1 text spacing SC; my guess is we'll have other WCAG3 topics around i18n, including COGA ones, maybe also best ways to abbreviate things - something to keep in mind, it could get unexpectedly broad.

julerawe: That would be an argument in favor of 'WCAG 3 Internationalization CG'

JohnRochford: 'Language' should be part of the name

<julerawe> WCAG 3 Language Localization Community Group?

kirkwood: Accents, etc. all in the ASCII realm, as long as we're not talking about special characters/icons.

julerawe: There is something in the current clear language guidelines about whitespacing - that's common between us and the clear language group.

julerawe: E.g. how much would a language like Czech, or Vietnamese, require whitespace around the text, to make it legible?

JohnRochford: Two questions: (1) what's the purpose for combining into one CG? (2) is there precedent for having a CG that goes to two projects?

Rachael: There are precedents. It's really a question of how you want to think of a community group. Is the CG focused on language, in which case focusing on COGA makes sense. Or does the CG focus on any i18n accessibility guidance
… in which case what it focuses on will vary across the years.
… It's a question of which is the best approach for a CG as a whole.
… I've not done much with CGs, so the question as to broader/longer or focused/shorter, I'm not sure.


JohnRochford: From that description, it seems to me that there should be two separate groups, because the work on language alone is overwhelming, set aside from all the other work on i18n that could be done.

julerawe: Adding to what JohnRochford said: keeping the word 'discrete' - if we were to broaden the scope and call it something like 'local language CG' (or whatever we call it) then I assume i18n would want to at least be consulted before the creation. Maybe they'd want to run it.
… Just wondering what this means in terms of being able to partner with them? I'm not sure; these are interesting questions.
… Central question: what is it we can do to help us get this work done?
… Would broadening this to include the line spacing significantly delay/complicate what we're setting out to do?
… Would the set of folks who volunteer for one CG, volunteeer for both?

JohnRochford: scope creep

JohnRochford: Our scope is so wide, we can't let it keep going.

<EA> +1 to what John has just said - when I first started this really has expanded from the compexities of language for those with coga difficulties to something that now covers complexities of orthography and scripts.

julerawe: Could Rachael or matatk share the publication plan for WCAG 3 - all at once, or key pieces over time? Scope creep is a legitimate concern. I think different parts of this will move at different paces.

julerawe: Are the people who join likely to be interested in both, or one set, of guidelines?

Rachael: Great question, though we don't know the answer yet. I don't think it will take as long as some people have suggested for us to complete WCAG3. I think the question you ask julerawe is they key one, about overlap.
… If some people are representing their country/culture/language/script then maybe there will be overlap. If not, then we should have separate groups.
… I'm fine either way, there are strong arguments in either direction.

<Rachael> matatk: I don't have any answers. There are precedents in long running/focused community groups. One example is immersive web. The community group does most of the work and the working group reviews and approves. Some community groups are long running and loosely focused and some are tightly focused and shorter. It depends on who is going to run the group and how they'd like to run it.

<kirkwood> I feel that talking to a tightly focused purpose statement for a community group would give me a better understanding on how to move forward

<Rachael> ...Not suggesting the people on this call run it. If the community is running it for the community, maybe it just runs a task and then when its done it starts on the next task. We could just wait and see. We could just specify the one project first and see what happens. We can close the group and reopen a new one...

<Rachael> with the same people. We've seen evidence both can work and that's good news.

JohnRochford: Our scope has broadened from English as a prototype to other languages. That is a lot of work. If we were to broaden it more, I think we're setting ourselves up for failure.

<kirkwood> +1 to JR I too am concerned about scope

<EA> +1 to JR as well

JohnRochford: Concern about the time it'll take and the resources we'll need from the international community.

julerawe: I share your concerns JohnRochford. I wonder if the way we shape this CG would encourage more people to join it and be active in it. Don't know.
… Would it help people to recruit more people to the group. Even thinking about the name... including things like use of color (a cultural thing) would broaden the scope even more.

<kirkwood> I’d like to see a very well-written purpose statement.

<katy> Is recruiting to community groups usually quite challenging?

<EA> Where are we going to find the community - hard to galvanise volunteers unless really energised by a wonderful leader!

<Rachael> +1 to self sustaining

julerawe: I agree with having a clear description of the CG's scope and how to participate.

<julerawe> https://docs.google.com/document/d/15Xpar0r12cbPMvWE54NJ0OACEbceNeUHg2iY_z0oUYw/edit

julerawe: I did put down an initial draft; suggestions welcome.

kirkwood: Thinking about the issues of cognitive accessibility and i18n, rather just the big picture of i18n and l10n.

<EA> oops sorry never get the way IRC works correctly!!!

kirkwood: A good example: A Spanish language translation of information - we dealt with a cognitive issue where we accidentally brought in cultural language of Spain into the cultural environment of Spanish-speaking New Yorkers, creating a cognitive disconnect.

kirkwood: Trying to think of this a s tighter lane, rather than boiling the ocean. Symbols are an issue too, but that is another issue.

Rachael: If the CG is where you're going to go to write the initial guidance, then these concerns you raised about scope make sense.
… If the CG is going to take the guidance that COGA/AG drafts, give feedback, and then apply it in different languages, then the scope creep becomes less of a problem, and the CG becomes more of a resource.
… The answer to how you want to approach that changes how we would set up the group.

EA: I feel conscious of the fact that, even in this one session, there are three things everyone's been requested to do: wiki, community group, coping with difficulties of script, orthography, language, and COGA needs. We're getting bogged down in minutiae of who is going to do what, and we're struggling.
… Half of the members in sub-groups are trying to write research/issue papers.

<tburtin> +1 EA

EA: We need to narrow the scope to what we feel that we can work with, and if a CG appears with outsiders, that would be great. But I think we'll end up doing the work.

EA: If we want a sustainable CG, we will need a really good leader.

<kirkwood> +1 EA

EA: I'm concerned about completing existing tasks to an acceptable level.

<JohnRochford> +1 EA

<Rachael> +1 to realistic

EA: This is being realistic - want to help as much as possible, but there is a huge amount of work.

julerawe: However we recruit people, e.g. to the CG and seeing how active they are and asking them to join COGA, we need more people.
… We have a lot of work just for English speakers alone.

julerawe: One of the next steps is doing that outreach to get those members; was hoping that we could start a CG to get that recruitment started. There are a lot of steps to achieve that.

Rachael: I hear the overwhelmed - I think you should think about this when setting up the CG. I hear you concerned the CG is going to be a burden. It could be a help. It could be set up so that you write the initial top-level language guidance, and then hand it to the CG and focus on Content Usable.
… If the CG is set up at the AG level, as a resource.
… You pass work to it, and get results back. So it will lessen your load, rather than increasing it.
… I realize we're spending a meeting on process - sometimes that pays off.

<JohnRochford> +1 Tiffany

tburtin: We also need a good balance of people with access needs and not. We need to understand that people with accessibility challenges will be overwhelmed. Working on a paper with EA, and we are overwhelmed. If we can break the elephant down into small pieces that would help.

julerawe: Do you mean creating a small/focused CG?

tburtin: Starting with a list of all the things we want to achieve, and figuring out what sort of group we need for each of those (CG, COGA sub-group, focus group, ...)

julerawe: One clear next step is to do a wiki page about how we'll work with i18n.
… Second next step is how we'll approach the CG.
… Important concerns raised.
… Scope creep chief among them.

<kirkwood> Do we need a shared scope document? for us to agree on?

julerawe: We also need to get the CG approved by the AG+APA chairs.
… Welcome everyone to put your thoughts into the Google Doc

<julerawe> https://docs.google.com/document/d/15Xpar0r12cbPMvWE54NJ0OACEbceNeUHg2iY_z0oUYw/edit#heading=h.36atp48016of

julerawe: Figure out how to focus it, make it clear, what the scope is.

<Rachael> matatk: Are there people who are passionate about their language that could lead the work? Ideally the community group reduces work.

<Rachael> ...even the 5 languages is causing concern.

Minutes manually created (not a transcript), formatted by scribe.perl version 221 (Fri Jul 21 14:01:30 2023 UTC).


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All speakers: EA, JohnRochford, julerawe, kirkwood, Rachael, tburtin

Active on IRC: EA, JohnRochford, julerawe, katy, kirkwood, matatk, Rachael, tburtin