Commenting on “Dear WHAT WG and HTML 5 WG” (16th August 2007)

(My reply to Dear WHAT WG and HTML 5 WG on Molly Holzschlag’s blog wasn’t getting through. I e-mailed her and she looked into it but it still wouldn’t go through, so I’m writing it here.)

I appreciate both “sides” of the accessibility in HTML5 debate. My reply to John Foliot's Formal Recorded Complaint last month:

When I first found that some accessibility-specific attributes were absent, sure I was upset. But then I took the time to interact with WHATWG to understand where they were coming from. Although they have some ideas about it, turns out they consider accessibility stuff an open issue. So I wasn't upset any more. :-)

But if I hadn't made the effort to see things from their perspective I would have gotten the wrong idea. I would be making exactly the complaints saturating public-html from the other accessibility folks. These complaints are certainly well intentioned. But they are the result of misunderstanding the [very early] stage HTML5 is at and the process it will go through, imho.

I have a particular interest in retaining and improving table accessibility. So I'm gathering examples of real data tables to help inform the discussion on public-html and elsewhere.

If you’re worried about something, research it and contribute productively! Accessibility folks are already doing this. Some of it has been summarised on the Wiki:

So yeah, why moan on our blogs and forums when we can contribute research and facts to the Group? The invitation to participate means the door is open for us to make accessibility, interoperability, interactivity and everything else better than it has ever been before. :)