[wp-hackers] Request for new mailing list wp-accessibility

Jane Wells jane at automattic.com
Tue Aug 11 14:51:30 UTC 2009

Hi David. The fact is that while we want WordPress developers to all  
be cognizant of and dedicated to ensuring accessibility, not everyone  
is an expert. Fobbing it off as the equivalent of standards-compliant  
code is a copout, IMO, because I've seen chats between the four core  
developers when the accessibility-recommended technique was different  
than the standard accepted coding practice for something, and when you  
work in the hacks needed to support multiple platform/browser  
combinations, let's face it, nothing is simple.

The point of the list is not to further segment accessibility out of  
the main development discussion, but to help get errors fixed more  
promptly. With each release, there are a couple of volunteers who  
review trunk and give us recommendations on what was missed. The  
process for that is non-existent though, and generally involves me or  
a core dev asking someone to review trunk, run it through a couple of  
screen readers, etc. to find things for us to fix. Just as the wp- 
testers list harnesses the QA power of a wide group of people without  
asking each one individually to QA on a daily basis, so will the wp- 
accessibility list harness the abilities of a wider contributing group  
without placing undue burden on any.

By having a place for discussion, the accessibility-oriented minds  
among us can review the app on an ongoing basis and identify things to  
fix as they appear, rather than waiting until a release is almost  
finished. Different approaches to the fix itself can be discussed,  
leading to a better recommendation for implementation. I expect there  
will still be accessibility discussions on the wp-hackers list on  
occasion, but for focused accessibility problem solving, I think a  
separate list is appropriate so that people who are interested in  
accessibility but not so much in how to deal with database issues can  
avoid an overflowing inbox of hackers emails. Those who are passionate  
about both can just join both lists.


On Aug 10, 2009, at 9:05 PM, David Clark wrote:

I , for one, would like to be on record as saying this is a HORRIBLE
idea - especially in 2009. As someone that has been involved in web
accessibility since 1996 (yes, before the formation of WAI) and
wordpress developer since pre-1.2, I feel strongly that accessibility
is nothing more stan standards based development. Separate is not
equal, and detracts from widespread awareness/adoption.

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