Thank you for adding my proposal to the Board's agenda regarding accessibility. Having read the minutes, I think I need to clarify some things.
First of all, my proposal isn't about the creation of an a11y team, and I do agree with you that things should not be where the buck gets passed. However, I think it is a misnomer to assume that all things a11y-related have to be dealt with by an a11y team.
My proposal is to create a new severity level that addresses a11y as a severity, rather than creating a new category. Too often, reporting a bug as normal, major, or critical oftentimes does not fit into the severity impact of an accessibility bug.
In fact, *most* of what we provide for a11y in our distro isn't necessarily something we would handle. It would more often than likely be something that would be handled by upstream. Some of the few things that we would have to be concerned with is accessibility of our own products, such as YaST.
Also, not all things a11y are assistive technology-dependent. Some things are simply changing how the UI works so that it is more universally accessible, without having to have intimate knowledge of such things as AT-SPI.
I don't see how creating a severity level called "Accessibility" would end up passing the buck to another team. If I'm filing a bug, for example, against YaST regarding accessibility, it would and should go to the YaST team. It would still be up to the YaST team to decide whether they feel it is worth their time to address the bug itself.
I know there are several people on the YaST team that have at least some level of expertise in a11y matters. Accessibility may not be their top job priority, but giving an a11y severity level should make it easier for those who do have some knowledge to quickly assess the number of bugs that they may decide one day to address.
Yesterday, someone reported inability to access YaST via Orca in 12.3, when it was working fine in previous openSUSE versions. Other than reading the comments itself, how does someone on the YaST team quickly pull up a report for all YaST a11y-related bugs that they may be able to fix?
I recognize that simply marking the severity level as Accessibility doesn't guarantee that the bug gets fixed. That's still up to the team to decide, and I am not asking the Board to get into some kind of enforcement mode to try to force teams to address a11y bugs. I'm merely asking that we establish an easier way for users to report a11y bugs more comfortably as well as an easier way for teams to be aware of the existence of a11y bugs. I hardly think that's a technical matter the board would be advocating here. Only simply a one-addtional item in the severity list.
The Board has addressed bugzilla ease-of-use questions in the past, so there is precedent here for this narrow proposal.
On Thu, 2013-03-28 at 17:35 -0400, Robert Schweikert wrote:
Here are the meeting minutes from the board call this past Monday. As always you can find the minutes in the wiki (https://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Board_meeting#Meeting_2013-03-25) and if you have questions, or concerns you may raise them on this list or contact the board directly on the board list.
Regrads, Your openSUSE Board
Board Meeting 2013-25-03
Present: Richard, Andrew, Robert
Excused: Raymond - Company Meeting Vincent - Customer call Will - MIA
1.) Review Action Items
- No board report :(
- CLT issues followed up
2.) Face to Face Meeting Agenda
- Items collected, ready to post first draft of the agenda to the wiki
3.) Accessibility issue
- The proposal raised on the board list is to add a new category to our
Bugzilla to clearly mark accessibility issues as such.
There are two main concerns, one is that this is a technical issue and thus the board should keep its fingers out of this issue. The second concern is that creating a specific category may make it easier for people to "pass the buck" by expecting someone in the non existent accessibility team to fix the problem.
Having a separate category for accessibility (a11y) on the other hand will send a clear message that we as the openSUSE community care about people with disabilities. While we have no specific resources to address a11y issues it is important to acknowledge that an a11y issues can easily make the system unusable for a handicapped person.
While adding to the bug category list is definitely a technical issue, the a11y topic has a very large community component and thus the board thinks it is appropriate to act in this area. We can certainly not dictate any action, however a message will be sent to the -factory mailing list asking for consideration of the topic by the developers.
The argument was made that a11y bugs should fit into the categories we already have and that we might easier fall into a "pass the buck" situation with a new category. It is the consensus that we should be able to address the "pass the buck" issue with a policy/procedure. As far as using existing categories is concerned the problem might be that we get into a priority flip flop situation if we do not have a separate category. A person with a disability might mark a bug as Critical, but a developer not fully understanding the consequences might relabel it as category 2 or 3. Having an a11y category would address such priority flip/flop issues.
The board will, after additional discussion on the board list, send a proposal to the -factory list for consideration by the developer community. The proposal will recommend the addition of an a11y category to Bugzilla and a proposal on how to handle the bugs.