At Web Directions North today Joe Clark, during his session, presented his Open Letter to Tim Berners-Lee: Time to cancel WCAG 2. Even if Joe is just stirring the pot and aggravating the W3C, it still presents an interesting case. Are the W3C relevant anymore? Are they just a group of academics and policy makers that have lost touch with the reason they where setup in the first place. Are they relevant to the average web designer, standards based or not.
Joe in his letter does have fair go at summarizing the problems with the WCAG 2. Basically it’s confusing, watered down and really just a waste of time. I have looked at the document and frankly I just don’t have the time to workout how to read and interpret this document. If it weren’t for the various guides to this document I would have no idea what it was all about. Yes I am watching the WCAG Samurai with interest.
With the designers and developers taking the lead with standards and new practicable techniques on the web, one does have to question has the W3C become too big, too theoretical, too academic. With groups like WaSP, WHATWG and others, taking on a more practical level approach with the people at the coal face of the web industry.
Will the W3C just fracture, will it remain in place and slowly like an old demented relative be shuffled painfully off out of sight. Or are we being to hard on the people at the W3C.
Yes the W3C has some highly talented and focused professionals with just as much passion for the web as you and me. It’s just they seem to be operating in a very verified atmosphere where their members are not that approachable.
Has the apprentice surpassed the master? Is the W3C relevant any more?