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Re: Proposal for Guideline 2 as well as a proposal to trim WCAG 2.0 to 3 guidelines (won't william be glad?)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2001 22:46:02 -0500 (EST)
To: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
cc: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0101072245190.8192-100000@tux.w3.org>
Hmm. I have no problem with the idea of user agents as devices, but maybe we
could think a bit about the terminology. (Hmm. Maybe we could even use the
term "any browser'...).

Charles McCN

On Mon, 8 Jan 2001, Jason White wrote:

  On Sun, 7 Jan 2001, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

  > I am not sure if there is a need to seperate out compatibility - it is very
  > closely related to device-independence. But somehow it feels right to me like
  > this, so I would be happy either way. If we are going to have a "use W3C
  > technologies where available", or "use the most accessible technology
  > available for a task", would that go in guideline 4?
  That would seem to be the logical place for it. I agree with Charles'
  intuition that separating out compatibility works better. Alternatively
  one could write the full statement of my proposed guideline 1 in such a
  way as to incorporate both compatibility/interoperability and
  device-independence. The drawback here is that the number of checkpoints
  under guideline 1 would then increase to at least 9, a situation which
  would, of itself, be likely to attract objections.

  Also, the concept of user agents as "devices" is problematic, as
  it is contrary to established usage. On my laptop computer I have two user
  agents installed (Emacs/W3 4.0 and Lynx 2.8.2, to be specific). If, for a
  particular purpose, I switch from one of these user agents to the other
  (by closing down one program and executing another), under the proposed
  definition I would suddenly be using a different device to access the web,
  a highly counter-intuitive idea, given that I would still be using the
  same hardware, the same operating system, the same speech-enabled software
  environment, etc. By "device" I think we should mean hardware (for
  example, a screen of a particular resolution, a printer, a mobile
  web-connected appliance, a dynamic braille display, a telephone, a digital
  television set, etc.).

  Nevertheless, it would remain possible to insert words or definitions into
  the proposed guideline 1 that would allow it to encompass compatibility
  with various user agents, without re-defining well understood terms such
  as "device". One could even construct a technical term that would
  encompass devices and user agents, but this might add unduly to the
  complexity of the document.

  Comments? Suggestions? Criticisms?

Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
until 6 January 2001 at:
W3C INRIA, 2004 Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Sunday, 7 January 2001 22:46:07 UTC

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