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Re: Users should have (Re: Fresh start? Re: Minimal Browser Capabilities)

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2001 10:13:47 +1100
Message-ID: <15403.43819.605928.469186@jpc.local>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
This has been a productive discussion.

There is a higher-level issue which hasn't been touched on, however,
namely the extent to which the guidelines should allow developers to
decide what level of support to expect from user agents visiting the
site. Should it make a difference, so far as conformance to the
guidelines is concerned, if a developer decides to rely on a
particular technology that may not be widely available to users, but
for which relevant techniques are available, or to expect a level of
support that goes beyond the "minimal capabilities", whatever they may
be? This brings us back to Kynn's "policy framework" proposals, which
among other factors permit developers to choose, within limits, which
technologies to require of the user agent, and at what level.

Also, if we were to define a minimal user agent profile, how would we
use it? There are several possibilities:

1. In the techniques, we could omit strategies and work-arounds that
   are applicable only to user agents which don't meet the minimal
   requirement, or at least label them as deprecated.

2. We could maintain, separately from the guidelines, a page (which
   would have to be updated) giving informative advice regarding what
   user agent capabilities it would be reasonable for developers to
   expect if they wish to aim for a broad audience.

3. In the conformance scheme we could require that conforming content
   be readable via a user agent that has the specified minimum

4. In the conformance scheme, we could allow developers to choose
   their own desired type and level of user agent support, but allow
   them to assert (in the conformance claim) what user agent
   capabilities their content requires. A fortiori, they would be
   permitted to assert that their content was readable by a user agent
   having the minimal capabilities that we define.

Note: options 3 and 4 are mutually exclusive. The above list is not
Received on Thursday, 27 December 2001 18:13:56 UTC

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