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RE: 19 May 2011 Agenda =======================================

From: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 15:07:29 -0400
Message-ID: <BLU0-SMTP8929F10375D2A653046AEEFE8F0@phx.gbl>
To: "'Gregg Vanderheiden'" <gv@trace.wisc.edu>, "'Loretta Guarino Reid'" <lorettaguarino@google.com>
CC: "'WCAG'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
I think it's important to have this discussion... because there is a lot a


I tried doing Chris' Excel import of HTML content from a URI on the Mac, and
unless I missed something, it is not possible on Apple. Just works on the
Windows version of excel.


So unless there are a number of browsers can access content, or a free
plugin that works in a number of browsers, it is not web content?


The Excel viewer is free, but it is not a browser plugin. 


So Loretta, would it be safe to say that if an excel file is downloaded from
the web, it is not web content unless some of the content within that file
is accessed from the web in real time (using this "get data from web")
function. Any other content in the Spreadsheet would not be web content? In
this case, the fact that Excel is being used as a User Agent to pull some of
the data, does not make the rest of the content web content. 


Is this true for Word and PowerPoint files too?


The thing that messes me up about that is when you have an *.xls file online
(which has a URI such as this example
http://eramp.com/david/test_url_excel.xls ) right click and the option to
open directly (rather than "save as") is presented.


But maybe that is just a red herring... not sure.


David MacDonald



From: Gregg Vanderheiden [mailto:gv@trace.wisc.edu] 
Sent: May-18-11 2:38 PM
To: Loretta Guarino Reid
Cc: David MacDonald; WCAG
Subject: Re: 19 May 2011 Agenda =======================================


I don't think we should consider it web content if only one program can
download it and open it.  


OK if only one free plug in that works with a bunch of browers


but I would consider it download if all download it but one. 


but otherwise I agree



Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Director Trace R&D Center
Professor Industrial & Systems Engineering
and Biomedical Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison


On May 18, 2011, at 8:20 PM, Loretta Guarino Reid wrote:

If Excel really can load directly from a URI, then I think it is a user
agent, and the content would be considered web content. If the file must be
downloaded, then I think it is not. 

So, it sounds to me like it is web content, albeit content with potential
accessibility support issues. How well does this work on Mac, Unix, etc.


On Wed, May 18, 2011 at 10:15 AM, David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>

I think the WCAG WG needs to make some sort of statement on this issue. It's
an elephant in the middle of the room I would say. Many organizations want
to know whether Word documents, Excel sheets, and PowerPoint presentations
posted online are considered content under WCAG.  Many organizations and
perhaps governments are declaring they are. I'm hearing many of us on the
committee consider that it is not "web" content, but it does not at all seem


Understanding that the line between online content and offline content is
getting blurred, I think we have to reason it out. 


I tried out Chris' point of getting web data in Excel. It works.  In Excel,


Data ribbon>From Web> enter a URI> and it takes you to the web site and
makes all the tables on the page, which you can select and import, with or
without live update.... 


Although this fits the definition, in my mind this is a bit peripheral to
what one would think of as a User Agent. I think it would be more accurate
to say it is being used like a user agent to get external data.... 


I think we have to go back to how we arrived at the word "User Agent" years
back. If we are honest with ourselves, we'd probably have to say it was a
way to include Assistive Technology along with Browsers and we called the
two categories one term "User Agents". I think we should try to stay pretty
close to that intention, because almost all software has some sort of
interaction with the web, and it could get unmanageable if every piece of
software is considered a user agent.


At some point in the future perhaps there will just be "content" rather than
"web content"... but I'm not sure we want to be there now. I think also we
have to remember what technologies were in our mind when we wrote the

Here are several definitions.

In WCAG 2.0, we have a definition of "content" and a definition of "web

content: information and sensory experience to be communicated to the user
by means of a user agent, including code or markup that defines the
content's structure, presentation, and interactions. 

web page: a non-embedded resource obtained from a single URI using HTTP plus
any other resources that are used in the rendering or intended to be
rendered together with it by a user agent

user agent: any software that retrieves and presents Web content for users


>From UAAG:

user agent: any software that retrieves, renders and facilitates end user
interaction with Web content. 

web resource: Anything that can be identified by a Uniform Resource
Identifier (URI).



From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of Chris Beer
Sent: May-17-11 11:00 PM
To: Loretta Guarino Reid
Subject: Re: 19 May 2011 Agenda =======================================


Did we want to have the Excel discussion posed by David at all? Or keep it
on list?

Chris Beer (iPhone)

On 18/05/2011, at 11:38, Loretta Guarino Reid <lorettaguarino@google.com>

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Let's plan to touch base this week. Email if there are other items we should
talk about.

1. Status of Editor's Drafts
2. Status of HTML5, ARIA techniques


Received on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:08:21 UTC

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