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Fw: Re: The UA is the new OS: redefining UA?

From: Katie Haritos-Shea <ryladog@earthlink.net>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2011 19:33:46 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
Message-ID: <4586537.1307489626701.JavaMail.root@wamui-hunyo.atl.sa.earthlink.net>
To: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Relevant to our 'Web Content' discussion.........

-----Forwarded Message-----
>From: Markku Hakkinen <mhakkinen@acm.org>
>Sent: Jun 7, 2011 3:00 PM
>To: simon.harper@manchester.ac.uk
>Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
>Subject: Re: The UA is the new OS: redefining UA?
>
>Hi Simon,
>
>I should have cited our past discussions on this topic....  thanks for
>bringing it up.  We did have earlier discussions on this topic in 2009
>[1][2].
>
>Your suggested 3 criteria are good.  What I think is missing is the
>notion of embedded UAs and specifically UAs that are really devices.
>Your 3 may be able to cover this, but I wonder if there is need for
>another?
>
>The techniques document [3] defines the Primary User Agent, but calls
>it, parenthetically, the "traditional browser." Primary user agents
>can be far different than a "traditional browser."  I am of the
>opinion that if we aren't explicit about the ways in which UAs are
>being used, we are potentially giving those implementors a pass.
>
>I also moved away from using Web content in my text and stuck with Web
>technologies.  My concern is whether today's new crop of Web
>application developers think in terms of Web content or view their
>constructions as application programs.  How many of this new breed of
>applications have content in the "traditional" sense as compared to
>application programs with dynamically generated UI's (including Canvas
>based apps), with no UA chrome, and in some cases initiated from a
>locally stored start page and not even served up via HTTP?
>
>The availability of device specific Javascript APIs (such as
>accelerometers and GPS) and extensions to input type file that allow
>access to device features  (such as cameras and microphones), also
>redefines, in my mind what Web content for UAs is.  Is the following
>example a UA that should conform to UAAG?
>
>Social Cam, a stand-alone mobile app written in HTML5 and Javascript,
>that allows you to take photos with your mobile phone camera, perform
>photo editing (such as cropping and red-eye removal), erase photos by
>shaking the camera, add cartoon-like captions to the photo, and then
>automatically upload and post the photo to your favorite social media
>site.  What exactly is the UA in this case?  Is it only the Webkit
>engine that is wrapped by a platform specific app container? Or is it
>the complete application and its UI?
>
>And another example:
>
>Movie Kiosk is a vending machine that incorporates a keyboard and
>touch screen display, allowing consumers to browse available movies
>for rental, view trailers, select, and then pay for movies that are
>delivered via DVD or wireless download to a mobile device.  The Movie
>Kiosk application, which controls all aspects of the UI and kiosk
>functionality, is written in HTML5 and Javascript. Is the entire
>hardware device a user agent?
>
>Are Amazon Kindles or BN Nooks user agents?  They render and allow
>interaction with XML and HTML based content.  The next ePub standard
>update incorporates HTML5 [4].   I would therefore conclude that eBook
>devices that support ePub are user agents.
>
>And has anyone looked at Chumby [5]?  It is a small touch screen
>internet appliance.  Should it be in UAAG Conformance?
>
>User Agents... they're everywhere, it seems.
>
>Mark
>
>[1] http://www.w3.org/2009/03/05-ua-minutes.html
>[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2009JanMar/0068.html
>(start of an extended thread)
>[3] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/2011/ED-IMPLEMENTING-UAAG20-20110525/#intro-def-ua
>[4] http://idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-overview.html
>[5] http://www.chumby.com/
>
>On Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 3:08 AM, Simon Harper
><simon.harper@manchester.ac.uk> wrote:
>> Hi Mark,
>>
>> I like this defn - discussion - I had the same concerns re UA defns at:
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2009OctDec/0012.html
>>
>> I wonder how my attempts affect yours or vice-versa?
>>
>> Cheers
>> Si.
>>
>> =======================
>>
>> Simon Harper
>> University of Manchester (UK)
>>
>> More: http://simon.harper.name/about/card/
>>
>>
>> On 06/06/11 17:57, Markku Hakkinen wrote:
>>>
>>> Is the UA becoming the new OS?  Some developments to consider:
>>>
>>> "Windows 8 apps use the power of HTML5, tapping into the native
>>> capabilities of Windows using standard JavaScript and HTML to deliver
>>> new kinds of experiences." [1]
>>>
>>> "Webian Shell is a full screen web browser for devices that don't need
>>> a desktop... The idea of the Webian Shell project is to re-think your
>>> computer's interface as something much simpler which treats web
>>> applications as first class citizens and does away with all the
>>> un-necessary clutter." [2]
>>>
>>> "At the core of each Chromebook is the Chrome web browser. The web has
>>> millions of applications and billions of users." [3]
>>>
>>> Are there implications in this trend for UAAG?
>>>
>>> According to Google the ChromeOS accessibility support is via
>>> ChromeVox [4], a self-voicing browser extension for Chrome.
>>>
>>> Is it time to revisit the definition of UA? I believe we need to be
>>> more explicit about how the user agent is evolving beyond just a
>>> traditional Web browser.
>>>
>>> To make a start, I have taken the introductory text from the current
>>> draft [5] and revised it:
>>>
>>> "A user agent is any software that retrieves and presents Web content
>>> for end users or is implemented using Web technologies. User agents
>>> include Web browsers, media players, and plug-ins that help in
>>> retrieving, rendering and interacting with Web content.  The family of
>>> user agents also includes operating system shells, consumer
>>> electronics with Web-widgets, and stand-alone applications or embedded
>>> applications whose user interface is implemented as a combination of
>>> Web technologies."
>>>
>>> The definition of user agent [6] is also a candidate for revision:
>>>
>>> "A user agent is any software that retrieves, renders and facilitates
>>> end user interaction with Web content, or whose user interface is
>>> implemented using Web technologies."
>>>
>>> I throw this out for comment. Is this a needed revision?  Are there
>>> other suggestions?
>>>
>>> mark
>>>
>>> [1]
>>> http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2011/jun11/06-01corporatenews.aspx
>>>
>>> [2] http://webian.org/shell/
>>>
>>> [3]
>>> http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/new-kind-of-computer-chromebook.html
>>>
>>> [4]
>>> http://www.google.com/support/chromeos/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=177893
>>>
>>> [5] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/2011/ED-UAAG20-20110525/#introduction
>>>
>>> [6] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/2011/ED-UAAG20-20110525/#def-user-agent
>>>
>>
>>
>


* katie *

Katie Haritos-Shea 
Section 508 Technical Policy Analyst

703-371-5545

People may forget exactly what it was that you said or did, 
but they will never forget how you made them feel.......
Received on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 23:34:14 GMT

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