W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > July to September 2004

Re: Accessibility of Java Applets

From: Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.ac.be>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 10:04:46 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

At 22:31 27/07/2004, David Woolley wrote:

> > Can Java Applets running inside of the browser comply with WCAG 1.0?
>Not fully, as they violate the rule about using W3C technologies.

As Matt May has pointed out, WCAG 1.0 refers to applets in several places.
Applets are not a W3C technology, but that is also true for GIF, JPEG, PDF,
Flash, office file formats (MS Office, OOo.org, Corel WordPerfect,...), WAV,
MP3, AVI, ... Even though I prefer open and accessible formats, I can't imagine
the Web without all these other media.

>And in practice, they don't meet more subjective standards in that,
>even if a VM is installed, they don't normally have accessibility

The presence of a virtual machine is not the only requirement.
I believe the user also needs to have the Java Access Bridge.
And then there is another problem. On the Java Access mailing list,
it has been pointed out that: "When a Java
applet is embedded in the web page instead of being displayed in a separate
frame, the Java Access Bridge does not send any events other than the old
style AWT events.  None of the newer Swing Events such as Property State
Change, Property Active Descendent Change, or Property Selection Change are
sent.  These newer Swing events are critical for JAWS support."

Sometimes, the browser causes problems. For example, in Mozilla for Windows,
you can't use the browser's shortcuts or access the menus via the keyboard
when an applet has loaded.  Switching to another application and then back
to Mozilla solves this problem. Internet Explorer doesn't seem to have this 

>Note that you cannot assume that a VM will exist on recently distributed
>Microsoft systems as Sun forced Microsoft to withdraw Microsoft's
>virtual machine (it is available only as upgrades to systems on which it
>is already installed).
>Anyone who wants to use Java on a new system has to fetch it from Sun.

Christophe Strobbe

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Departement of Electrical Engineering - Research Group 
on  Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 - 3001 Leuven-Heverlee - BELGIUM
tel: +32 16 32 85 51
Received on Wednesday, 28 July 2004 04:05:35 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 13 October 2015 16:21:29 UTC