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Re: User Agent Types

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 13:58:17 -0500 (EST)
To: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.04.9812211350080.549-100000@tux.w3.org>
I think it is better to define functionalities rather than User Agent
Types. Otherwise these definitions are not especially helpful - Netscape,
and I believe MSIE, can be run with any default font which is avilable on
the system. Therefore they qualify as both kinds of visual. Unless there
is some exception made for Animated GIFs they also qualify as Multimedia.

On the other hand, where does a text-only browser like Lynx or W3 fit into
the picture, other than when they are underlying a speech or braille

As a very rough first pass I would suggest that functionalities be divided

images (including jpg, gif and animated gif)
audio (playing an audio format)

Under text i would have several sub-classes:
speech (rendering text as speech)
visual rendering
static rendering, as in a printed page

--Charles McCathieNevile -  mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: * +1 (617) 258 0992 *  http://purl.oclc.org/net/charles
       **** new phone number ***
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative -  http://www.w3.org/WAI
545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, USA

On Mon, 21 Dec 1998, Jon Gunderson wrote:

  I would like to propose the following types of user agent types, with the
  following definitiions:
  Proposed User Agent Type:
  Visual Standard (VS): Rendering of document text content on displays
  greater 640x480 resolution with default font sizes less than 48 point.
  Examples include mass market browsers like Microsoft Internet Explorer,
  Opera and Netscape navigator.
  Visual Restricted (VR): Rendering of document text content on displays that
  a smaller than 640x480 or with default font sizes greater than 48 point
  font.  Examples include screen magnifiers like Zoomtext from AISquared and
  Magic from Henter-Joyce for people with visual impairments, and portable
  user agent technologies for the mass market.  
  Multi-Media (MM): Rendering of audio, video or animations from file formats
  that contain sampled or compressed sound, bit mapped video or image
  information.  Examples include wave, mpeg and avi files.  
  Aural (A): Rendering of document text and alternative rendering of non-text
  content using text-to-speech synthesis technology.  Examples include screen
  reader like Jaws from Henter-Joyce and Outspoken from Alva when used with a
  mass market browser and browsers developed for the visually impiared like
  pwWebSpeak, IBM Homereader and VPInfoNet.
  Braille (B): Rendering of document text and alternative rendering of
  non-text content using dynamic Braille display technology.  Examples
  include screen readers like Jaws from Henter-Joyce and Outspoken from Alva
  when used with a mass market browser.
  Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
  Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
  Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
  University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
  1207 S. Oak Street
  Champaign, IL 61820
  Voice: 217-244-5870
  Fax: 217-333-0248
  E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
  WWW:	http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
Received on Monday, 21 December 1998 13:58:22 UTC

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