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Re: PROPOSAL(revised): User Agent Types

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 13:24:40 -0500 (EST)
To: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.04.9812231311210.31760-100000@tux.w3.org>
I am going to restate my case after all.

Defining User Agent types is a complex task. Getting them wrong would have
significant consequences for the utility of any conformance statement, and
possibly for the guidelines themselves.

Understanding whether a checkpoint/Guideline is relevant to a particular
User Agent, based on a conformance statement which includes something like

  Guidelines and checkpoints must be imlemented natively (unless otherwise
  indicated) by user agents which (natively) render the features in
  question. Foe example, a monochrome user agent which allows various
  fonts to be used must implement checkpoints/guidelines which apply to
  font-family, or size, whereas a speech output device need not. (Of
  course a speech output device may render different fonts using different
  voices via some mapping or an audio style sheet)

requires a small amount of common sense.

Arguing, against a 'common sense understanding' (which is a legally
sensible formulation in many parts of the world), that one is not required
to implement a particular guideline, in either case, merely requires a
good grasp of sophistic logic and rhetoric, and a motive to do so.

Therefore it seems to me that our energy could be better spent working on
the guidelines and checkpoints themselves.

--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 Wed, 23 Dec 1998, Jon Gunderson wrote:

  Do you think these are the user agent types that we should be using?
  Example of one user agent types with the my understanding of a checklist.
  Is this what you had in mind?
  TYPE: Visual Standard (VS) 
  DESCRIPTION: Rendering of document text content and graphical images on bit 
  mapped visual displays with 640x480 pixels or greater resolution with 
  default font sizes less than 48 point(the font size is only an initial 
  __ Graphical display of at least 640x480 pixels
  __ Allows for the rendering of text in multiple font sizes
  __ Allows for the rendering of document information in more than 2 colors
  __ Allows the rendering of images
  __ Provides support for both a full size keyboard and a pointer (mouse) to
  control nd adjust the user agent
  EXAMPLES: Mass market user agents like Microsoft Internet Explorer, 
  Opera and Netscape navigator.
  At 12:41 AM 12/23/98 -0500, you wrote:
  >Jon Gunderson wrote:
  >> I am reposting my orginal proposal with a more explicit statement of
  >> description and examples of current technology.
  >> A particular user agent can embody more than one user agent type and some
  >> user agents may embody only part of one type (i.e playing audio files, but
  >> not video for the MM type).
  >Yes, but please recall in my original proposal that a type should
  >only be defined as a set of checkpoints (techniques). The descriptions
  >should only be informative.
  > - Ian
  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 Wednesday, 23 December 1998 13:24:43 UTC

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