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RE: User Agent Types

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 08:28:40 -0600
Message-Id: <199812281427.IAA01155@staff1.cso.uiuc.edu>
To: <danson@miseri.edu>, <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
I think the UA group needs to make a shift from developing a guidelines of
techniques and "tricks" to make assistive technology that doesn't know
anything about the user agent, to assistive technology that does know about
the user agent to make user agents accessible.   While current assistive
technology does not know about the user agent, this group or other WAI
groups can help educate them about WWW technolgies and the resources that
are available.  

I feel this is important because for too main reasons.  If assistive
technology knows about things like DOM they can make assistive technology
much more user friendly than if they just try to translate the visual
display to some other format.  Remember making user agents more accessible
is our primary goal.  The other issue is tha many of the tricks that can be
used by assistive technology maybe very difficult or take a long time to be
built into main stream browsers.  

I think if we want to make a big step forward in accessibility we need to
take a big step forward in what we want to see in the relationship between
assistive technology and "main stream" browser technology.


At 09:47 AM 12/23/98 -0500, Denis Anson wrote:
>See comments scattered below.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org]On
>Behalf Of Jon Gunderson
>Sent: Monday, December 21, 1998 10:27 AM
>To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
>Subject: User Agent Types
>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.
>**Comments here **
>I don't know that Magic, Zoomtext, and the like would consider themselves
>user agents in the sense that we do.  They don't know that a browser is
>running on the computer, so haven't any control over what is rendered, or
>how it is rendered.  These products simply modify the visual display,
>without any hint of what is going on in the background.
>As such, they probably aren't part of our purview.  On the other hand, a
>browser that rendered in large font, or on a small screen would be.
>** End of Comments **
>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.
>** Comments Here
>Do you want to lump audio and video in the same category?  Some of the
>issues are the same, but some are also different.  It might make sense to
>break this into Visual Media and Auditory Media categories.  The concept
>being the rendering of media in the designated format, rather than
>converting from one medium to another.
>** End of Comments
>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
>	http://www.als.uiuc.edu/InfoTechAccess
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, 28 December 1998 09:28:05 UTC

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