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RE: Discussion of DOM with Glen Gorden of Henter-Joyce (A) (A)

From: Hans Riesebos <HRiesebos@alva-bv.nl>
Date: Fri, 05 Feb 1999 15:20:31 +0100
Message-Id: <s6bb0c5c.095@alva-bv.nl>
To: chuckop@microsoft.com, danson@miseri.edu, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Largely I agree with the points made in the text below. My
view is that the DOM being developed by the w3c has greater
potential that just be some DOM that comes with proprietary
software. Maybe my comments enlighted this point further. I
know that my point of view is not really practical, but more
pragmatic.

>>> "Denis Anson" wrote  >>>
I have been a long time proponent of MSAA because I believe
it is an
advantage, for the person with a disability, and for the
person who is
producing assistive technology, to have a common AT
interface that crosses
all programs rather than "special casing" each possible
environment.

<<< Comment <<<
I agree!
>>>

Historically, each time a new version of Word or Word
Perfect was released,
it broke existing alternative access technologies.  There
would be a mad
scramble by the developers of alternative access products to
reverse
engineer the new input strategy, and release a new version
of the product
that would communicate with, or work around, the new
techniques of accessing
the keyboard and screen.  As a result, people with disabilities
were
*always* late adopters of new versions of productivity
software.  (For
years, Words+ recommended that their customers use Word
Perfect 4.2, even
after it was no longer available!)

<<<  Comment <<<
Nothing changed really (so far)
>>>

MSAA promises to be a standard interface that all software
can use to
communicate with all assistive technology.  (Note that I say
promises, not
that it is.)  If it is not rich enough to provide necessary
information, it
can be extended, so that AT can also use new calls to gain a
richer
environment, without breaking older technology.

<<< Comment:
I think that DOM holds the same promises. There is one
problem though. MSAA in my opinion is a repair strategy,
where DOM is potentially a real solution. What we need is a
globally standard way to build a DOM. Then from the DOM
we can start rendering for whatever user profile. What we do
not need is visual rendering with the side effect that it gives
you also a DOM-view. The ideal DOM is still far away.
>>>

Although I am not a developer, I strongly feel that special
casing is a poor
design strategy for AT.  It guarantees that AT will always be
behind the
curve, and that people with disabilities will not have access to
new
versions of software that is produced.

Exposing the DOM is a good idea for a number of reasons,
but requiring
alternative access devices to treat HTML differently than any
other product
is, IMHO, inviting a new software ghetto.

<<< Comment:
I feel that the term "exposing DOM" is in a sense a
misleading. What we want is to use or have a DOM. Exposing
DOM is not the action we are looking for. In this way many
exposures of DOM will lead to the same pitfall. Every
exposure will need developers attention ...
Also the term "alternative access" should in my opinion read
as just "access". Why should access to DOM have a "normal
way" and an "alternative way"?
>>>

Denis Anson, MS, OTR
Assistant Professor
Computer Access Specialist
College Misericordia
301 Lake Street
Dallas, PA 18612

RESNA
The International Organization of Assistive Technology
Professionals

Member since 1989

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org
[mailto:w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Hans Riesebos
Sent: Friday, February 05, 1999 4:00 AM
To: chuckop@microsoft.com; w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Subject: RE: Discussion of DOM with Glen Gorden of
Henter-Joyce (A)
Received on Friday, 5 February 1999 09:19:42 UTC

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