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RE: Some comments on conformance levels in UA guidelines draft

From: <peter.b.l.meijer@philips.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 21:19:13 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Cc: <ij@w3.org>, <danson@miseri.edu>
Message-ID: <0056890007178935000002L952*@MHS>
Denis Anson wrote

> I think that we can fix this issue.  (I've raised it myself on several
> occasions.)  The key, I think, is that the user agent might not have to
> provide screen reading natively, but it does have to provide a standard
> interface to screen readers.  If a browser exposes the content to third
> party assistive technology in a standard and documented way, then it could
> be compliant.  If the information is not accessible, or must be "reverse
> engineered" to access, then the browser is not compliant.

Yes, I agree with you, Denis, and this is basically what I meant.

I was thinking of the "off-screen model" as a possible interface
level, such that the screen reader developer can tap these data
structures (in practice they already do) while the application 
developer just needs to know which API calls, and/or visual controls
added via a resource editor, end up passing their key parameters
or events into the off-screen model. For the application developer,
it is sufficient to know, for instance, whether range and position
info for a progress bar ends up in the off-screen model of the GUI
(and whether this part of the off-screen model will be supported by
the envisioned "reference" screen reader specification, defining the
minimum requirements for compliance). The application developer 
does not need to know how it is done or in what precise format the
data is stored in the off-screen model: only the screen reader
developer needs to know that in order to tap the off-screen model.

Additional work will be needed to forge this into a solid and open
standard, particularly if we want this as independent from any
particular operating system as possible, while I think all of this
should not delay the approval/release of the UA guidelines. I merely
suggest to move the whole conformance/compliance issue to this 
proposed second phase that could follow approval/release of the UA 
guidelines.

Best wishes,

Peter Meijer

The vOICe Internet Sonification Browser
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Peter_Meijer/eyebrows.htm
Received on Wednesday, 1 December 1999 15:20:14 UTC

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