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Re: Proposal to expand definition of User Agents

From: David Poehlman <poehlman@clark.net>
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2000 22:33:12 -0400
Message-ID: <393F05E8.F72C306B@clark.net>
CC: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, Dick Brown <dickb@microsoft.com>, "'w3c-wai-ua@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
I cannot attend tomorrow's call and regret this fact especially in light of
this interesting but sugnificant development.  we discussed at length what a
user agent is for purposes of this document and have based many of our
guidelines on that deffinition.  at this late point, if we change the
deffinition, it could throw the guidelines into such dissarray that we'd
possibly have to go fairly far back in the process because of the high
impact.  I think this is a good idea in lots of ways but would like to see
it encorporated as we move forward beyond 1.0.

Ian Jacobs wrote:
> 
> Dick Brown wrote:
> >
> > The User Agent guidelines currently define user agent in this way:
> >
> > "A user agent is an application that retrieves and renders Web content,
> > including text, graphics, sounds, video, images, and other content types."
> >
> > I propose we expand that definition to say (new text between asterisks):
> >
> > "A user agent is an application *or operating system component* that
> > retrieves and renders Web content, including text, graphics, sounds, video,
> > images, and other content types."
> >
> > Why the change? There are technologies that Microsoft does not consider
> > applications, but rather part of the operating system, that wouldn't be
> > covered by the User Agent guidelines under the current definition.
> >
> > Obviously, the OS vs. application issue has received some attention outside
> > the scope of the WAI, and while I am not prepared to discuss that issue in
> > detail, I hope we can agree on the broader definition.
> 
> What if we change "application or operating system component" to
> "software"?
> 
>  - Ian
> 
> --
> Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
> Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
> Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783

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Received on Wednesday, 7 June 2000 22:32:45 GMT

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