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Re: Some discussion points for issue 294

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 00:40:51 -0400 (EDT)
To: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org, tantek@cs.stanford.edu
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0008100027440.12282-100000@tux.w3.org>
Two thoughts:

1. The definition of native support  is too strcit - if a plug-in is
required, or certain  modules of a modular package, then conformance should
be determined for the package of things required. The point is just to be
clear about what it is for which conformance is claimed.

2. Being able to install something accessibly is already a requirement. There
is no reason to differentiate further based on whether that is via CD, web,
or punch cards - the accessibility criterion is a checkpoint, and cost is an
implementation detail.


On Wed, 9 Aug 2000, Ian Jacobs wrote:

  Issue 294 [1] (raised by Tantek Çelik, cc'd here) is about the scope 
  of "native support" and its relation to dynamic updates to software.
  Does the definition of native support allow the user agent 
  to download modules (that will promote accessibility) from the Web? 
  Here is the relevant excerpt from the 28 July Guidelines [2] 
  definition of native support:
     A user agent supports a feature natively if it
     does not require another piece of software (e.g.,
     plug-in or external program) for support. 
     Operating system features adopted by the
     user agent to meet the requirements of this
     document are considered part of native support. ...
  As is, the definition seems to clearly indicate that downloadable
  modules could not be considered native. Here are some notes
  on the topic for our discussion this week:
  1) Does native support require that a feature be part of 
     the user agent by default? If a user agent feature that
     promotes accessibility is available on the install CD
     but is not installed by default, does that mean that
     it is not supported natively? If "by default" is considered
     part of native support, the document needs to say so.
  2) (This point is important for those who think that native
     support does not imply "available by default"): What's the
     difference between installing from the Web and installing
     from a CD?
  3) Jon Gunderson and others have pointed out that users cannot
     always install new software or features or modules (e.g., when
     they work in a public environment such as a library). This
     argument is not limited to accessibility issues: a user agent
     may be unusable for any number of reasons related to lack of 
     resources. It's the responsibility of the systems team in this
     particular case to ensure that the software is usable. Does this
     mean that it's inacceptable to say "get these modules from the
     Web" just because some users don't have access privileges to
     install those modules? I don't think that that's an accessibility
  4) If the UA includes a documented feature that allows users 
     to get and install modules that provide accessibility features
     at the "click of a button", would that count as native support?
     What if this is used as a way to get accessibility features into
     deployed browsers (rather than having to wait for a new release)?
  5) If downloading modules is considered acceptable in some
     circumstances, the UA must already be accessible enough
     to allow users to  download those modules.
   - Ian
  [1] http://server.rehab.uiuc.edu/ua-issues/issues-linear.html#294
  [2] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/WD-UAAG10-20000728
  Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
  Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
  Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783

Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Postal: GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001,  Australia 
Received on Thursday, 10 August 2000 00:40:56 UTC

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