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Re: Some discussion points for issue 294

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 09:33:43 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org, tantek@cs.stanford.edu
Responses on JRG:
At 12:54 AM 8/10/2000 -0400, Ian Jacobs wrote:
>Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
> >
> > 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.
>That does seem more flexible to me, but I have heard people argue that
>accessibility through add-ons and plug-ins was not acceptable (I'm not
>quoting anyone on that, however). Are there people in the WG who feel
>that the browser must conform
>   a) without the possibility of adding software to some "core" user
>      agent (if such a thing exists), and
>   b) conformance must be based on default settings (for those parts
>      of conformance that are configurable)?

JRG: My feeling is that adding accessibility features to an existing 
product through some type of service pack installation is an acceptable and 
important way to improve accessibility and potentially claim 
conformance.  In this case any claim to conformance must clearly state what 
service pack releases or plug-ins must be installed with the product.

New versions of the product though should install the "accessibility" 
service pack features or plug-ins as part of the standard 
installation.  Accessibility features may not be enabled in the default 
configuration, but the user would not be dependent on installing a service 
pack or plug-in to get the accessibility features.  Accessibility features 
should be designed with the thought of improving the usability of the user 
agent for all users, so any new features for accessibility should help 
people without disabilities. Including the accessibility features in the 
standard installation is very important in public access sites, like 
educational and library settings, where the user may not have operating 
system permissions to install service packs or plug-ins or even understand 
that this needs to be done to get accessibility features.

Of course new and improved accessibility features can be part of updates, 
plug-ins and service packs, but if the user agent already conforms then the 
new and improved features will probably not affect the conformance of the 
user agent.

Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
College of Applied Life Studies
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
WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua
Received on Thursday, 10 August 2000 10:32:30 UTC

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