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Re: Scoring Example User Agents, etc.

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Date: Wed, 06 Sep 2000 12:58:29 -0500
Message-Id: <4.3.1.2.20000906124412.02d8b7b0@staff.uiuc.edu>
To: "Hansen, Eric" <ehansen@ets.org>, "UA List (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Cc: ij@w3.org
Comments in JRG:
At 03:17 PM 9/5/2000 -0400, Hansen, Eric wrote:
>To: UA List
>From: Eric Hansen
>Re: Scoring Example User Agents
>
>Suggestion 1: Determine whether there needs to be any adjustment in
>checkpoints due to the new focus on "mainstream graphical user agents".
>
>The 1 September 2000 draft focuses in on "mainstream graphical user agents"
>and I presume that this excludes user agents that a specifically or
>exclusively for people with disabilities.

JRG: The working group has discussed this issue and it is not the intention 
of the working group to exclude any user agent.  I believe the statement is 
to read as that the group wanted to be sure that graphical user agents are 
thoroughly covered by the document.  I don't think we need this restriction 
or has the group decided to do so.


>This seems consistent with our
>earlier discussion of focusing on "general purpose user agents" and with the
>even earlier decision to focus on "general purpose graphical user agents".
>However, as I have said before, there does seem to be a bit of a mismatch
>between the checkpoints and this scope. For example, as currently written a
>user agent could achieve the triple-A level, yet not even be able to present
>graphics. Specifically, there are no requirements that the user agent be
>able to present any given media type.

JRG: Right no rendering media is required, so a voice or Braille browser 
could conform to the document.

>This still seems a bit unusual, especially given that the current definition
>of user agent ("A user agent is software that retrieves and renders Web
>content, including text, graphics, sounds, video, images, and other content
>types."), though I suppose that a more accurate definition of user agent
>would replace the word "including" with the words "such as".)
>
>My own concern about this mismatch waxes and wanes. Previous suggestions to
>add checkpoints requiring an ability to present certain media types have not
>been implemented. I mention it now because we may find that by making
>changes that I suggested earlier, we may help solve other problems as well.

JRG: In previous e-mails I have said that the group has not decided to make 
media specific guidelines.

>========
>
>Suggestion 2: Gather data to strengthen our understanding of some key
>questions related to assistive technologies, plug-ins, and add-ons, etc.
>
>The 1 September 2000 draft moves in the right direction by clarifying the
>relationship between the UAAG document and assistive technologies:
>
>"3.2 Which user agents are expected to conform"
>
>"Users with disabilities often require more than one user agent for full
>access to the Web. For example, a user might require a graphical desktop
>browser, a multimedia player, and specialized assistive technologies such as
>screen readers, which are useful for controlling speech output and
>refreshable braille display. This document focuses on the accessibility of
>mainstream user agents so that most users with disabilities will have access
>to the Web when using a conforming user agent in conjunction with assistive
>technologies. There are also requirements in this document to make user
>agents more accessible to those users with disabilities who do not require
>assistive technologies for full access."
>
>This paragraph is helpful and seems to reflect pretty well our current state
>of knowledge. Yet there are ambiguities. The second and first sentences
>imply that a combination of technologies -- "graphical desktop browser, a
>multimedia player, and specialized assistive technologies" are necessary to
>provide "full access". Yet the third sentence seems to indicate that the
>"conforming user agent" was treated as a singular user agent rather than as
>a composite (or combined) user agent. I think that we ourselves need to
>understand better how our document behaves when used under different,
>commonly occurring situations.

JRG: The guidelines are intended to provide a line in the sand for 
developers.  If you do this your technology will be compatible with AT 
developers.  We have had meetings and participation with AT developers who 
have agreed to the line in the sand.  The basic precept is that for the 
input and output modalities that a user agent supports directly that they 
must do so in an accessible way.  For other modalities, they must be 
compatible with assistive technologies.

>The need for further clarification was highlighted in my own case when I
>realized how unsure I was about the answers to some of the following
>questions.
>
>a. No DOM Support in Component of a Composite User Agent
>
>True or False: "It is possible for a user agent that does not implement the
>DOM to be a component of a composite user agent that achieves any of the
>three levels of claim (single-A, double-A, and triple-A)."

JRG: False.  If you do not export the DOM, you cannot comply.

>Answer: True (?). I thought that there was going to be some indication that
>checkpoints 5.1, 5.2, etc., _cannot_ be considered inapplicable but I don't
>see them so I give "True" as the correct answer.  I have not examined the
>document fully, but I don't see such a provision.
>
>====
>
>b. No DOM Support in Singular User Agent
>
>True or False: "It is possible for a singular (non-composite) user agent to
>not implement the DOM and yet achieve any of the three levels of claim
>(single-A, double-A, and triple-A)."

JRG: No.  Any claim must support implementing and exporting the DOM.  There 
will always be disabilities that will require some type of assistive 
technology that is very specialized.

>Answer: True (?). See answer for "a."
>====
>
>c. Text Reader Within Composite User Agent
>
>True or False: "It is possible for a text reader (e.g., screen reader) user
>agent to be a component of a user agent that achieves any of the three
>levels of claim (single-A, double-A, and triple-A)."

JRG: Yes.

>Answer: True (?).
>
>====
>
>d. Text Reader in Singular User Agent
>
>True or False: "It is possible for a text reader (e.g., screen reader) user
>agent to be a singular (non-composite) user agent that achieves any of the
>three levels of claim (single-A, double-A, and triple-A)."

JRG: Yes, they must satisify the applicable checkpoints and provide 
accessible interface to other assistive technologies.

>Answer: True (?), though based on the focus on mainstream graphical user
>agents it would not make sense to analyze a singular user agent of this
>type.
>
>====
>
>e. Braille Within Composite User Agent
>
>True or False: "It is possible for a braille display user agent to be a
>component of a user agent that achieves any of the three levels of claim
>(single-A, double-A, and triple-A)."

JRG: Yes, same as d.

>Answer: True (?).
>
>====
>
>f. Braille Singular User Agent
>
>True or False: "It is possible for a braille display user agent to be a
>singular (non-composite) user agent that achieves any of the three levels of
>claim (single-A, double-A, and triple-A)."
>
>Answer: True (?), though based on the focus on mainstream graphical user
>agents it would not make sense to analyze a singular user agent of this
>type.
>
>====
>
>g. Advantages and Disadvantages
>
>Open Ended: "Describe the advantages and disadvantages for the developer of
>a 'mainstream graphical user agent' analyzing their user agent as part of a
>composite user agent that includes one or more of the following: multimedia
>player, Braille display, and screen reader package."

JRG: One of the goals of the guidelines was to NOT require user agent 
developers to do this, at least not for conformance purposes.  Mainstream 
developers just need to do there part to claim conformance and if I am 
understanding you question for graphical user agents this means begin 
compatible with voice, braille and other assistive technologies based on 
the requirements in the guidelines document (line in the sand the 
guidelines draw).

>Answer: Not sure. I think that one thing that must be kept in mind by
>someone answering this question is that the subject of each checkpoint is
>the subject of the claim. This means, for example, that if a composite user
>agent includes a Braille display, then the "user interface" in checkpoints
>such as 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 5.2, 5.4, 5.5, 5.8, 8.7, 10.9, should refer to
>the interface of the Braille display as well as to whatever may be presented
>in other display devices.
>
>Conclusion:
>
>I would suggest asking one or more people to score the following user
>agents. If only a few of the following could be done, I might suggest
>focusing on numbers 1, 5, 8, and 11. I think that all these cases would be
>helpful.
>
>1. Singular user agent = mainstream graphical user agent
>2. Singular user agent = multimedia player
>3. Singular user agent = screen reader package
>4. Singular user agent = Braille display
>5. Composite user agent = mainstream graphical user agent + multimedia
>player
>6. Composite user agent = mainstream graphical user agent + screen reader
>package
>7. Composite user agent = mainstream graphical user agent + Braille display
>8. Composite user agent = mainstream graphical user agent + multimedia
>player + screen reader package
>9. Composite user agent = mainstream graphical user agent + multimedia
>player + Braille display
>10. Composite user agent = mainstream graphical user agent + screen reader
>package + Braille display
>11. Composite user agent = mainstream graphical user agent + multimedia
>player + screen reader package + Braille display
>12. Singular user agent = text-only browser
>14. Singular user agent = audio-only (telephone) browser
>15. Singular user agent = audio-and-text (telephone) browser
>*
>I think that by examining the claims that would result from these various
>cases, we would be better able to guide people in including or excluding
>user agents from the analyses.
>
>The more of these cases we can examine, the better we will be able to
>eliminate bugs and other problems that might now exist in the document.
>
>Without this kind of analysis, I am not sure that we can properly judge the
>impact of our recent decisions to (a) allow composite user agents and (b)
>focus more narrowly on 'mainstream graphical user agents'.
>
>Examples of results that would be of particular interest might include:
>unexpected increases or decreases in conformance when some kind of component
>is added; unusually high or low numbers of inapplicable checkpoints; higher
>accessibility ratings for non-graphical or specialized user agents than for
>mainstream graphical user agents, etc.
>
>Even if such results caused no changes to checkpoints, they might result in
>changes how we tell people to make the best use of the UAAG document.
>
>It seems to me that we need not only (a) example implementations of
>individual checkpoints but also (b) example scorings of user agents
>(singular and composite) that people may want to try to use the guidelines
>to analyze.
>
>Does this make any sense?
>===========================
>Eric G. Hansen, Ph.D.
>Development Scientist
>Educational Testing Service
>ETS 12-R
>Princeton, NJ 08541
>609-734-5615 (Voice)
>E-mail: ehansen@ets.org
>(W) 609-734-5615 (Voice)
>FAX 609-734-1090

Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
MC-574
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 Wednesday, 6 September 2000 13:56:52 GMT

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