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Re: OS _or_ language as context for "follow standard practice"

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2000 09:41:23 -0500 (EST)
To: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
cc: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>, Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>, <gv@trace.wisc.edu>, <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0012060941140.22064-100000@tux.w3.org>
What Al said.

Chaals

On Wed, 6 Dec 2000, Al Gilman wrote:

  At 11:01 PM 2000-12-05 -0500, Wendy A Chisholm wrote:
  >
  >> > 12. Several checkpoints refer to using operating system conventions. 
  What
  >> > about a user agent that is written in Java?
  >> > In that case it is up to the
  >> > virtual machine to use the system conventions.
  >>
  >>Is that entirely true? I thought that the virtual machine's
  >>job was to interpret byte code, but that you could write
  >>programs to do whatever you want. I am not a Java
  >>programmer...
  >
  >The virtual machine interprets byte codes into something the OS can
  >understand.  The VM is operating system specific.
  >

  I believe that the UAAG as is should win out on this point.  That is to say, I
  believe that the UAAG never says simply "follow OS conventions."

  One conspicuous reason for this is the cross-OS capability offered in the Java
  language environment.  The Java language provides OS-like functionality built
  into the standard language environment which is cross-platform usable by
  applications.  Java programs are supposed to be able to run in the Java
  environment without taking into account what OS they are on, relying only on
  the Java-standard cross-OS services.  The UAAG is careful to offer the
  programmer the option of sticking to OS-based or language-based platforms of
  standard practice as what to conform to.  In the present climate it would be
  inadvisable for the WAI to do anything different from this.  

  As an alternative, the UAAG could attempt to assert policies as to which
  functionality is intrinsically OS functionality and should be localised to the
  OS.  However, it appears that this would be a) a large new requirement in the
  UAAG and b) very hard to do in a way that generated more light than heat.  In
  other words, this is a quick way to wind up taking sides in battles that are
  not our battle, and thereby making more enemies than we make contributions to
  accessibility.

  This has nothing to do with "Java being an interpreted language."  It has
  everything to do with the licensing terms which Sun has had to go to a lot of
  legal trouble to enforce that says "Implementing Java requires that you
  implement the cross platform profile of services in a conforming way."

  Al



-- 
Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
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Received on Wednesday, 6 December 2000 09:41:40 GMT

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