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Re: Issues and comments arising from UA evaluations

From: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 16:22:32 -0600
To: aaronl@netscape.com (Aaron Leventhal)
Cc: "Ian B. Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org, w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFE7DCF408.B695D083-ON86256B7B.0078F7EE@raleigh.ibm.com>

I think the concept of a DOM is clear to people doing actual web browser or
server-based document development such as XML transcoding work. In this
arena they use the W3C DOM. Our document intends for UA developers to
implement the W3C DOM (core, CSS, etc.) This does not preclude a UA from
adding additional function like Microsoft for highlighting text.

A DOM is simply an object model representation of a document. I don't
understand why an AT vendor would have trouble with this. Just because the
W3C defines a standard one that we with UA's to support does not mean that
an office product could not use a different DOM representation. ... but if
you think some education is needed we might be able to do this through the

Regarding interfaces, I had pushed on the PF group to create a sub-DOM
working group to address user interfaces and was unsuccessful. It certainly
would be nice to extend the DOM to the chrome of a browser. Perhaps
Netscape could be the first.

On an aside: If Freedom is parsing the HTML themselves this is a major work
effort as they have to do error correction, etc. Also, if Freedom parses
into their own DOM and due to different error correction techniques they
have 2 different represenations of the same document you can run into more
problems. This is also problematic for when XML-based formats need to be

It's much better if the UA provides a W3C DOM interface so that the
solution is in synch with what is rendered and things like the core DOM API
can be supported independent of whether the content is XML-based or
SGML-based in the case of HTML.


Rich Schwerdtfeger
Senior Technical Staff Member
IBM Accessibility Center
Research Division
EMail/web: schwer@us.ibm.com

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.",

                      om (Aaron                To:       "Ian B. Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>                                                    
                      Leventhal)               cc:       w3c-wai-ua@w3.org                                                              
                      Sent by:                 Subject:  Re: Issues and comments arising from UA evaluations                            
                      03/13/2002 03:40                                                                                                  

Ian B. Jacobs wrote:

>   - AT developers may not, in practice, be interested in
>     implementing the DOM, even though in the past they have
>     expressed interest.

Freedom Scientific markets their products as making use of the DOM.
However, they are not talking about the W3C DOMs -- they are talking
about proprietary DOMs such as those that exist in Microsoft Word or
Microsoft Excel via very powerful COM or ActiveX interfaces. For their
Internet Explorer support they currently parse the HTML themselves.

Anyway, I think what a "DOM" is, is clear to us in the context of W3C
document, but may not be clear to AT vendors who use many different
kinds of DOMs. They are probably interested in any kinjd of
cross-process interfaces that give them content..

In addition, the W3C DOM does not say anything about user intefaces,
unless they are written in markup, which is not always the case. How
does the UAAG suggest we expose information about our user interface

Received on Wednesday, 13 March 2002 17:22:36 UTC

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