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Section in the UAAG2 Intro explaining that user agents can be authoring tools

From: Richards, Jan <jrichards@ocad.ca>
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2011 11:20:33 -0400
To: UAWG list <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-ID: <F2C77FB59A1A4840A01EF5F59B1826E20A3F320863@ocadmail.ocad.ca>
Hi all,

I took this action last week:

"JR to create a section in the Intro explaining that user agents can
be used in authoring processes and that therefore user agents
developers should look at ATAG."

- I tried to model the section on ATAG's " Relationship to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0" (http://www.w3.org/TR/2011/WD-IMPLEMENTING-ATAG20-20110426/#conf-rel-wcag)
- ALSO UAAG 2.0 might benefit from a Relationship tot WCAG section as well due to:
 +. E.g. Here: 3.3.1 Accessible documentation: The product documentation is available in a format that conforms to WCAG 2.0 Level "A" or greater. (Level A)
 + 5.2.1 Web-Based Accessible (Level A): User agent user interfaces that are rendered using Web standard technologies conform to WCAG Level "A".
- NOTE: ATAG removed the term "conform" and replaced it with "meets success criteria" because strictly speaking WCAG conformance requires "accessibility supported technologies" which are hard to handle on a global scale.

- The text as written may veer to close to reading like a guide on when to use ATAG, so I'd be ok with dropping the bulleted parts and just saying user agent developers should look at ATAG because user agents are involved in authoring in these ways...


Relationship to the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
While it is convenient to think of user agents retrieving and rendering web content for one group of people (end-users) that was previously authored by another group (authors), user agents are frequently involved with the process of authoring content.

For these cases, it is important for user agent developers to consider the application of another W3C-WAI Recommendation, the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG). ATAG (currently 2.0 is in draft) provides guidance to the developers of tools regarding the accessibility of authoring interfaces to authors (ATAG 2.0 Part A) and ways in which all authors can be supported in producing accessible web content (ATAG 2.0 Part B).

The following is a list of several ways in which user agents are commonly involved in web content authoring. For each, the relationship between UAAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0 will be explained. 

(1) Preview tool: As authors edit web content, they often preview their work in user agents to test how the content will be appear and operate. 
- ATAG 2.0 includes a special exception when "Previews" are implemented with pre-existing user agents, so there are no additional requirements on user agent developers in this case.

(2) Checking tool: Authors often make use of user agent error panels (e.g. HTML validity, JavaScript errors, etc.) during authoring. 
- ATAG 2.0 Part A would apply, but likely would not include any additional accessibility requirements beyond what is in UAAG 2.0. 
- If a user agent includes an "accessibility checker", then the developer should consult checker implementation guidance in ATAG 2.0 Part B.

(3) Edit modes: Some user agents include a mode in which the user can edit and save changes to the web content, modifying the experience of other users.
- In this mode, the user agent is acting as an authoring tool and all of ATAG 2.0 would apply. 

(4) Automatic content changes: Some user agents (and/or user agent plug-ins) may automatically make changes to the retrieved web content before it is rendered.
- This functionality is not considered an authoring tool because the changes are made to the user's own experience, not the experience of other users.

(5) Providing a platform for web-based authoring tools: Many web applications serve as authoring tools and they make use of user agent features in order to deliver their functionality (e.g., undo text entry, adjust font size of the authoring tool user interface etc.)
- User agent developers should consult ATAG 2.0 to understand the ways in which web-based authoring tools can depend on user agent features. 

(Mr) Jan Richards, M.Sc.
jrichards@ocad.ca | 416-977-6000 ext. 3957 | fax: 416-977-9844
Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) | http://idrc.ocad.ca/
Faculty of Design | OCAD University
Received on Thursday, 9 June 2011 15:20:43 UTC

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