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re: UAWG ACTION-1057: Try to work "native" and "base browser" into defn of user agent

From: Richards, Jan <jrichards@ocadu.ca>
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2014 21:26:18 +0000
To: WAI-ua <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-ID: <0B1EB1C972BCB740B522ACBCD5F48DEB01BEF50B9F@ocadmail-maildb.ocad.ca>
*user agent*: 
Any software that retrieves, renders and facilitates end user interaction with web content. There are several types:
- *native user agent*: User agents that run on operating systems (and cross-OS platforms, such as Java) and that perform content retrieval, rendering and end-user interaction facilitation themselves (e.g. desktop browsers, desktop media players, mobile browsers, mobile media players). A native user agent that is a browser is sometimes referred to as a *base browser*.
- *embedded user agent, plug-in*: User agents that "plug-in" to other user agents (e.g. media player plug-in for a web browser). Embedded user agents may establish direct connections with the platform (e.g. communication via platform accessibility services).
- *web-based user agent*: User agents that have user interfaces that are primarily implemented using web content technologies and that are accessed by users via a native user agent (e.g. web-based e-book reader, web-based video player). 
Note: Only a limited sub-set of UAAG 2.0 success criteria will typically apply to web-based user agents. See @@@.

Note: Many web applications retrieve, render and facilitate interaction with very limited data sets (e.g. online ticket booking). WCAG 2.0, rather than UAAG 2.0, is the most appropriate standard for assessing the application's accessibility in these cases.

Examples of software that are generally considered user agents under UAAG 2.0:
- Desktop web browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera)
- Mobile web browsers (e.g. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Android Browser, Opera Mini, Atomic Web, Puffin)
- Browser plug-ins (e.g. QuickTime Plug-in for Firefox, Acrobat Reader Plug-in for Internet Explorer, Shockwave Plug-in for Chrome)
- Authoring tools that render the web content being edited (e.g. Word, Dreamweaver, HTML-Kit)
Note: Web view components (e.g. Webkit Webview component, Web Tools Platform Plug-in for Eclipse, UIWebView for iOS) can be used to develop new user agents. For UAAG 2.0 conformance, it is preferable to assess the complete user agent.

Examples of software that are not considered user agents under UAAG 2.0 (in all cases, WCAG 2.0 still applies if the software is web-based):
- Operating environments or software bundles that include platform-based user agents (e.g. Windows, OS X, KDE, iOS), though the included user agents themselves are covered by UAAG 2.0.
- General-purpose platforms or toolkits that don't use web technologies, even though they may be used by user agents for other purposes (e.g. GNOME, KDE, .NET Framework/CLR).
- Narrow-purpose platform-based or web applications (e.g. online ticket booking applications).
- Authoring tools that only display a source view of the web content being edited (e.g. Notepad, Vim).

----------

CURRENT WORDING:
user agent: 
Any software that retrieves, renders and facilitates end user interaction with web content. UAAG 2.0 identifies four user agent architectures:
- platform-based user agent, non-web-based user agent: User agents that run on non-web platforms (operating systems and cross-OS platforms, such as Java) and perform content retrieval, rendering and end-user interaction facilitation themselves (e.g. Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, Windows Media Player, QuickTime Pro, RealPlayer).
- embedded user agent, plug-in: User agents that "plug-in" to other user agents or applications (e.g. media player plug-in for a web browser, web view component). Embedded user agents may establish direct connections with the platform (e.g. communication via platform accessibility services).
- web-based user agent: User agents that have user interfaces that are implemented using web content technologies and are accessed by users via a user agent. web-based user agents transform content into web content technologies that the host user agent can render (e.g.web-based ePub reader, web-based video player).

Note: Many web applications retrieve, render and facilitate interaction with very limited data sets (e.g. online ticket booking). In such cases, WCAG 2.0, without UAAG 2.0, may be appropriate for assessing the application's accessibility.

Examples of software that are generally considered user agents under UAAG 2.0:
- Desktop web browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera)
- Mobile web browsers (e.g. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Android Browser, Opera Mini, Atomic Web, Puffin)
- Browser plug-ins (e.g. QuickTime Plug-in for Firefox, Acrobat Reader Plug-in for Internet Explorer, Shockwave Plug-in for Chrome)
- Web view components (e.g. Webkit Webview component, Web Tools Platform Plug-in for Eclipse, UIWebView for iOS)
- Authoring tools that render the web content being edited (e.g. Word, Dreamweaver, HTML-Kit)

Examples of software that are not considered user agents under UAAG 2.0 (in all cases, WCAG 2.0 still applies if the software is web-based):
- Operating environments or software bundles that include platform-based user agents (e.g. Windows, OS X, KDE, iOS), though the included user agents themselves are covered by UAAG 2.0.
- General-purpose platforms or toolkits that don't use web technologies, even though they may be used by user agents for other purposes (e.g. GNOME, KDE, .NET Framework/CLR).
- Narrow-purpose platform-based or web applications (e.g. online ticket booking applications).
- Authoring tools that only display a source view of the web content being edited (e.g. Notepad, Vim).
(MR) JAN RICHARDS
PROJECT MANAGER
INCLUSIVE DESIGN RESEARCH CENTRE (IDRC)
OCAD UNIVERSITY

T 416 977 6000 x3957
F 416 977 9844
E jrichards@ocadu.ca
Received on Thursday, 4 December 2014 21:26:50 UTC

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