W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ua@w3.org > October to December 2014

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

From: Richards, Jan <jrichards@ocadu.ca>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 15:18:40 +0000
To: WAI-ua <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-ID: <0B1EB1C972BCB740B522ACBCD5F48DEB01BEF7A171@ocadmail-maildb.ocad.ca>
Hi Eric,

I hear what you're saying... but the extra information has been added over the years to address "you haven't thought of this"-type comments.

...that said I'm open to ways of shifting it. Maybe if it was moved to the conformance area there could be a link to it from the glossary definition?

Also, IMO this note is quite important to keep: 
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.

Cheers,
Jan


(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

________________________________________
From: Hansen, Eric G [ehansen@ETS.ORG]
Sent: December-10-14 10:05 PM
To: WAI-ua
Cc: Richards, Jan
Subject: RE: UAWG ACTION-1057: Try to work "native" and "base browser" into  defn of user agent

I think that Jan's work on the glossary definition of user agent does help clarify.  However, I think the reference to "base browser" may not be necessary if "native user agent" is actually a more precise term.  And as I recall from our discussion, the term "non-web-based browser" may be yet an alternate term.

Despite these improvements, I am thinking that the definition of user agent in the glossary (which is normative) can be made much simpler and easier to understand, for example:

"*user agent*:
"Any software that retrieves, renders and facilitates end user interaction with web content."

I think that is all that is needed.

What about the other material in the 20 Nov 2014 editors draft or in Jan's version?  Any truly essential material (if any) can be integrated into the conformance section.  However, at the moment, it is not obvious to me that any significant changes to the conformance section are needed.

I believe that most of material in the current (or Jan's) version of the definition should be viewed as informative (rather than normative).  There are many ways to categorize user agents and the categorization into (a) native user agent, (b) embedded user agent, (c) web-based user agent - may yet prove very useful.  But the idea that such a categorization should not be normative is evidenced by the fact that none of these categories are actually referred to outside the glossary definition of user agent.  I believe that if such terms should be used, they should be part of informative (i.e., non-normative) material, such as introductory or secondary reference material.  In fact some of the material resembling the discussion of types of user agents is already found in the informative section in the UAAG introduction entitled "Relationship to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0".

Please note that most if not all the essential principles related to types of user agents may already be addressed in the conformance section, notably in parts that communicate these ideas:

a. A user agent can rely on its platform, extensions, and plug-ins to fulfill the success criteria.
b. There are a variety of conditions under which a success criterion may be not applicable to a given user agent (several are enumerated).

I believe that the material about types of user agent (currently in the definition of user agent) and why UAAG is more applicable to some user agents than to others flow rather naturally from "a" and "b."  To include such informative material in the glossary is, I think, both redundant and confusing.

To summarize my suggestions:

1. Simplify the glossary definition of user agent as suggested above.

2. Refine the conformance section (if necessary).

3. If there is other important material to be added, such different ways of categorizing user agents and reasons why the UAAG are more applicable to some user agents than to others, then that should be in non-normative parts of the UAAG document or other reference materials.  (A possible side benefit of moving such material into the intro is that it may also help further clarify the value and role of UAAG relative to other guidelines, especially WCAG and ATAG.)

-----Original Message-----
From: Richards, Jan [mailto:jrichards@ocadu.ca]
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2014 4:26 PM
To: WAI-ua
Subject: re: UAWG ACTION-1057: Try to work "native" and "base browser" into defn of user agent

*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


________________________________

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it may contain privileged or confidential information. It is solely for use by the individual for whom it is intended, even if addressed incorrectly. If you received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender; do not disclose, copy, distribute, or take any action in reliance on the contents of this information; and delete it from your system. Any other use of this e-mail is prohibited.


Thank you for your compliance.

________________________________
Received on Thursday, 11 December 2014 15:19:13 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 14:49:46 UTC