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[Bug 6606] generic 3rd-party <mark>, Smart Tags, and Activities prevention

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2009 15:24:27 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1Mbydn-0002k8-It@wiggum.w3.org>

--- Comment #19 from Nick Levinson <Nick_Levinson@yahoo.com>  2009-08-14 15:24:27 ---
About the above proposal:

Ordinary users include neophytes and would be accommodated while preserving
access to all website content and while supporting advanced users. The ordinary
user is distinguished from the average user, because the average user is about
half way up the scale of expertise. Under an average, half of all users lack
their skill and understanding, which makes them especially vulnerable to being
misled or defrauded, and they are a common target. Supporting Web popularity
requires usability for a wider group of potential users, including infrequent
users, children, older people who never learned the Internet, and single-site
users who are visiting new sites. On the other hand, a user has to be assumed
to have at least a little computer skill, as it's probably impracticable to
design a UA for users with no knowledge and users who know nothing are usually
being guided and taught or aren't allowed on the machines.

The proposal will allow a UA to offer and apply multiple style sheets to all
websites. Where its styling is consistent with author intent, the UA maker
won't have to explain its characteristics in words to users; thus, proprietary
makers may stay that way and preserve their trade secrets. A human being may
set their browser and enjoy the Web as they wish, including for entertainment,
security, accessibility despite disabilities, coping with illiteracy, and
technical compatibility. A disabled user may have institutional assistance; for
example, a hospital can modify all their browsers so visually-impaired patients
can use the styling they prefer. A corporate employer may configure a uniform
style, such as a limit of two fonts, for all sites being viewed, and so may a
custodian of people, such as a parent of minor children or a prison warden.

A browser may autocomplete an HTML form, but only after rendering it, since
this provision regulates how content is rendered. Form fields can be rendered
as the original page owner prefers before being autofilled or manually filled.
A user may opt for autofilling without ever seeing the form, as far as this
provision is concerned, as long as the option is clear even to a low-skill
user. The same applies to all other controls within a form.

Where a page author is vague about how a document should be rendered, the UA
has all the choices that implies, subject to a requirement for uniformity of
interpretation of similar vaguenesses across all websites and over time, and
subject to user choices.

An original page owner is free to do as they wish under this provision. Many
manipulations will be allowed if even a low-skill user understands they're not
part of the original page and opts for those manipulations. For example, a page
owner may include scripts, may redirect, and may respond differently to
different browsers and different referers with different content. An original
page owner may even contract with a UA maker to permit unfamiliar links
supporting ad sales, custom search results, and anything else they agree on as
if the original page owner designed the page that way.

What this forbids is anyone lacking the original page owner's permission
selecting particular websites or website content, such as certain words, and
applying a style, graphic, or sound to the rendering or in transmission (i.e.,
after departure from the original server) in a way that most users would think
is being done by the original page owner. Thus, for example, because a
double-underline for a link to a browser-generated ad with different ownership
is too subtle for most users, the UA adding that to a page is forbidden. With
respect to most users, the same is true of context menu commands that are
unique to portions of content when ownership of what the context menu generates
is not that of the website being viewed. This would also reduce the number of
ownership-confusing technologies that might arise in the future.

Thank you.


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Received on Friday, 14 August 2009 15:24:37 UTC

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