Re: Is Java Web Start covered by WCAG?

David wrote:

> I know it's messy, but until we widen WCAG content definition to all
delivery mechanisms, and that won't be any time soon, I think WCAG is
limited to that.

I think I have to push back on this: using a delivery protocol to define a "web
page <>" is one thing, but this
group has already taken on more than that.

The Mobile Accessibility Task Force proposals cover both "web" content,
"web apps" and Native apps, and in many cases those web apps and native
apps may not be using http (or, for that matter, any network protocol:
see Offline Web Applications -

>From the now dormant Mobile Accessibility WCAG Extension

The Mobile Accessibility Extension to WCAG 2.0 provides guidance to improve
accessibility for people with disabilities. While it generally applies to
traditional mobile devices, it also applies to touch-enabled desktop
devices, kiosks, tablets and other platforms that use technology beyond the
traditional mouse and keyboard. While it is primarily oriented toward web
and hybrid content, the guidelines and success criteria may also apply to
native mobile applications.

Additionally, WCAG 2.0 today has 36 Techniques for Flash accessibility, 35
techniques for Silverlight, and 23 Techniques for PDF - and none of those
file formats are "web pages delivered via http" - yes, those file formats
*CAN* be embedded or linked to pages using http, but they themselves are
not "web pages <>", they are "
content <>".

Internally at the W3C, other Working Groups / Interest Groups are now
referencing WCAG as well, for content that again may or may not be
delivered via http - for example, look at the activity happening at the Digital
Publishing Interest Group <>:

*Digital Publishing* is a generic term for the broad ecosystem of
electronic journals, magazines, news, or book publishing (authors,
creators, publishers, news organizations, booksellers, accessibility and
internationalization specialists, etc.). Formats used by eBook readers and
tablets for electronic books, magazines, journals, and educational
resources are W3C Technology-based. (X)HTML, CSS, SVG, SMIL, MathML, and
various Web APIs are all part of modern digital publishing workflows.

I also note with a wry smile that currently the WCAG 2.0 Rec is served from
the W3C server via http*s*, and a strict LEGAL reading and interpretation
of WCAG, using only the transport protocol as the defining 'break point',
could (technically) exclude WCAG itself from meeting it's own standard.
(FWIW, I sort of like the dpub's bright-line as "W3C-Technology based", and
I would suggest that this phrase may be more suitable going forward.)

Chairs, at least 3 active members of this Working Group have now suggested
that we need more clarity here (Mark Hakkinen, Jon Avila, myself), and so
this is a Formal Request to add this topic/discussion to an upcoming
teleconference agenda. It is my personal opinion that the current WCAG
definition for "Content" suffices for our greater needs, but I personally
reject using *only* the delivery protocol (in 2017) as the delineator
between what content *is* covered versus what *isn't*.


On Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 7:30 AM, Laura Carlson <>

> Hi James,
> Can you please answer which of the following (per Gregg's message
> below) is true?
> 1. Java Web Start does not pull content from the web using http:
> or
> 2. Java Web Start does draw content from the web using http:
> Thank you.
> Kindest Regards,
> Laura
> On 4/28/17, Gregg C Vanderheiden <> wrote:
> > if the java app does not pull content from the web using http:  — then I
> > would agree that it is not covered.
> >
> > If the java app (or any app)  DOES draw content from the web using
> http:// —
> > then it would be a user agent.  It would be covered by user agent
> guidelines
> > — and its content (that it pulls using http://)  would be web content.
> --
> Laura L. Carlson

John Foliot
Principal Accessibility Strategist
Deque Systems Inc.

Advancing the mission of digital accessibility and inclusion

Received on Friday, 28 April 2017 13:56:29 UTC