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Re: Is Java Web Start covered by WCAG?

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:07:58 +0100
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <94d47102-6f94-8b15-0b09-8d86f3b8122c@splintered.co.uk>
On 28/04/2017 14:55, John Foliot wrote:

> The Mobile Accessibility Task Force proposals cover both "web" content,
> "web apps" and Native apps,

I don't believe that has been the focus of the work, certainly not for 
the time I was involved in the TF (have taken more of a backseat in 
recent months). It may have been the aspiration at the time, but I 
wouldn't see that aspiration (from the extension doc below) as anything 
more than that, rather than a normative statement. And since mobile work 
is now not a standalone extension document, but rather part of WCAG, it 
needs to be scoped only to whatever WCAG is scoped to.

> From the now dormant Mobile Accessibility WCAG Extension
> <https://w3c.github.io/Mobile-A11y-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
> <https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#webpagedef>", they are "content
> <https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#contentdef>".
> 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
> <https://www.w3.org/TR/dpub-accessibility/>:
>     /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.)

Though fluffy, one of the distinctions we used to talk about at Opera 
(in the context of, say, HTML5 video compared to the use of Flash-based 
video players) is content that's "OF the web" versus content that's "ON 
the web". The latter being stuff handled via 3rd party plugins not 
natively present inside a browser. But of course, in original WCAG, 
since PDF/Silverlight/Flash were in scope, those plugins count as their 
own user agents, so the distinction won't work here all that much.

> 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 myself - interestingly enough in a thread just before this one, 
where to an extent there was a feeling of "the current (mildly 
circular?) definition of user agent/web content isn't perfect, but 
understandable enough". Even the idea that content doesn't include 
things that get downloaded to the user's machine first (like a 3D Studio 
Max file delivered via the web, or similar) is not a hard enough 
distinguishing factor, since in effect even a webpage is first 
transferred to a user's local environment (cache etc) before being 

Anyway, I don't have a clear and simple solution to the conundrum, but 
would agree that further discussion on this is quite fundamental and needed.

Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
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Received on Friday, 28 April 2017 15:08:33 UTC

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