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FYI: HTML for Mobile Access

From: Harvey Bingham <hbingham@acm.org>
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 03:49:39 -0400
Message-Id: <4.1.19990417032233.00caf990@pop.tiac.net>
To: WAI UA group <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
In the subject note, 

I find seven suggestions for user agents, addressing the mobile 
browsers. Interesting to get the set of issues particularly
from that viewpoint. Lots of commonality. They do reference our work.

I prefix below my comments with "HB".


HTML 4.0 Guidelines for Mobile Access User Agent Notes

Extracted just Notes for User Agents and their heads:

W3C Note - 15 March 1999
  This version (from which extract was made):

3.1. Styles
Note for User Agents:
It is desirable that even if user agents don't support style sheets, it
should parse STYLE elements not to show styles nor to cause any other

HB: Some style info can add prefix text. That is lost.

3.2. Scripts, Event Handlers
Note for User Agents:
It is desirable that even if user agents don't support scripts, it should
parse SCRIPT elements not to show scripts nor to cause any other 

HB: Doesn't that make the effect of the script NULL, losing information?

3.4. Frames
Note for User Agents:
If user agents don't support frames, it should render contents of the 
NOFRAMES element. Also, even if user agents can't render frames, it is 
desirable to provide links to each frame, so that users can access to 
contents of each frame.

3.5. Image Maps
Note for User Agents:
It will be desirable that user agents render images and provide selections 
with pointing (using area information) if possible. Even if rendering 
images or selection with pointing are impossible, they should provide 
access to linked resource of each area via "alt" attribute of AREA element.

HB: Image rendering is only possible in some mobile applications. Certainly
not in the eyes-free environment. User should have choice. Why no mention of
alt on img?

3.6. Tables
Note for User Agents:
Even if it would be difficult, user agents may parse and render tables if
possible. For example, the CAPTION element and "summary" attribute are 
usable to summarize tables. See also [WAI-USERAGENT].

HB: Listifying a table is an alternative. So would user personality preference
on how much expansion of TH information.

3.7. Objects and Images
Note for User Agents:
User agents should try to render nested objects according to the precedence
rules described in section 13.3.1 of [HTML40]. Even if user agents don't
support OBJECT elements, they should render alternative content of OBJECT
element as a fallback.

If a long description is provided via longdesc attribute of IMG element, user
agents should provide access to that long description.

HB: Does that presume that otherwise it would handle alt="..."?

3.8. Access keys
Note for User Agents:
User agents should parse and activate access keys specified via "accesskey"
attribute whenever possible, but they should ignore access keys when those 
keys are not available.

HB: For some simple devices, only a few keys exist. Where does the user learn
of the association of those keys (or keys in combination) with accesskey?
Received on Saturday, 17 April 1999 03:49:35 UTC

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