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RE: User Agent Types - palmtops

From: Denis Anson <danson@miseri.edu>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 14:37:57 -0500
To: "Jon Gunderson" <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>, "WAI UA group" <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>, "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>

I think, though, that we still need to focus on the type of content that is
being rendered, not on the characteristics of the agent that is doing the
rendering.  If you decide to develop a UA for the Palm Pilot, for example
(and there is one), you decide that some types of content are not going to
be rendered.  And, you decide that that is acceptable.  But you also make
decisions about how you are going to render those things that you will
render.  The guidelines should say, in effect, if you render this type of
content in these ways, or with these functionalities, then you include the
widest possible number of  users, and that is the goal.

Denis Anson, MS, OTR
Assistant Professor
College Misericordia
301 Lake Street
Dallas, PA 18612

Member since 1989 of:
The International Association of Assistive Technology Professionals

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Gunderson [mailto:jongund@staff.uiuc.edu]
Sent: Monday, January 04, 1999 2:25 PM
To: Denis Anson; WAI UA group; Charles McCathieNevile
Subject: RE: User Agent Types - palmtops

In response to Denis Anson:
In my original message on this topic I do have two categories.  One for
rendering element text as speech and another for rendering multi-media
content.  I agree we need different requirements for multi-media vs. speech
rendering for text.

Please review my orginal posting on user agent types:



At 01:57 PM 1/4/99 -0500, Denis Anson wrote:
>Much as I hate to disagree, I think I have to there a bit.  Rendering text
>as speech is not the same thing as rendering audio.  Text to speech is one
>way of rendering text content so that a person with a visual deficit can
>have access to it.  But the media being rendered is text, not sound.  The
>output is sound.
>Auditory rendering would include MIDI, AU, and WAV files, which might be
>language, or might be music.  Rendering sound on a web page would be
>rendering those things that the author of the page included as sound, not
>those things the user decided to turn to sound.
>This is an important distinction, I think.  When rendering text content, it
>is vital to be able to move from chunk to chunk of text, to move through
>document.  This need is independent of the output as visual stimulus,
>tactile stimulus, or auditory stimulus.  However, the same need is not
>present in auditory rendering.  While you may want to be able to "fast
>forward" through an audio track, that is not necessarily an accessibility
>issue.  Able-bodied folks don't have that functionality either.  It is
>entirely conceivable that a user agent may render text via text to speech,
>but not have the ability to render sound content at all!
>Denis Anson, MS, OTR
>Assistant Professor
>College Misericordia
>301 Lake Street
>Dallas, PA 18612
>Member since 1989 of:
>The International Association of Assistive Technology Professionals
>-----Original Message-----
>From: w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org]On Behalf
>Of Jon Gunderson
>Sent: Monday, January 04, 1999 1:13 PM
>To: WAI UA group; Charles McCathieNevile
>Subject: RE: User Agent Types - palmtops
>In response to charles.
>In my interpretation of the user agent types, if a palmtop has
>text-to-speech capabilites and uses text-to-speech to render the a WWW
>document then to be compatible with the guidelines it must implement the
>user agent type techniques associated with auditory rendering.  Whether it
>is done by the developer or through assistive technology, the guidelines
>would not care.  The guidelines only care about the funcational user
>interface as the result for that user agent media type.
>I am not sure how many palmtop developers would include text-to-speech for
>just disability access. But since there are many other reasons to include
>text-to-speech capabilities, let us have guidelines for that media type to
>help them make it accessible to people with disabilities that can beenfit
>from that media type.  It is the media type that is important, not whether
>it is a plamtop or desktop; naive or through assistive technology that is
>important for our guidelines.  Although we may want to have a media type
>that is related to the LCD displays found on palmtop devices.
>I do agree that palmtops are potentially very useful to persons with
>disabilities for many types of tasks, but we need to focus on WWW access.
>There are other groups that are working on some of the other issues you
>mention.  If you or others are interested, I would suggest contacting the
>trace center.  I beleive they are doing a lot of work on access that
>includes palmtop technologies (www.trace.wisc.edu).  We may want to
>consider having a Kiosk media type that could reference the use of palmtop
>technology for Kiosks based on WWW technology.  But I think this should not
>be a primary task at this time.
>At 02:29 PM 1/2/99 -0500, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>>I am not sure if this is the case, and I doubt that it will continue to be
>>the case. Palmtops are capable of interfacing with computer devices, and
>>could be used for example to provide assistive access to kiosks, ATMs and
>>other public information devices. They are also, in essence, little
>>computers which can run software. Since they could be used as a personal
>>assistive device, a User agent designed for a palmtop should where
>>possible provide an interface. More to the point, if we say now that this
>>is not necessary, and then decide in a year or two that it would have been
>>a good idea, we are doing a disservice to developers. If we think that it
>>is not very useful now, but we expect it to be necessary in two years, we
>>should flag that by requiring it 'where possible'. That provides a
>>common-sense test. It also notifies designers now that their products may
>>have to be extended to provide a particular functionality in the future -
>>this can make life a lot easier than having to retrofit accessibility into
>>a product afterwards.
>>Charles McCathieNevile
>>On Fri, 1 Jan 1999, Jon Gunderson wrote:
>>  Technologies like palm tops I do not think have any assistive
>>  so it maybe impossible for it to be compatible with assistive
>>  If it wants to provide access to people with visual impiarments it would
>>  need to directly implement the user agent techniques that appply to
>>  ad Auditory rendering.
>Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
>Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
>Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
>University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
>1207 S. Oak Street
>Champaign, IL 61820
>Voice: 217-244-5870
>Fax: 217-333-0248
>E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
>WWW:    http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
>        http://www.als.uiuc.edu/InfoTechAccess
Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Voice: 217-244-5870
Fax: 217-333-0248
E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
WWW:    http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
Received on Monday, 4 January 1999 14:36:47 UTC

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