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DOM and active accessibility questions and responses

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
Date: Wed, 03 Feb 1999 16:44:58 -0600
Message-Id: <199902032247.QAA22849@staff1.cso.uiuc.edu>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
JRG is Jon Gunderson and CO is Chuck Opperman.

JRG: The issue of using DOM is about more than just rendering tables, since
exposes the entire document structure to assistive technology for 
navigation and alternative rendering. 

CO: Of course, we provide that.

JRG: Does Active Accessibility currently or plan to provide structural 
relationahips between elements in a document? 

CO: Yes, Active Accessibility support to HTML provides a child-parent object 
hierarchy similar, but not identical, to the existing Dynamic HTML object 

JRG: Does Acive Accessibility currently or plan to provide information on 
element content and their attributes? 

CO: Element content - yes.
Attributes - some. Stylistic things such as font, color, etc are not 
exposed currently. Things such as location, purpose, URL values, etc. are 

JRG: Why is a range based model important? 

CO: I'm not an expert on document object models, but I believe that selecting 
runs of characters, regardless of structure is very important to the 
manipulation of the content. DOM1 didn't provide this and Dynamic HTML in 
IE4 had limited support for it. DOM2 is adding this and IE5 has also made 
improvements in this area.

My point was that DOM is not universal. It's a HTML-based object model that 
will not fit the needs of higher-end text engines. Word's object model is 
very different and much richer than what can be expressed in HTML. It's 
also optimized to editing of documents, whereas DOM is optimized to the 
manipulation of structure.

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 Wednesday, 3 February 1999 17:47:10 UTC

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