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Re: HPR: mere plugin or potential pathfinder?

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 15:27:09 -0400
Message-Id: <4.1.19990726133803.009bcbc0@pop3.concentric.net>
Message-Id: <4.1.19990726133803.009bcbc0@pop3.concentric.net>
To: <thatch@us.ibm.com>
Cc: User Agent Guidelines Emailing List <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>, Guido Corona <guidoc@us.ibm.com>
aloha, thatch!

thanks for the clarification...  i think that both david and i aired our views
on-list not only in order to get the word directly from the horses' mouths (if
you, and your colleagues at SNS will pardon the expression!), but to draw you
into a few of the topics currently being examined by the UA WG, in particular:

1) strategies for exposing the accessibility information built into HTML4, such
as the navigation of tables (something at which the current version of HPR

2) strategies for exposing elements and attributes in HTML4, XML, XHTML, and
CSS which are either currently un-supported, or else, spottily supported, such

3) strategies for dealing with items such as the "Nav Bar", which can be
implemented in a host of ways (i.e. using the LINK element in HTML4, using CSS
to define the NavBar as a structure with a class, use [or, depending upon your
point-of-view, mis-use) of the MAP element, etc.)

i do, however, have one question, vis a vis the issue of whether HPR is a
browser or a plug-in -- can HPR operate independently of Netscape?  could it be
adapted for use with MSIE and Opera?  if not, then i would argue that it falls
into a grey area, not quite browser (due to its dependence on Netscape) and not
quite a plug-in (inasmuch as it is HPR which is parsing the document source,
and not Netscape)


On 25 July 1999, Jim Thatcher wrote:
>I wanted to clarify a couple of serious technical points.
>IBM Home Page Reader is not a plug-in.  It is a browser. Yep, it depends on
>Netscape, but only to get the HTML stream (and deal with security). HPR parses
>the HTML and presents the page in text and speech. Turns out that HPR uses
>plug-in technology in its process of communicating with Netscape. If you call
>HPR a player; then it is an HTML player, i.e., a browser! It does not get its
>information the same way as JFW or other screen reader.
>Home Page Reader can be operated with a mouse, if you are so inclined, but
>is not the primary user interface.
>Jim Thatcher
>IBM Special Needs Systems
>To:  User Agent Guidelines Emailing List <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
>cc:   Guido Corona/Austin/IBM@IBMUS
>Subject:  HPR: mere plugin or potential pathfinder?
>On 21 July 1999, Dave Poehlman, in a post with the Subject line "Re: MINUTES:
>W3C WAI User Agent Telecon 21 July 1999" wrote:
>>Looking over the minutes sparks within me a comment or two that I hope
>>will be helpful.  Hpr as you know cannot be used without netscape so
>>therefore it seems to be classable as a plug in or player rather than
>>a browser although it does manipulate and allow for the calling of
>>content.  It also has serious access issues in that I don't think it
>>can be opperated with a mouse but I could be wrong.
>aloha, y'all!
>as dave poehlman correctly pointed out, HomePage Reader (HPR) _is_ a plugin
>that cannot be used without netscape, and, yet, as he and i understand it's
>inner workings, HPR does derive the information that it renders from netscape,
>much in the same manner as JFW derives the info necessary for reformatting
>pages from MSIE...  all of which means that the accessibility information
>the WAI was able to have written into HTML4 _is_ not only capable of being
>exposed by netscape, but is, in fact, being exposed (but not rendered) by
>netscape...  which is why, when i had the opportunity to speak with guido
>corona of IBM SNS at the Vision99 conference in NYC last week, i asked him to
>lend the expertise he has derived by working on HPR to the UA WG, for,
>HPR is a plugin, it does provide us with the a practical implementation of the
>nascent UA guidelines...
>i'm "looking" forward to reaping the benefit of guido's and IBM SNS' expertise
>in the UA WG, and i apologize in advance, guido, for putting you on the spot!
>        gregory

He that lives on Hope, dies farting
     -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1763
Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
   President, WebMaster, & Minister of Propaganda, 
        VICUG NYC <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/>
Received on Monday, 26 July 1999 15:27:01 UTC

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