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Re: Action Item: Investigate wording for possible third class agent for conformance section

From: <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 15:47:16 -0500
To: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Message-ID: <852567DD.00723163.00@d54mta08.raleigh.ibm.com>


After considerable thought on this on really believe section 3.1(conformance)
needs to define a third class of agent called a "Targetted Agent." Targetted
agents like Home Page Reader and PWWebSpeak are user agents that are targetted
to a specific disabilities group or groups. They are not designed to work with
or provide access to features that an unrelated asssitive technology should
need. In particular, the definition of "Native support" required:

"for dependend user agents states that Native support does not preclude more
extensive support for accessibility by dependent user agents, so user agents
must still make information available through programming interfaces."

This means that if a targetted agent renders a document visually it needs to
support a DOM and expose all the API to another assistive technology for the
purposes of enabling access by different user agent technologies or disabilites
groups not intended by the targetted agent. When doing our Home Page Reader
Evaluation and when assessing future Home Page Reader product requirements we
found numerous conformance checkpoints that were non-applicable for the reasons

To change the wording in section 3.1 I would suggest the following:

The terms "must", "should", and "may" (and related terms) are used in this
document in accordance with RFC 2119 ([RFC2119]).

To promote interoperability between graphical desktop user agents and dependent
user agents and between graphical desktop user agents and targetted agents
conformance to this document is expressed in terms of these three types of

Conformance for graphical desktop browsers

In order to conform as a graphical desktop browser, the user agent must satisfy
all the checkpoints (for a chosen conformance level) that apply to graphical
desktop browsers and do so natively.

Even for those checkpoints that must be satisfied natively, graphical desktop
browsers should make information available to other software through standard
interfaces (e.g., specialized dependent user agents may provide a better
solution to a problem than a graphical desktop browser).

Conformance for dependent user agents
In order to conform as a dependent user agent, the user agent must satisfy all
the checkpoints (for a chosen conformance level) that apply to dependent user
agents and do so natively.

Conformance for targetted agents

In order to conform as a targetted agent, the user must satisfy all the
checkpoints (for a chosen conformance level) that apply to targetted agents.
Targetted agents are graphical desktop browsers targetted to a specific

The difficulty here will be deciding what checkpoints apply to what disabilties.
Does such a list exist?


Rich Schwerdtfeger
Lead Architect, IBM Special Needs Systems
EMail/web: schwer@us.ibm.com http://www.austin.ibm.com/sns/rich.htm

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.", Frost
Received on Monday, 30 August 1999 18:25:16 UTC

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