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Re: WD-WAI-USERAGENT-19991105 review

From: <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1999 17:03:49 -0600
To: lauren@sqwest.bc.ca
cc: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>, User Agent Guidelines Emailing List <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-ID: <8525683C.007F0B4F.00@d54mta08.raleigh.ibm.com>

I agree whole heartedly. To me the DOM is the basis for being an industry
standard cross-platform mechanism to access not only document content but
also the chrome that encompasses documents comprising an application. Just
to take some MSAA/Java accessibility features that are in DOM 2:

- events and the ability to monitor them on a component or "element" basis
- attributes and the ability to get at them (role information, etc.)
- application/document tree navigation mechansims (AccessibleChildren Java
, child information in MSAA). DOM provides tree navigation
- Text elements and their attributes
- Element Activation mechanism (links)

Assuming an appropriate schema we should be able to semantically map an XML
document into a DOM with the appropriate accessibility information

I am not saying that all we need for accessibility is in the DOM today but
the combination of future extensions to the DOM and other W3C based
accessibility solutions we have mechanisms for open accessibility standards
that can apply to a variety of devices and solutions.

Another point to note is that differentiation between the concept of what
constitutes an application and a document is becoming muddled. For example,
JavaScript adds many application features to a document although it
provides no semantic information as of yet. Also, web  sites are directly
tied to servlets which generate dynamic content constituting an

This is why I feel so strongly about the DOM when discussing accessibility
and how its simplicity can help the accessibility of pervasive device
accessibility in the future.

It would be nice if we could look at using the DOM for other non Web-based
user agent applications as well at least for the document area.


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.",

"Lauren Wood" <lauren@sqwest.bc.ca> on 12/03/99 01:58:16 PM

Please respond to lauren@sqwest.bc.ca

To:   "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>
cc:   User Agent Guidelines Emailing List <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Subject:  Re: WD-WAI-USERAGENT-19991105 review

On 3 Dec 99, at 14:46, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:

> aloha, charles!
> you raise a very valid question -- do assistive technologies need to use
> write functionalities of the DOM in order to provide access to content,
but the
> working group has -- so far -- heard extremely little from ANY of the
> technology vendors whose opinions we've solicited, and whose
> have sat amongst us, detailing exactly what it is that they need from the
> DOM...  this is input that needs not only to be plowed back into the UA
WG, but
> the DOM WG as well...

One of my reasons for doing the DOM in the frst place was to give
adaptive technology vendors a standard interface so they could
write tools that hook into browser, editors, etc which implement the
DOM. So I think such tools should implement the DOM, to enable
this. There is, to my mind, little point in implementing a proprietary
interface when a standard one is available, particularly since the
WAI groups have input to the standard interface and not to
proprietary interfaces in general.

If adaptive technology vendors (screen readers, etc) implement
hooks to be a client of the DOM, they should be able to hook into
any DOM implementation with minimal changes. Otherwise they
need to change their client interface for each tool. For example,
SoftQuad Software's HoTMetaL and XMetaL implement the DOM
(more with each release) and Mozilla implements the DOM, and
MSIE implements the DOM, and .... so why reinvent the wheel
each time?

If these tools can't use the DOM  for some reason, then the DOM
WG needs to know about this.

Received on Sunday, 5 December 1999 12:29:06 UTC

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