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Proposed revision of "native support" [Was: Re: Minutes from 1 December UAGL Teleconf]

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 05 Dec 1999 17:56:05 -0500
Message-ID: <384AED85.66E29F30@w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Ian Jacobs wrote:
> Hello,
> Minutes available online [1]. Text version below.
>  - Ian
> [1]
> http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/1999/12/wai-ua-telecon-19991201.html#minutes
>    IJ: Need to amend "native" to include features of the operating
>    system.
>    Resolved: Amend "native" definition to include features provided by
>    the operating system.

I have been thinking about this a little and the resolution, in
my opinion, is not quite complete. 

When a browser plug-in or external piece of software implements a
(e.g., video rendering), we have considered that the rendering
software, not the browser, is responsible for its own accessibility.

However, the proposal above was to allow user agents to reuse operating
system features and consider them to be native. We have considered
that the user agent is responsible for ensuring the accessibility
of native features. However, the UA is not responsible for 
OS features (it makes more sense to make the OS designers responsible).

Therefore, to ensure responsible adoption of operating system features
(like speech synthesis, for example), I propose that we amend the
definition of native support as follows:

A user agent supports a feature natively if it does not require 
another piece of software (e.g.,plug-in or external program) for 
support. Operating system features adopted as part of the user
agent are considered native. However, since the user agent is 
responsible for the accessibility of native features, it is 
also considered responsible for the accessibility of adopted 
operating system features. 

Though native support for accessibility features is encouraged,
user agents must still make information available through APIs
so that assistive technologies meet specialized accessibility

In short, if the OS feature isn't accessible, don't use it.

 - Ian
Received on Sunday, 5 December 1999 17:56:18 UTC

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