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UA Responsibilities [Was: Re: WCAG Priority Levels for accessibility-oriented TABLE eements and attributes]

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 13:11:32 -0500
Message-ID: <3868FD54.152F2AC4@w3.org>
To: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>
CC: Jon Gunderson <jongund@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>, User Agent Guidelines Emailing List <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
"Gregory J. Rosmaita" wrote:

NOTE: I have removed other WAI mailing lists from this part of the
thread since the topic of my email is really only about user agents.

> i would, therefore, also strongly advocate that -- at least in regards tables
> -- that the UAGL use a bit of if-then logic: "for UAs which implement the DOM"
> and "for UAs which do not implement the DOM" -- in according priority to table
> navigation, so that assistive technologies can obtain information about tables,
> their structure, and the context of each component from UAs that do not (at
> least not immediately) implement the DOM......

This reminds me of the "Interoperable v. Stand-alone" conformance
proposal (17 Sep 1999 [1], refer also to summary of conformance
proposals [2]). That proposal was rejected because it allowed
conformance without interoperability. Gregory's suggestion takes
a different approach: a sliding priority scale to ensure
that the UA provides a necessary functionality when it doesn't
use the DOM.

The only problem: If you don't implement the DOM, you don't
conform. And that requirement is Priority 1 (today). So the
priority of a table navigation checkpoint doesn't matter and therefore
doesn't need to slide.

I raised a question at the face-to-face in Austin:
what are the criteria for deciding which functionalities belong
in general purpose user agents which should be implemented
by assistive technologies? I have published some thoughts,
entitled "User Agent Responsibilities" [3]
for consideration by the Working Group. This document does not
attempt to answer definitively the question of native support for table
navigation. I hope, however, it will serve as a support document 
(after WG approval) to present our rationale on
table navigation and other requirements to the Director when we 
go to Proposed Recommendation. Comments are very very welcome;
the 28 December 1999 version is the first available draft.

Happy New Year to all,

 - Ian

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/1999JulSep/0375.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/1999JulSep/0433.html
[3] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/1999/12/ua-resp-19991228

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel/Fax:                     +1 212 684-1814
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Tuesday, 28 December 1999 13:12:27 UTC

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