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Re: Issue 529

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@uiuc.edu>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 12:20:52 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "Richard Schwerdtfeger" <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Hi Rich,

Let's talk about this change on Thursday.


At 03:08 PM 5/21/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>Issue 529 refers to a proposal for a revised checkpoint 6.1/6.2 Checkoint.
>Checkpoint 6.2 proposes that any API can be used so long as it satisfies
>the content required by checkpoint 6.1 and that it be documented.
>I would like to propose that checkpoint 6.2 be modified as follows:
>2.  Otherwise, where W3C normative bindings do not exist that the W3C DOM
>API must be used and that the User Agent's document binding for it must be
>publicly documented so that it may be used by an assistive technology.
>My reasons for making this more stringent are as follows:
>- At IBM we consider the Web as a platform. It has its own accessibility
>infrastructure and sets of guidelines and is a framework on which to
>deliver applications/content independent of the target device. In the
>process of making Web accessible, the WAI working groups, and in particular
>the PF group, evaluate and produce accessibility guidelines to make the Web
>and all content delivered on it accessible. To ensure access to the Web we
>define changes to programmatic W3C API that must be platform neutral. The
>DOM is the W3C API that is being targeted to provide access to structured
>content. Without having control over its specification we could not have
>addressed the recent "events" API changes that we made to the DOM for the
>purposes of accessibility.
>- Recent accessiblity information targeted through XML, SVG, XFORMS, etc.
>accessibility done by the PF group can be addressed with the DOM WG to
>ensure that it can be accessed by an AT through a designated W3C API. The
>WAI has the ability to control the specification of the DOM API because it
>is a W3C specification. The W3C does not have the ability to control the
>information provided by a proprietary API.
>- Implementing the DOM does not preclude additional Accessibility API (such
>as MSAA) from being used but it does guarantee the core API set needed by
>the WAI working groups be provided for.
>- The W3C is one of the few places where all the platform vendors (Sun,
>IBM, Microsoft, etc.) get together and agree on standards. A standard API
>agreed on by the W3C then comes more easiliy adopted and supported in the
>- Having a standard W3C accessibility API for Web content makes it easier
>to develop cross-platform AT solutions even in the absence of normative
>- Having a standard W3C accessibility API for Web content makes it easier
>to develop multi-user agent, single-platform AT solutions (Adobe, IE,
>Netscape, Opera, Amaya on Windows) even in the absence of normative
>- We have plenty of implentation experience with using a platform-specific
>DOM binding in IE with IBM's Home Page Reader and Freedom Scientific's
>I understand fully that in the case of C++ we are at the mercy of the
>operating system implementation. By itself, C++ does not address
>cross-process marshalling. It does not address in-process multi-threaded
>access. This is why platform bindings need different C++ bindings to
>support these features such as through the use of COM, XPCOM, or Corba.
>This does not preclude a platform documented C++ binding for the DOM. With
>a standard W3C API (that starts with the core DOM) we can build upon it to
>require DOM events notification, the CSS DOM API, a DOM Views API, etc. in
>the future.
>Many of the people on the call only have had to deal with Windows. At IBM
>we have to deal with Solaris, Linux, Windows, AIX, the Web, Java, etc.
>Having a single W3C DOM API that, in the case of C++, may require different
>platform documented bindings is essential.
>  Rich Schwerdtfeger
>  Senior Technical Staff Member
>  IBM Accessibility Center
>  Research Division
>  EMail/web: schwer@us.ibm.com
>  "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
>  I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.",
>  Frost

Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
College of Applied Life Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL  61820

Voice: (217) 244-5870
Fax: (217) 333-0248

E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu

WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua
Received on Wednesday, 22 May 2002 13:20:11 UTC

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