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Re: Defining the User Agent

From: Jan Richards <jan.richards@utoronto.ca>
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 10:28:44 -0400
Message-ID: <4A95469C.9000002@utoronto.ca>
To: UAWG list <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Hi Simon,

I like this...just two comments....

(1) I think we need to find a better term than "Generated User Agent". 
ATAG 2.0 has the concept of "Web-Based Authoring Tools" so I could see 
"Web-Based User Agents" or even "Rendered User Agents".

(2) What did you mean by "(with inaccessible interface)"?


Simon Harper wrote:
> Hi there,
> I've been trying to do my ACTIONS and they seem very difficult without 
> an accurate idea about what we mean by a User Agent; actually I think 
> that what it really means is who should conform to UAAG 2.0. Anyhow I've 
> been trying to come up with a good all encompassing definition - but I 
> can't. So I tried a different approach, a series of simple questions 
> (tests) that allow us to define who needs to meet our guidelines.
> Here's my initial attempt:
> If the following three conditions are met then it is a Primary User 
> Agent and Must Conform to UAAG:
> 1) If it is a standalone application; and
> 2) If it interprets any w3c specified language; and
> 3) If it provides a user interface or interprets either a procedural or 
> declaritive language that may be used to provide a user interface.
> If the following two conditions are met then it is a User Agent 
> Extension or Plug-In and Must Conform to UAAG:
> 1) If it is launched by, or extends the functionality of, a Primary User 
> Agent; and
> 2) If post-launch user interaction either becomes part of, or is within 
> the bounds of, the Primary User Agent.
> If the following three conditions are met then it is a Generated User 
> Agent (with inaccessible interface) and Must Conform to UAAG:
> 1) If the user interface is generated by the interpretation of either a 
> procedural or declaritive language; and
> 2) If this interpretation is by a Primary User Agent, User Agent 
> Extension or Plug-In; and
> 3) If user interaction is not passed to and from the Primary User Agent, 
> User Agent Extension or Plug-In, or if user interaction does not modify 
> the Document Object Model of its containing document.
> So these sound a little convoluted but I'd appreciate your thoughts and 
> ideas about this approach to UA definition and UAAG applicability; and 
> if we think this is useful, any cases for which these rules are disproved.
> Cheers
> Si.
> =======================
> Simon Harper
> University of Manchester (UK)
> Human Centred Web Lab: http://hcw.cs.manchester.ac.uk
> My Site: http://hcw.cs.manchester.ac.uk/people/harper/
> My Diary (Web): 
> http://hcw.cs.manchester.ac.uk/people/harper/phpicalendar/week.php
> My Diary (Subscribe): 
> http://hcw.cs.manchester.ac.uk/diaries/harper/SimonHarper.ics

Jan Richards, M.Sc.
User Interface Design Lead
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre (ATRC)
Faculty of Information
University of Toronto

   Email: jan.richards@utoronto.ca
   Web:   http://jan.atrc.utoronto.ca
   Phone: 416-946-7060
   Fax:   416-971-2896
Received on Wednesday, 26 August 2009 14:29:20 UTC

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