User agent definition proposal

>From the F2F...

user agent
A user agent is any software that retrieves, renders and facilitates end user interaction with web content. UAAG 2.0 identifies four user agent architectures:
- Platform-based user agent, non-web-based user agent: These user agents run on non-Web platforms (operating systems and cross-OS platforms, such as Java) and perform content retrieval, rendering and end-user interaction facilitation themselves (e.g. Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, Windows Media Player, QuickTime Pro, RealPlayer).
- Embedded user agent, plug-in: These user agents "plug-in" to other user agents or applications (e.g. media player plug-in for a web browser, web view component). Embedded user agents may establish direct connections with the platform (e.g. communication via platform accessibility services).
- Web-based user agent: These user agents have user interfaces that are implemented using web content technologies and are accessed by users via a user agent. Web-based user agents transform content into web content technologies that the host user agent can render (e.g. Google Docs, Bing Translator, Yahoo Mail).

Note: Many web applications retrieve, render and facilitate interaction with very limited data sets (e.g. online ticket booking). In such cases, WCAG 2.0, without UAAG 2.0, may be appropriate for assessing the application's accessibility. 

Examples of software that are generally considered user agents under UAAG 2.0:
- Desktop web browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera)
- Mobile web browsers (e.g. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Android Browser, Opera Mini, Atomic Web, Puffin)
- Browser plug-ins (e.g. QuickTime Plug-in for Firefox, Acrobat Reader Plug-in for Internet Explorer, Shockwave Plug-in for Chrome)
- Web view components (e.g. Webkit Webview component, Web Tools Platform Plug-in for Eclipse, UIWebView for iOS)
- Authoring tools that render the web content being edited (e.g. Word, DreamWeaver, HTML-Kit)

Examples of software that are not considered user agents under UAAG 2.0 (in all cases, WCAG 2.0 still applies if the software is web-based):
- Operating environments or software bundles that include platform-based user agents (e.g. Windows, OS X, KDE, iOS), though the included user agents themselves are covered by UAAG 2.0.
- General-purpose platforms or toolkits that don't use web technologies, even though they may be used by user agents for other purposes (e.g. GNOME, KDE, .NET Framework/CLR).
- Narrow-purpose platform-based or web applications (e.g. online ticket booking applications).
- Authoring tools that only display a source view of the web content being edited (e.g. Notepad, Vim).

Received on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 22:30:36 UTC