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Use Cases for UAAG Applicability

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Based on Jeanne's email (http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2013JanMar/0012.html) and on Greg's email (http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2013JanMar/0019.html).

Use Cases for Conformance

What are the problems of UAAG conformance that we are trying to solve?

  1. Full featured user agents who conform
  2. Full featured user agents who are missing a few success criteria, but could conform with external extensions
  3. Limited user agents who are constrained by the type of content they access (e.g. media players) and limited success criteria apply.
  4. Apps with constrained content (e.g. the "American Airlines" app or a reader app for magazine content served online).
  5. Software that has embedded user agent features (e.g. Microsoft Word, Adobe Dreamweaver).
  6. Plug-in to a non-user agent to add browser capabilities (e.g. Web Tools Platform provides web language editing within the Eclipse integrated development environment).
  7. Plus-in to a user agent that acts as an embedded user agent (e.g. Adobe Flash Player plug-in for Firefox).
  8. Extension that is used within a user agent to provide a feature needed to meet an success criterion (e.g. "mouseless browsing" extension to Firefox).
  9. Full featured browser or player that is missing some success criteria but doesn't want to name a specific extension that could complete it. [propose: delete this use case]
  10. Full or limited user agents that depend on the underlying platform for some success criteria and the platform does not provide the required features. (e.g. Google Translate when run on a non-conforming browser, a mobile app where the phone device does not support zoom).

Things to which UAAG would apply:

User agents:

  • Stand-alone web browsers, including shells around user agent (e.g. Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari)
  • Embedded web browsers that provide user agent features in applications that would not otherwise be a user agent (e.g. the Web Tools Platform which provides web language editing within the Eclipse integrated development environment)
  • Editors that render web technologies which may only input rather than output web technologies (e.g. Microsoft Word)
  • Authoring tools that render and output web technologies (e.g. Microsoft FrontPage, MacroMedia DreamWeaver)
  • Web-based user agents (e.g. Google Translate)
  • Media Player applications that render web technologies, and may be stand-alone or also be plug-ins (e.g. Windows Media Player, RealPlayer)
  • Application that renders a constrained set of web data (e.g. American Airlines app for smartphones that downloads and renders a constrained set of XML data from a dedicated server)

Extension of Plug-In:

  • User agent extensions that changes content (e.g. Mouseless browsing add-on for Firefox, which inserts alters the content stream)
  • User agent extensions that alters user agent UI (e.g. HeadingsMap which adds another navigation pane, IE Tab which adds a tab whose contents are rendered using Trident instead of Gecko, Copy Plain Text which adds a command to the context menu)
  • User agent plug-ins that handle content types (e.g. Flash Player plug-in, RealPlayer plug-in, AlternatTIFF ActiveX control, Bento skin that adds a Trident-based browser window to Winamp)


  • Web Toolkits designed for user agents (e.g. Gecko, KHTML, Presto, Trident, WebKit, Perl modules for parsing HTML)

Things to which UAAG20 would not apply:

  • Basic text editors that do not process or distinguish between web technologies (e.g. Notepad)
  • Operating environments even if they include web toolkits and/or stand-along user agents (e.g. Windows, OS X, KDE, iOS)
  • General-purpose platforms or toolkit 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, iOS?)
  • Non-Web extensions or plug-ins where the host is not a user agent, but can also be hosting user agents, as long as the extension or plug-in does not itself use web technologies and is not designed specifically to work with other extensions or plug-ins that do (e.g. a general-purpose add-in for the Eclipse integrated development environment, even though it may be used with and interact with the Web Tools Platform extension which adds user agent capabilities to Eclipse).

Not sure about these:

  • Text editor with syntax checking and highlighting as they do specifically process web technologies, but do not use the rules for rendering them in the sense that user agents do (although of course they do render them in another way) (e.g. Notepad++, TextWrangler, VIM)
  • General-purpose add-ins for general-purpose applications even if the applications may also be user agents (e.g. would all add-ins and macros for Microsoft Word be user agent extensions because Word is a user agent, even though the author is not even aware of that fact?)