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The rich customizability and flexibility we plan to include in the Fluid Project architecture will rely on the availability of clearly defined standards for user interface component semantics and user preferences. These semantics will provide the basis for communicating the nature and context of flexible components to the framework, enabling the transformation and substitution of suitably marked-up components at runtime. We will draw from and expand upon several existing specifications, notably the W3C ARIARoles & States and the AccessForAll metadata specifications. New additions to these specifications will be contributed back to the standards bodies to ensure broad support and compatibility.

There are two types of specifications that will be required by the Fluid framework:

  1. UI metadata, which provides a common taxonomy and description for components
  2. User preferences specifications, which define a common language for specifying preferences.

The W3C ARIA Roles and States specifications are designed with extension in mind, and will provide the essential tools for identifying the function, usage, and available states of user interface components. The ISO AccessForAll Digital Resource Description (DRD) metadata standard will provide further component semantics to describe how components can be controlled and are presented to the user. The AccessForAll Personal Needs and Preferences (PNP) standard provides a matched compliment to this metadata, allowing the user to specify preferences regarding the appearance and behaviour of the user interface as a whole.

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