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Re: meta refresh (3.7.5.3. Pragma directives)

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2007 04:53:30 -0500
Message-Id: <12261933-4206-4F01-85EC-0A317459C18F@robburns.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
To: Ben Boyle <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>

Hi Ben,

On Aug 8, 2007, at 4:06 AM, Ben Boyle wrote:

> I would like the editors to consult with WCAG when they review this
> part of the specification.
>
> I'd personally prefer meta@refresh be deprecated. In my work I'm bound
> by WCAG so it essentially is deprecated (for me) anyway (and maybe
> many of you feel that is sufficient - it isn't, imo). I'd prefer HTML
> 5 be aligned with WCAG (it almost always is). In lieu of this, a
> simple acknowledgement would go a long way: how about a Note
> referencing WCAG checkpoints 7.4 and 7.5. (I still think a more
> well-rounded outcome will come from consulting the WCAG group. They
> wrote the accessibility guidelines so they'll know more about it than
> I do!)
>
>
> In regards to all the comments  meta@refresh doesn't impact me
> personally as a user. Authoring is a different matter, and if you were
> doing any work for me I would make you replace such functionality with
> HTTP 3xx redirections or 410 Gone messages (with a link to the new
> content in the HTML), with no timed redirection. That's me (and others
> like me who are bound by - or choose to comply with  - WCAG). I don't
> pretend this represents the views of the entire world.

I wonder whether adding some UA norms couldn't help the situation.  
Personally, I like the idea of being able to put certain things in a  
document rather than relying on the server or having access or  
knowledge of server configurations. On the other hand, as a user I'm  
quite annoyed by the use of refresh in the wild.

What I was thinking is that we could add HTML5 UA conformance such as:

"UAs must provide a mechanism to alert users of a refresh and cancel  
or delay the refresh. UAs may, at user discretion, disable these  
alerts."

On the issue of redirects (are those in the draft?)

"UAs may also provide automated assistance to users to update  
bookmarks and history databases based on the information in redirects."

Something like that could go along way towards dealing with these  
issues. Also I think its easier to get to the UA developers (just a  
handful) than it is to get to every last web author with the  
accessibility/usability  message on refreshes and redirects.

I also think in this ajax world, there has to be some better way to  
handle this then to interrupt my reading of a page to load some more  
information. I suppose in an XForms world this could be handled by  
simply updating the model instance without refreshing the page. A  
slow animation could ensure that whatever the user's reading doesn't  
fly out of sight on page update.

Take care,
Rob
Received on Wednesday, 8 August 2007 09:53:39 GMT

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