W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org > July 2012

Re: Looking at SC 3.2.3 Consistent Navigation with "UI Context"

From: Peter Korn <peter.korn@oracle.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2012 22:39:22 -0700
Message-ID: <5003A90A.7020104@oracle.com>
To: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
CC: public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org

PK4: In case there was any misunderstanding... I am *not* proposing TLF 
as a general replacement for UIC - and more specifically I am not 
proposing that it as the mapping to use everywhere (or even everywhere 
we haven't otherwise reached consensus) in place of "web page".

WCAG was written in a world where every web page has a clear identifier 
- the URL - and every web page is either a fairly self-contained "world" 
(with frames and what-not) or part of some defined "set of pages".  This 
is not the more general software world.

Fundamentally I think the "web page" SCs can be broken down into roughly 
three groups:

  * Those where the natural analog to "web page" is "the entire software
    user interface" (e.g. "the world")
  * Those where the natural analog to "web page" is top-level-frame
  * Those for which neither "the entire software UI" nor "the top-level
    frame" is the right analog (the "weird ones" -> typically those
    referring to "set of web pages")

This is the core of my objection to UI Context - it is trying to cover 
all three of those groups and I think it not only fails to cover all 
three, but by trying to cover them all it actually isn't the best fit 
for any of them.  E.g. where "UI Context is all Windows you can get to 
via navigation (but not activation)", it doesn't actually quite cover 
all of the software UI -> you need to ensure that that provision 
encompasses all of the UI Contexts that might be shown.  And because a 
single UI Context can be more than a single window, stuff like page 
title gets weird.  Etc.

Further comments in-line below.

On 7/13/2012 8:43 PM, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:
> GV3:  Interesting discussion/ comments.    I can see what you are 
> trying here with TLF instead of UIC.  But have questions - and other 
> comments.  Not sure it works as well as UIC and some parts I don't see 
> how TLF works.
> *
> *
> *Comments below.
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> On Jul 13, 2012, at 10:18 PM, Peter Korn wrote:
>> Gregg,
>>>>>> <PK> Thus if I have two windows in my UIC, and both of them 
>>>>>> contain navigation buttons (e.g. "Next" & "Previous"), and they 
>>>>>> were in different orders, they would not be in violation of this 
>>>>>> SC (with UIC).
>>>>> *GV:  Not at that moment.  (This is what I call an extreme example 
>>>>> that is unlikely and is constructed to test something -- but OK -- 
>>>>> for the moment it would pass)    But when you open the window on 
>>>>> another document tomorrow it would be a new UI Context because the 
>>>>> information would  be different.  And at that point you would be 
>>>>> in conflict with either instance one or instance two.
>>>>> *
>>>> PK2: "Tomorrow"?  Using this thinking in the web world, if I have a 
>>>> single page web site, and if on one day the content is X and 
>>>> tomorrow the content is Y but in both days there is a block of 
>>>> content at the top - that is "repeated content" and so the SC 
>>>> applies.  That makes no sense in the web world.  Why should it make 
>>>> sense in the software world across multiple times I run a software 
>>>> application (e.g. once today and once tomorrow)?
>>> *GV2: Sure it does.  Think about it.   The purpose of the provision 
>>> is to keep people from having to step through the same controls over 
>>> and over. Whether that is stepping over them on pages that are next 
>>> to each other -- or a page where the content keeps changing so they 
>>> go back to the same url and have to step through the same controls 
>>> is essentially the same.   So it makes perfect sense though for web 
>>> pages you would usually have them on different pages -- so the SC is 
>>> targeted that way.
>>> *
>> PK3: OK.  I have a weather service page.  Only page on the site.  It 
>> has a block at the top of the page that is always there (ads ad 
>> such).  This page updates every 4 hours.  By your logic 3.2.3 applies 
>> to it, because it is a different page 4 hours from now.  Same logic 
>> for 2.4.1.  So both 3.2.3 and 2.4.1 apply.
>> Presumably then a WCAG assessment couldn't be complete unless it is 
>> was carried out over multiple days to look for changes to all pages 
>> (particularly those that didn't otherwise share any navigation links 
>> with any other pages, and those that didn't otherwise share any 
>> blocks to bypass with any other pages) - in order to determine 
>> whether 3.2.3 and 2.4.1 should apply to them.
>> Yes, this is a highly contrived example.  But I see it as 
>> fundamentally the same thing as a single non-web application that is 
>> a document editor, for which you claim 3.2.3 and 2.4.1 apply because 
>> when the user chooses to edit a different document this single window 
>> becomes one of a set of windows and therefore 3.2.3/2.4.1 kick in.
> GV3: Hi Peter,  I don't think that is contrived.  I think it is a fair 
> example.   So lets look at the purpose of the Provision.    If a 
> person looks at a page or set of navigation links just once, then it 
> is fair to assume they would like to step through them to figure out 
> what they are.  But if a person is going to keep running into the same 
> block of information, they they should be able to jump over it so they 
> don't have to keep reading through the same long list of items before 
> the get to the new information on the page.
> Now there are two ways that you keep running into the same long list 
> of items.   1) they are repeated on the top of each page you go to on 
> a site.   2) every time you go back to the site -- and need to see the 
> same page because the content keeps changing   (essentially a 'new 
> page' at the old URL) -- you have to tab through the same content to 
> get to the new page of information.   This is your example above.
> So the intent was to avoid a person having to keep seeing repeated 
> information.  This  is also related to the "web site at one URL" 
> question where you could have one URL that keeps changing the content 
> of the page -- so that you never leave one url but you actually see 
> the equivalent of an entire web site at the one url.
> While a strict constructionist might claim that this means that many 
> of the SC don't apply since there is only one web page on the site, 
>  most people would say that that site should be treated as it would if 
> all of the virtual pages were real pages at new URLs.   Each time the 
> page substantially changed, it would be treated as a new page even 
> though the entire web site was at the same URL.   This in fact is a 
> good point that regulators should pick up and make part of their 
>  regulations to keep sites from skirting the whole WCAG by simply 
> using a tactic of keeping the whole site at one URL.

PK4: I'm not sure that "most people would say" that.  I rather think 
that most folks would say that can be no repeated block(s) among 
multiple pages if the set is a single page.  I think WCAG assessment 
tools should be a good indication of what "most people would say". Do 
any of them require that you evaluate a site over time in order to 
determine that contents at a single URL change in order to invoke SC 
3.2.3?  Please cite product names.

> So this brings us to what the ICT equivalent would be.  There are two 
> bits here that both independently get you to the same location.
> 1) On websites, the norm is have a template that you use and then you 
> put different content on different pages into that template.    The 
> navigation bar on the template would constitute repeated text (even 
> though it only existed once on a template - it would show up at the 
> top of each page.)   In ICT the equivalent would be a window frame 
> that shows up at the top of each document you open.  So opening 
> different documents (one at at time - just like looking at web pages 
> one at at time) would yield repeated blocks of items (menus or 
> ribbons) at the top of each document.
> *2) the same rationale as the "web site all at one URL".  Where the 
> URL (or the "document") ** stays the same but all of the contents 
> change.  the user repeatedly sees the same block of items each time 
> the come to the page to see the "new page of information"*
>>>>>> <PK> However, if instead we used language from the consensus text 
>>>>>> for 2.4.2 Page Titled 
>>>>>> <https://sites.google.com/site/wcag2ict/home/2-operable/24-provide-ways-to-help-users-navigate-find-content-and-determine-where-they-are/242-page-titled> 
>>>>>> and tied this to "top-most explicit groupings of user interface 
>>>>>> components (things like "windows", "dialog boxes", "frames", and 
>>>>>> "screens")", then our pair of windows with the inconsistent 
>>>>>> relative order of "Next" and "Previous" WOULD be a violation of 
>>>>>> the SC.
>>>>> *GV:  already covered as above without using this long and 
>>>>> indeterminate language.   I understand it but I think it would 
>>>>> lose many people.  And one can probably come up with many 
>>>>> ambiguous examples here. But the real point is - why use a long 
>>>>> text string with embedded example list (not a good idea in 
>>>>> standards) when you have a simpler concept and term that can be used?
>>>>> *
>>>> PK2: Point taken - the Page Titled "top level frame" language at 
>>>> this point occurs in only one SC, and is longish at 76 words (I'm 
>>>> looking at the one sentence in consensus 2.4.2 starting with 
>>>> "However, since there is always..."; if you count the entire 
>>>> software paragraph of 2.4.2 you get 128 words).  The UI Context 
>>>> definition with notes (using the shorter "or perhaps more simply" 
>>>> text) is 397 words.
>>> *GV2: That is like saying that WCAG is 20,000 words long because its 
>>> support documents are long. user interface context is only 3 words. 
>>>   The definition supports the term and the notes do as well.       
>>> Once you learn what it means -- it is just 3 words each time it is 
>>> used.
>>> *
>> PK3: No.  My point is that if we find "top level frame" (TLF) is 
>> useful in a bunch of places, we would consider pulling it out into a 
>> definition and then simply using that defined term/phrase in those 
>> places.  So saying that "the text is too long to use in multiple 
>> places" is only different here because unlike UIC we didn't start out 
>> by making it a defined term.  AND I note that TLF's definition is 
>> 1/4th to 1/7th the length of UIC.  Being so much shorter suggests it 
>> is a simpler concept to understand, though it isn't dispositive on 
>> that score.
> GV3: Fair enough.  So you are suggesting we create a new term (top 
> level frame) and define it and use it.   That is something to discuss. 
>  I think that it is more technical and will be confused with "frames" 
> that actually exist in some technologies.  Also the definition isn't 
> really a lot shorter.  The UIC just has lots of examples and notes to 
> help teach the concept.  I expect "frames" will need much more before 
> it will be understandable by non-programmers.

PK4: I am suggesting that IF we find that the top-level-frame concept 
fits best for multiple SCs, THEN we pull it out into a defined term and 
simply use the term in those multiple SCs.  And of course, if/when we 
decide to do that, we should bring a higher level of scrutiny to the 
definition (including all of the questions you raise above around 
whether it is too technical, etc.)

> *Question:   When you have a document window open and 3 floating 
> palette windows -- those should all be considered one entity  (tearing 
> a menu or menubar free should change the dynamic -- just the layout 
> options)  what would the Top Level Frame be,  where would it be, and 
> where would its name or other attributes be found that would not also 
> include another document window open in the same app?  None of the 
> windows clearly are the TLF. *
> *
> *
> *Also - the same question when the app is implemented as separate 
> parallel windows from the start -- and none is "torn off" of any of 
> the others.
> *

PK4: It will take more time than I have at this moment to go through 
windowing GUI terms to give you a precise definition of a 
top-level-frame from that fairly well understood CS graphics 
discipline.  Fundamentally any modal window and any window that be moved 
independently of all others (e.g. isn't an MDI-style window that is 
constrained to the boundary of the parent window it is "in") is a top 
level frame.  In your example above with 3 floating palette windows, 
there are 4 top level frames.  When they are "re-attached" and become 
toolbars, they stop being top-level frames.

Under SC 2.4.2 (with the TLF approach) they would need titles when they 
are top-level, and stop needing titles when they are re-attached.

>>>> At this point we are considering using UI Context in 4 SCs (5 if 
>>>> you count the use in the note in 3.1.2).  If it turns out "top 
>>>> level frame" works in several SCs (not just 2.4.2 and 3.2.3), then 
>>>> we would more likely pull that out as a term, define it once, and 
>>>> use in in the SCs that it applies in (e.g. "Definition: top level 
>>>> frame is <blah blah>", and then we say that for 3.2.3 the analog to 
>>>> web page is top level frame, etc.).
>>> *GV2: that would be equivalent but I think 'top level frame' is very 
>>> technical and hard to understand  (much harder than user interface 
>>> context).   I also think it is much harder to apply in different 
>>> contexts.   But that is just me.
>>> *
>> TLF is decidedly technical.  So is URI and many other terms we use in 
>> W3C standards.  The real question is whether it is significantly 
>> easier/harder for the consumers of this document to understand and to 
>> apply consistently.  Those consumers being: (a) developers, (b) 
>> procurement officers, and (c) folks assessing accessibility of software.
>> It might be interesting to use UIC and TLF once each in an SC that we 
>> sent out for public comment, and see whether and how many comments we 
>> get on those concepts.
> GV3: Might be.   As noted earlier -- the exact name etc for UIC is not 
> key - it is the general concept.   if TLF can fill that -- there is no 
> religion that UIC be used.   I am just one person who can seem to 
> figure out what the TLF would be for key situations and the definition 
> doesn’t lead me to an answer

PK4: As I noted at the top of this missive, TLF is not a concept I 
propose as a universal web page replacement.  I think it works best in 
several SCs that use "web page" but definitely not all of them.

> Tell me more about eh TLF and how it would apply to different groups 
> of windows.  (don't worry about making your definition get as long as 
> UIC - the definition is the definition -- not the number of notes to 
> help teach or clarify it).   And both are about the same length I think.

How are these "groups of windows" related to each other?  Can they move 
entirely independently of each other, with none contained entirely 
within the other?  Then they are all independent top-level-frames.  A 
group of them might all belong to the same application (in which case 
they would fully contain the currently visible "software user interface" 
of that application in a GUI.

> Another problem with TLF is that it doesn’t seem to account for the 
> Template or " New page of content" issues though perhaps they could be 
> handled in a similar manner to UIC.

PK4: I think that issue is entirely separate from TLF vs. UIC. AND... I 
think that the right way to address those issues is by going from INTENT.

>>>>>> First question to Gregg: do you agree with my reading of the 
>>>>>> definition of UIC, and my application of it to this SC & this 
>>>>>> situation?
>>>>> *GV:  No.   You did find a way to temporarily conform with a not 
>>>>> nice example.  But I don't think you fully understood UI Context. 
>>>>>  We have added a note to make it clearer.   But your example fails 
>>>>> with both UI context and your longer text. *
>>>> PK2: One of my core concerns with UI Context is that a single UI 
>>>> Context encompasses multiple top-level frames.
>>> *GV2: depends on what you call a top level frame.   If you have each 
>>> window be a TLF, the each palette is a TLF.   And tearing a palette 
>>> off gives you the same interface but a very different TLF profile.   
>>>  And if you have the main window and its palettes be one TLF -- 
>>> where do you label it?*
>> PK3: My initial proposal for 2.4.2 was to state that if EVERY 
>> intentional grouping of UI components had a descriptive name, then 
>> certainly all the ones that were "web page" analogs would have them.
> GV3: right.  good idea but beyond the SC
> *
> *
>>   In discussions with you this got trimmed to TLF UI groupings which 
>> we then consensed on.
> GV3: right again.   til I lost track of what the TLF would be for key 
> situations -- and the proposal from M376 seemed to work better in more 
> places.
> *
> *
> *I haven't checked but does TLF work if plugged into all the places 
> Web Page is used.  (Not suggesting we replace simpler text with this 
> -- but if it is going to replace UIC as a concept it should fit in 
> more places I would think.
> *

PK4: As I wrote above, no it does not.  But then, I claim that UIC 
doesn't either.  I think it fits better than UIC does for some 
provisions, and not at all for others.

> *
> *
>> Under my initial proposal, the descriptive name could stay the same, 
>> and would apply when the palette was attached or in its own window.  
>> Under consensus 2.4.2 the name need only be descriptive when it is in 
>> a TLF.
> GV3: if it was in its own window -- then the parent window would no 
> longer be the TLF.  So what would be the TLF?

If a toolbar gets "torn off" from an existing TLF, it becomes its own 
TLF and all of the TLF rules apply to it at that point.  If it happened 
to already have a descriptive name while "attached", then the name 
doesn't need to change upon being "torn off".

>> With respect to 3.2.3 and consistent navigation, it would only matter 
>> if the palette contained the same controls (e.g. "move to next 
>> photograph", "move to previous photograph") in the same order as some 
>> other palette/window/whatever, and if it could be torn off. An edge 
>> case that is covered by TLF-ing 3.2.3.
> GV3: I still don't know what the TLF is for a group of windows that 
> work as one app.  Whether they are torn off or just come as a cluster 
> at startup.  The APP would seem to be the TLF but then every other 
> document opened up would also belong to that TLF and you were treating 
> them as separate.  So I keep losing what the TLF would be?
> *This is covered in UIC.  But I can't find it in TLF.*

A single TLF doesn't encompass an application of multiple windows. Each 
window is it's own TLF.  The "thing" that is the full collection of 
windows in an application is "the software user interface".

>>>> This concern arises for me in several SCs that we are considering 
>>>> using UI Context for.  I'm not trying to construct abstruse 
>>>> examples for the sole purpose of attacking something I don't like.  
>>>> I fundamentally think that "multiple top level windows" is a bad 
>>>> analog to "web page" for multiple SCs.  In a couple of places I 
>>>> think "web page" maps to the entire application, in others to a 
>>>> single top-level window (or screen).  What I see UI Context doing 
>>>> is trying to straddle these two different things with one concept, 
>>>> and in so straddling, we get any number of edge cases which fall 
>>>> through the cracks.
>>> *GV2: not sure which you are referring to but you do know that I am 
>>> not suggesting we use UIC where we can use a simpler term. *
>> PK3: I believe TLF is simpler than UIC.  You have objected to using 
>> TLF here on the grounds that we would repeat the text and that 
>> repetition is less simple.  If we make TLF a "term", then... it terms 
>> of size & number of concepts to think about per SC that uses it, they 
>> are the same; and the questions then become: is the TLF concept 
>> easier/harder to understand than UIC and is TLF eaiser/harder for 
>> consumers of this document to fit into the various SCs.
> GV3:  Agree - TLF could be a term like UIC.   and if it works better 
> could be used instead of UIC.  But I don't think it is easier to 
> understand -- (I thought I did at one time - but don't anymore)  and 
> I'm not sure it works as well across SC's.  But am open to it if it 
> turns out it is with further information

PK4: Again see my opening comments about the scope of TLF.

>>>>>> Second question: which outcome do you think we want?  Should the 
>>>>>> "Next" | "Prev" in showing non-modal window A while "Prev" | 
>>>>>> "Next" showing in non-modal window B be allowed or not?
>>>>> *GV:  clearly not -- and it isn't with either. *
>>>>> *
>>>>> *
>>>>> *This one is trickier than usual  (the whole UI Context - or any 
>>>>> of our terms/concepts --  and software) because windows are used 
>>>>> both for palettes - and navigation is the same for both.   But 
>>>>> with repeated use - everything falls out and works.
>>>>> *
>>>> PK2: But I find your repeated use construction very uncomfortable.  
>>>> As I noted above, we don't use it in WCAG for web pages.  Why 
>>>> should that somehow make a block repeated for software when the 
>>>> exact same behavior doesn't make it so for web pages?  AND when we 
>>>> can address the criterion by using "top level frame" instead of UI 
>>>> Context?
>>> *GV2: not sure I see how TLC would work in key uses.   How would it 
>>> work with a main window,  floating palettes and perhaps a non-modal 
>>> dialog box?*
>> PK3: So let's construct an example.  A photo viewing/editing 
>> application that also retrieves images directly from my camera or 
>> from an inserted memory card (I actually use an application just like 
>> this regularly with my Canon camera).  When I'm in the window that 
>> gives me a direct view of what's on the memory card in my camera over 
>> a USB connection, there is a "next photo" button and a "previous 
>> photo" button.  I have a slightly different window when this same 
>> application is looking at the memory card when it is inserted 
>> directly into my computer, but it also has a "next photo" and a 
>> "previous photo" pair of buttons.  Likewise when I'm looking at the 
>> photos in a directory on my hard drive: "next photo" and "previous 
>> photo" buttons.  Perhaps in the hard-drive-viewing case the "next 
>> photo" and "previous photo" buttons are in a palette that can 
>> optionally be torn off into its own top level frame.
>> Since we have 3 (or 4) top level frames in which the same navigation 
>> commands are repeated, they must appear in the same relative order 
>> (e.g. "previous photo" first to the left and "next photo" immediately 
>> after that to the right).  If they don't, this application fails 3.2.3.
>> Now: if instead of TLF we used UIC, and all windows are open at the 
>> same time (which they can be!) we have a single UIC so we have to go 
>> to some lengths to create a "repetition situation" in order to 
>> trigger 3.2.3 -> e.g. observe that this set of windows tomorrow might 
>> be looking at a different set of photos on a different memory card / 
>> hard drive folder than it is looking at today, and so therefore we 
>> really have multiple UICs after all and so therefore 3.2.3 applies.
> GV3: You are correct that UIC works here too.    I don't see this as 
> being "at some lengths".   See discussion above.   This repetitive 
> situation is key for single window apps where a person has to get past 
> the same block of information for each document they open all day 
> long.   Each new page has new information but with the same frame.   
>  The TLF would fail this important situation.   The UIC doesn’t.

PK4: I see no different between TLF and UIC for this issue.  Either you 
decide that an application consisting of a single window in which the 
contents may change over time is somehow covered by "repeated blocks" 
(because the content can change) or you decide it doesn't.  Doesn't 
matter if that single window application is a TLF or a UIC.  Unless you 
somehow further modify the UIC definition to explicitly call out this 
situation (which could just as easily be called out only in that SC).

>> Do you see why this feels contrived to me (the introduction of 
>> temporality in order to trigger provisions) as compared to using top 
>> level frame?  [or in some cases better still, petitioning WCAG and 
>> the W3C to allow us to derive our software guidance more directly 
>> from INTENT]
> GV3: Sorry.  But the Access Board and M376 are not referencing the 
> understanding document. They are referencing the WCAG.   The 
> Understanding WCAG 2.0 is informative but it is the WCAG that was 
> reviewed and passed and is the standard.   We can't use the INTENT to 
> override or expand on the SC.  Only to explain it.

The Access Board has referenced WCAG 2.0 in the 2011 ANPRM.  The Access 
Board hasn't published anything since 2011 with respect to Section 508.  
I would rather hear from Bruce or others on the Access Board staff as to 
whether and what they might reference in the forthcoming NPRM.  Note 
that "reference" isn't the same thing as "use this normative document in 
place of our provisions".

> GV3:Similarly the Guidelines and Principles are broader and more 
> sweeping than the SC but the SC are the only parts that are normative. 
>  The principles and guidelines are 'aspirational"   and include all of 
> the advisory techniques and more  (none of which are required to 
> conform to WCAG).    Conforming to WCAG is only conforming to the SC 
> as defined by the Conformance Requirements.     So our guidance (if it 
> is guidance on how to conform or apply the WCAG standard to ICT),  has 
> to be based off of ONLY the requirements of the SC and not any other 
> informative information or broader desires.     Those informative 
> aspect were used to frame (Principles and guidelines) the SC  or to 
> explain them (Understanding and techniques) but not to define them or 
> broaden or narrow them.

PK4: Until there is a clear statement from the W3C, I think we will 
simply have to disagree on this.  We are writing a non-normative 
document.  You are saying that we are further restricted to only 
providing guidance on "ONLY the requirements of the SC and not any other 
informative information", YET our approved Work Statement 
<http://www.w3.org/2012/04/WCAG2ICT-WorkStatement.html> says: "Producing 
a Working Group Note (a form of W3C Technical Report)...that 
describes...how each of the WCAG 2.0 principles and guidelines would 
apply non-Web ICT".  If as you say above "the SC are the only parts that 
are normative" of WCAG, that WE HAVE ALREADY BEEN DIRECTED to provide 
guidance on how to apply non-normative parts of WCAG - namely the 
principles and guidelines.

Given this, I don't see why it is unreasonable to ask the question: 
might we ALSO be able to provide guidance based in part on INTENT, 
particularly for those few SCs where the mapping to software is 
particularly troublesome.

> GV3: Looking forward to further info on TLFs and how they would get 
> around the problems I mentioned above.

I hope I have given that to you!


Oracle <http://www.oracle.com>
Peter Korn | Accessibility Principal
Phone: +1 650 5069522 <tel:+1%20650%205069522>
500 Oracle Parkway | Redwood City, CA 94065
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Received on Monday, 16 July 2012 05:40:06 UTC

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