W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-web-notification@w3.org > June 2012

Re: Fail if icon fails? Re: Web Notifications

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2012 17:04:30 +0200
To: "Jon Lee" <jonlee@apple.com>
Cc: "Anne van Kesteren" <annevk@annevk.nl>, "John Gregg" <johnnyg@google.com>, "Web Notification WG" <public-web-notification@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.wggr5s0gwxe0ny@dhcp199-162-red.yandex.net>
On Thu, 21 Jun 2012 18:43:22 +0200, Jon Lee <jonlee@apple.com> wrote:
> On Jun 21, 2012, at 4:48 AM, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>> On Thu, 21 Jun 2012 13:16:22 +0200, Anne van Kesteren
>>> On Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM, Charles McCathieNevile

>>>> Hmm. There's no way to provide a text equivalent to the icon. If it is
>>>> possible to display the notification without the icon, as I think it  
>>>> should be, then that becomes a bug. I can raise a seperate thread for
>>>> that if you like...
>> The reason I think it is valuable is that good content will often not  
>> have equivalent redundant text for the icon where it is rendered, but  
>> will provide an equivalent for where it isn't. Think of icons in email  
>> apps, rich editors, banking applications and the like. If you have a  
>> rich icon set there is a text alternative that only renders if you turn  
>> off the icons or if the user asks for it (e.g. a tooltip on mouseover)  
>> because it is hard to guess what the icon means the first time you see  
>> it.
>> Obviously, if icons are used for information users who rely on voice  
>> output will need to have something to replace the icon.
> While I can understand how the icon could be used in that fashion, I  
> always assumed that the iconURL acted more as an accessory, like a  
> favicon, than as additional content.

Sure, so did Anne. The problem is that everything I've seen on the web  
suggests that designers don't make the same assumption, even if you tell  
them that they must.

> So to that extent I don't think we need text annotations, or any
> additional behavior associated with the icon. It's purely there to help
> distinguish the source of the notification from other sites.

But if you can't *see* the icon, what do you get?

Anne asked if platform notifications do this. My current platform (a very  
old Mac OS) is flaky enough that I haven't got a way of testing it, but  
the current web way of doing it - pop up a floating window or something -  
does allow it (and all the rest of HTML), and e.g. screen readers can  
handle the situation.

> I don't think we should have error events get posted if an iconURL is  
> specified and cannot be loaded. For those platforms that don't support  
> showing the icon, it would otherwise always dispatch an error. And  
> because it functions more as a favicon, then the inability to load the  
> URL should silently fail, as Anne mentioned.


> I think for this spec the icon's role should not go beyond that of a  
> favicon.

But the usage pattern is different. I don't know of a case where favicons  
are not displayed along with a text equivalent (URL, or title), whereas in  
other situations where icons are added to text for orientation it is  
common to have text equivalents, and not to repeat the content of the icon  
in page text.

The examples I am familiar with (using icons with notifications in Opera)  
certainly don't repeat the icon in text, and without it there is no way to  
get the orientation information except by context. Where the browser  
controls which icons appear that's OK, but when multiple pages can do so  
(e.g. my three different webmail providers plus my email client) it is  
easy to lose context, even allowing for the fact that I had to allow each  
page to show notifications in the first place.

> There have been other requests to allow for extending the content and  
> functionality of the displayed notification, and I think this fits into  
> that bucket.

I don't think so. I agree that notification should be simple, but I think  
this simplification will cause harm through loss of essential  



Charles 'chaals' McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg kan noen norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals       Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
Received on Monday, 25 June 2012 15:05:24 UTC

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