W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webapi@w3.org > December 2005

Re: New browser controls and an API for using them

From: kenny heaton <kennyheaton@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 10:33:30 -0800
Message-ID: <65b4e01f0512141033x7cb23a54i61ba054ddde2f10e@mail.gmail.com>
To: Laurian Gridinoc <laurian@gmail.com>
Cc: public-webapi@w3.org

On 12/13/05, Laurian Gridinoc <laurian@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> > [...]
> > 4)  Web developers need to be educated and encouraged to use 'rel' and 'rev'
> > With a system like this in place, it the user wants to go to the 'home
> > page', see the 'site map', view his 'shopping cart' etc... he or she
> > will not have to look around for the link to take them there. It will
> > be right in the browser controls, right where it's always been.
> > [...]
> The browser controls have precise semantics, independent of the viewed
> page author's intent -- and the user trust their actions, `back' is
> back etc... if you let the document assign the action of a control,
> the user will have to learn what does the `shopping cart' button do on
> every distinct site, because developers will try to overload it with
> different functions; in the end this may render such controls
> untrustable and unusable.

Very good point, and that has been one of my big fear in another
discussion on this list with allowing authors to save states into the
users history. Do the advantages out way the risk? I don't know. I
personally like being able to make use of the Navigation bar when
authors have provided the appropriate 'rel' information. But I've
never run into a situation where this has been abused.

It's possible users would have no more faith in these types of
controls I'm describing that any other link, making one of my point
about controls being consistent irrelevant. I think issues like this
need to be thought out. I think I'm still in favor of expanding on the
basic controls available to users though. Users can deiced if they
want to use them or not.

While having to use a phone based menu system yesterday I thought of
more advantages in the area of accessibility. The choice I wanted on
the phone based menu was the last one, so I had to listen to the whole
menu before I heard what number to press for my choice. This is pour
usability that can be overcome by standardised controls. If I knew
that on every phone based menu the choice I wanted was always #9, I
could have skipped listening to the whole thing. I know that's asking
for a little much, but I think my ideas here could help in this way
with usability and accessibility.

Users of small devices, who can't see the document at once can access
what they need easier through shortcuts or build in menus. Users of
braille devices or screen readers could also get to what they want
easier and quicker if there was a set standard of controls.

All this could make web application accessibility and usability (and
navigating the web)  better for everyone, unless of course authors
misused it, in which case it would be ruined. And that is a good
concern that should be discussed.

Received on Wednesday, 14 December 2005 18:33:39 UTC

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