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Definition of Prompt

From: Jutta Treviranus <jutta.treviranus@utoronto.ca>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 15:54:19 -0400
Message-Id: <p04310112b523b81afa1e@[142.150.64.191]>
To: w3c-wai-au@w3.org
In discussing the issue of what is a prompt and what would constitute 
compliance with guideline 3.1, it becomes apparent that we have a 
contradiction in our documents. In both (Guideline and Technique) 
Glossary of Terms and Definitions sections we have the following 
definition:

"A "prompt" is a request for author input, either information or a 
decision. A prompt requires author response. For example, a text 
equivalent entry field prominently displayed in an image insertion 
dialog would constitute a prompt. Prompts can be used to encourage 
authors to provide information needed to make content accessible 
(such as alternative text equivalents). "

Which seems contradictory in and of itself.

This is complicated by the technique text following guideline 4 where 
we speak of prompts in the following terms:

"Prompts can be used to encourage authors to provide information 
needed to make the content accessible (such as alternative text 
equivalents). Prompts are simple requests for information. For 
example, a text equivalent entry field prominently displayed in an 
image insertion dialog would constitute a prompt. Prompts are 
relatively unintrusive and address a problem before it arises. 
However, once the author has ignored the prompt, its
message is unavailable."

We seem to be suggesting that on the one hand prompts require an 
author response and on the other hand that they are relatively 
unintrusive and are instruments of encouragement.

I think the spirit of what we want is that prompts should provide 
noticeable encouragement without demanding immediate author response. 
Therefore I suggest we delete the sentence "A prompt requires author 
response" from both Definition sections. I also suggest that we 
delete the sentence "However, once the author has ignored the prompt, 
its
message is unavailable" from the technique section, given that that 
is not always the case with our broader definition of prompt. In the 
technique document we also need to make it clear that we are not 
adhering to the restrictive definition of prompt used in several 
software development toolkits but a broader definition of prompting.

Jutta
Received on Wednesday, 19 April 2000 15:45:02 UTC

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