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RE: Device Independence

From: Lee Roberts <leeroberts@roserockdesign.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2003 06:33:46 -0800
To: <gv@trace.wisc.edu>, "'WCAG List'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00ca01c2e191$ea7a8240$5f814094@rose>
My goal with "device independence" is to get people to quit using _scrap
code_ that requires a mouse to perform the functions.  All these
onmouseover, onmouseout, onclick, ondblclick, and such do not work for
everyone.  I've talked to more developers than I can count that didn't
even know onselect, onfocus, onblur existed and then wanted to know what
they were for when I explained they should be using them.
 
I don't think we should limit accessibility to just keyboard or keyboard
interfaces.  Wireless devices will provide some interesting advancements
what will likely move into the desktop arena.  One device I've seen that
could work well in computing is the same tool helicopter pilots use to
aim their canons.  With that tool, I see mouse usage going away.  
 
We don't know when the next evolution of the WCAG will be started or the
technologies available.  It should be our goal to open the door to other
technologies, so those technologies will have some guidance on how to be
used to provide accessible interfaces and content.
 
Lee

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Gregg Vanderheiden
Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2003 10:16 PM
To: 'WCAG List'
Subject: Device Independence



The term "device independence" keeps coming up.    So I would like to
write something here to spur a dialog that will let us clear this
concept up as it relates to accessibility.

 

 

 The term device independence has always been a very confusing term.
If device independence means anything other than

 "usable by a keyboard or keyboard interface if the function or its
result can be concisely expressed in words"  

 then I do not think that we want or need it.   In fact I do not see how
it could even be possible. 

 

If the goal is to allow content to be accessed from PDAs, by Voice, by
keyboard etc. then 

"usable by a keyboard or keyboard interface if the function or its
result can be concisely expressed in words"  

will get you this.

 

If you would like to ALSO add mouse control to make some tasks easier.
That is fine.  But we should not require it - and, as I said above, I
don't even think it is possible.   

 

Since text input is sometimes required as a part of web content
interaction, it would mean that text input would have to be possible
using just a mouse.  This in turn  would require that every single page
that required text input have a keyboard on the page and a  script to
drive it.   If an external on-screen keyboard is used - then you are
using keyboard input to the content - not mouse.    And if a keyboard on
the page is used then you are requiring that a script be used and the
page would fail if the script did not run.    

 

Help me here.   

 

1) what does "device independence"  mean?

 

2) independence from what?

 

3) does it require that all content be usable with a mouse only?

(if so - how could this be done?  Remember an on screen keyboard that is
not part of the content is just a keyboard and the content would be
receiving keyboard input.) 

 

4) does it require that all content be usable with a keyboard only?

 

5) does it require anything else?

 

 

How does device independence make things any more accessible than

"usable by a keyboard or keyboard interface if the function or its
result can be concisely expressed in words"  

 

(I am presuming that device independence does not mean "also support a
mouse where that is a good interface practice".   That would make the
pages more accessible but does not sound like device independence
because it doesn't make the content independent of any device or input
method.   It is just good user interface design practice that makes the
page more usable).

 

Help me if you can.   Am I missing something?

 

Thanks

 


Gregg

 -- ------------------------------ 
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
Professor - Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 

 
Received on Monday, 3 March 2003 07:34:15 GMT

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