W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > April to June 2005

RE: Proposal for 4.2, Ensure that user interfaces are accessible

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 07:47:16 -0500
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B01179FAD@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Jason White" <jasonw@ariel.its.unimelb.edu.au>
Cc: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

In my original response to the 6th piece of the 4.2 proposal, I quoted
the following sentence from the proposal:

<blockquote>
Elements whose states and values can be 
> changed via the user interface can also be changed programmatically. 
</blockquote>

And then said that I interpreted as meaning that *elements* whose state
and values can be changed at the level of the user interface (presumably
by some action on the user's part) must be able to be changed
programmatically.

Jason corrected my interpretation:
<blockquote>
No. The requirement, rather, is that if something can be changed via the
user interface, it must also be possible to change it purely in
software.
</blockquote>
That may be what the sentence is *supposed* to mean, but it's not what
it actually says.  The grammatical subject of the sentence is
"Elements"; if we get rid of the modifiers, the syntax goes like this:

"Elements ... Can be changed programmatically."

The phrase "whose state and value can be changed via the user interface"
modifies "Elements."

If the sentence is supposed to mean what Jason says-- that *anything*
whose state or value can be changed at the user interface must also be
able to be changed in software-- then I'd suggest replacing "Elements"
with the word "Content."   So the sentence would then read:

<modified>
Content whose state and value can be changed via the user interface can
also be changed programmatically.
</modified>

But we need one more change, It hink.   In my original response I had
also asked whether there were situations where the *role* of some
element (or other content) could be changed via the user interface.  In
a second response to that, Jason indicated that there could indeed be
situations where user action resulted in a change of role.

So perhaps we need to include this in the sentence somehow:

<proposed>
Content whose role, state, or value can be changed via the user
interface can be changed programmatically.
</proposed>

Does that work?

John

"Good design is accessible design."

Dr. John M. Slatin, Director 
Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin 
FAC 248C 
1 University Station G9600 
Austin, TX 78712 
ph 512-495-4288, fax 512-495-4524 
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu 
Web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility 



-----Original Message-----
From: Jason White [mailto:jasonw@ariel.its.unimelb.edu.au] 
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2005 8:51 PM
To: John M Slatin
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: Re: Proposal for 4.2, Ensure that user interfaces are
accessible




On Wed, 27 Apr 2005, John M Slatin wrote:
> <proposal>
> The role, state and value of every element of the web content can be 
> programmatically determined. Elements whose states and values can be 
> changed via the user interface can also be changed programmatically. 
> </proposal> As written, the last sentence says that *elements* whose 
> state and values can be changed via the user interface can also be 
> changed programmatically."

Correct. The important word here is "can": it must be possible for a
program such as an assistive technology to change the state of all user
interface components. Whatever can be changed via the user interface,
i.e., using an input device, must also be changeable via an API call or
other programmatic mechanism, otherwise the user agent/assistive
technology can't update the state of the application on behalf of the
user.

>
> I'm not sure I understand what's supposed to be programmatically 
> changeable here.  As written, what gets changed programmatically are
> *elements* whose "state and values" have been changed via the user 
> interface.

No. The requirement, rather, is that if something can be changed via the
user interface, it must also be possible to change it purely in
software.

If you think this is ambiguous can you suggest better wording? I
personally don't find it ambiguous at all, if read carefully.
Received on Thursday, 28 April 2005 12:47:28 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 5 February 2014 23:39:37 UTC