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SC 3.2.2: Keyboard Events and Changing the Setting of an Input Field

From: Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 15:07:55 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>


During a review of WCAG 2.0 test cases in the BenToWeb project, we 
ran into the following issue.

Success criterion 3.2.2 requires: "Changing the setting of any form 
control or field does not automatically cause a change of context 
(beyond moving to the next field in tab order), unless the authored 
unit contains instructions before the control that describe the 
behavior." "How to Meet Success Criterion 3.2.2" explains: "The 
intent of this success criterion is to ensure that entering data or 
selecting from a control has predictable effects. (...)"[1]
This is straightforward enough at first sight: for example, when a 
user enters text into an input field, browses a menu or checks a 
radio button, browsers should not change the focus or load a new 
page. However, if a client-side script captures the keyboard events 
on an input field and changes the focus or loads a new page (i.e. 
instead of displaying the user's input), so that the user's input is 
never visible in the page, does that constitute a change of the 
setting of an input field? [2] The intent of the success criterion is 
to prohibit this behaviour, but the letter of the success criterion 
appears to leave a small loophole. Possibly, a definition of 
"changing the setting of a form control or field / user interface 
component" that includes input events could stop this loophole.

[2] There are currently examples at 
(change of viewport: moving the browser window [browser-dependent 
behaviour)]) and 
(change of focus). Note that these test cases are currently mapped to 
SC 3.2.5 instead of 3.2.2.

Best regards,


Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Departement of Electrical Engineering - Research Group 
on Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 - 3001 Leuven-Heverlee - BELGIUM
tel: +32 16 32 85 51

Disclaimer: http://www.kuleuven.be/cwis/email_disclaimer.htm
Received on Wednesday, 14 February 2007 14:08:03 UTC

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