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Q: Change on Request 3.2.5? Is warning required for links that open new windows?

From: Paul J. Adam <paul.adam@deque.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2014 09:02:56 -0500
Message-Id: <153B5920-8EBA-4F9C-B47F-4DAC021849A6@deque.com>
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Can I get some help interpreting WCAG AAA please? I still don't see where the normative requirements state that links which open new windows must have a warning to pass AAA.


Some pasted snippets<snip> out of the understanding document:

Change on Request:
Understanding SC 3.2.5
3.2.5 Change on Request: Changes of context are initiated only by user request or a mechanism is available to turn off such changes. (Level AAA)

This Success Criterion aims to eliminate potential confusion that may be caused by unexpected changes of context such as automatic launching of new windows

Note: Clicking on a link is an example of an action that is "initiated only by user request."

So reading that portion I don't see how it applies to links because the user is actively "requesting" (clicking on the link) and links do happen to open in new windows often for all users. I see this requirement as more for pop ups that jump out of nowhere with no action taken by the user or when a stupid news site forces a page reload to add new articles and the user's focus is lost.  

However, it does mention in the techniques F22: Failure of Success Criterion 3.2.5 due to opening windows that are not requested by the user which reads:

Failure due to opening new windows when the user does not expect them. New windows take the focus away from what the user is reading or doing. This is fine when the user has interacted with a piece of User Interface and expects to get a new window, such as an options dialogue. The failure comes when pop-ups appear unexpectedly.

Failure Example 2:

A user clicks on a link, and a new window appears. The original link has no associated text saying that it will open a new window.

I only see this requirement specified in the techniques but then I see it says techniques are informative:

Techniques are informative—that means they are not required. The basis for determining conformance to WCAG 2.0 is the success criteria

So Techniques are not required but if you fail a Failure Technique that means you always fail, even though it's a technique, which is not required? I'm confused. 


Paul J. Adam
Accessibility Evangelist 
Received on Thursday, 17 July 2014 14:03:27 UTC

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