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

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2014 11:59:39 -0500
To: "Paul J. Adam" <paul.adam@deque.com>
Cc: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF210B0873.C30F1E5E-ON86257D18.00593089-86257D18.005D5B10@us.ibm.com>
Paul said: ". . . 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 believe the intent of 3.2.5 AAA is to inform the user whether clicking 
the link will open a new window or whether it will simply load a new page 
in the existing window.  In other words, how does the user predict what 
will happen when the link is clicked - whether a new window is opened or 
not.? new window = change of context.  We see these little icons next to 
links all the time indicating which ones open new windows, or change web 
sites, etc. helping the user predict how it will operate.    3.2.5 AAA has 
to be read in context with the whole 3.2 guideline and the other four 
success criteria in it.
Guideline 3.2 Predictable: Make Web pages appear and operate in 
predictable ways. 
I would NOT recommend reading or trying to interpret each success criteria 
without considering the other success criteria in the guideline. 

The other "context" needed for correctly interpreting the success criteria 
(in my opinion) is to consider the role of the user agent, assistive 
technology, and user settings.  Does the browser have a responsibility to 
warn the user by having a setting to allow it to warn the user that a new 
window (change of context) will happen?  If the user isn't using a browser 
capable (e.g. older version , etc.), or if the user hasn't set the setting 
due to lack of training, then the working group added some of these 
tripple A success criteria to compensate for lack of conformance of user 
agents with UAAG 2.0 and/or lack of training of users to use their 
assistive technology and/or potential conflicts as mentioned. 
Phill Jenkins, 
Senior Accessibility Engineer & Business Development Executive
IBM Research - Human Ability & Accessibility Center




From:   "Paul J. Adam" <paul.adam@deque.com>
To:     "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, 
Date:   07/17/2014 09:09 AM
Subject:        Q: Change on Request 3.2.5? Is warning required for links 
that open new windows?

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 

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 17:00:13 UTC

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