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RE: Guideline 3.2 question - functional and interactive components

From: Sean Murphy (seanmmur) <seanmmur@cisco.com>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2018 00:14:13 +0000
To: Gijs Veyfeyken <gijs@anysurfer.be>, Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
CC: Joseph Yang <joesaiyang@gmail.com>, W3C WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "public-comments-wcag20@w3.org" <public-comments-wcag20@w3.org>
Message-ID: <35eb2fd4274648339daddc1d09bcb682@XCH-RCD-001.cisco.com>
I agree with the below email. Especially for people with English as a second language.


Sean Murphy
Tel: +61 2 8446 7751

Cisco Systems, Inc.
The Forum 201 Pacific Highway


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From: Gijs Veyfeyken [mailto:gijs@anysurfer.be]
Sent: Friday, 26 January 2018 7:21 PM
To: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Cc: Joseph Yang <joesaiyang@gmail.com>; W3C WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>; public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
Subject: Re: Guideline 3.2 question - functional and interactive components

Side question.
Is WCAG 3 being written in the same sort of language?
Are there efforts being made to simplify? Short active sentences, more like spoken language, etc.
You have to be at the highest level of language to understand WCAG.
That would be a C2 according to the "European Framework of Reference for Languages".
The general public is way below that.

I don't want to criticise the authors and I understand how difficult it is to write something like succes criteria.
But the current complexity of the language is a huge dealbreaker for lots of people. I my humble opinion, the vast majority.

Kind regards,


Gijs Veyfeyken
AnySurfer - towards an accessible internet
Brussels - Belgium

On 26 Jan 2018, at 04:20, Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com<mailto:pjenkins@us.ibm.com>> wrote:

I think I understand your frustration behind your question.

The term "component" is used 36 times in WCAG 2.0.

For example, the term "user interface component" is used in
Principle 1: Perceivable - Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.

sometimes there is only the term "component" in the text without any qualifying adjectives or additional terms, such as in
1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics: Instructions provided for understanding and operating content do not rely solely on sensory characteristics of components such as shape, size, visual location, orientation, or sound. (Level A)

there are also more 'compound' uses of the term, such as "inactive user interface component", as used in
1.4.3<https://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#visual-audio-contrast-contrast>Contrast (Minimum): The visual presentation of text<https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#textdef> and images of text<https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#images-of-textdef> has a contrast ratio<https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#contrast-ratiodef> of at least 4.5:1, except for the following: (Level AA)

  *   Incidental: Text or images of text that are part of an inactive user interface component<https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#user-interface-componentdef>, that are  . . .

and your question seems to suggest there are different kinds of "components" when the Understanding WCAG 3.2 Predictable Guideline<https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/consistent-behavior.html>explains that
"The intent of this Guideline is to help users with disabilities by presenting content in a predictable order from Web page to Web page and by making the behavior of functional and interactive components predictable."

But immediately inside this 3.2 guideline, in the success criteria suggests the term "component" applies to any components, such as in
        3.2.1<http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#consistent-behavior-receive-focus> On Focus: When any component receives focus, it does not initiate a change of context<https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/consistent-behavior-receive-focus.html#context-changedef>. (Level A)

while the next success criteria in this 3.2 guidelines, explicitly use the normative term, such as in
        3.2.2<http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#consistent-behavior-unpredictable-change> On Input: Changing the setting of any user interface component<https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/consistent-behavior-unpredictable-change.html#user-interface-componentdef> does not automatically cause a change of context<https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/consistent-behavior-unpredictable-change.html#context-changedef> unless the user has been advised of the behavior before using the component. (Level A)

and to further introduce complexity (or confusion or comprehensiveness), the next success criteria introduces a new normative defined term, "mechanism", perhaps a superset to component, such as
        3.2.3<http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#consistent-behavior-consistent-locations> Consistent Navigation: Navigational mechanisms that are repeated on multiple Web pages<https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/consistent-behavior-consistent-locations.html#webpagedef>within a set of Web pages<https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/consistent-behavior-consistent-locations.html#set-of-web-pagesdef> occur in the same relative order<https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/consistent-behavior-consistent-locations.html#samerelorderdef> each time they are repeated, unless a change is initiated by the user. (Level AA)

to be comprehensive, the term "mechanism<https://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#mechanismdef>" is defined in a broader way including content, platform, user agents and assistive technologies in the WCAG Glossary, such as
                process<http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#processdef> or technique for achieving a result
                Note 1: The mechanism may be explicitly provided in the content, or may be relied upon<http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#reliedupondef> to be provided by either the platform or by user agents<http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#useragentdef>, including assistive technologies<http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#atdef>.
                Note 2: The mechanism needs to meet all success criteria for the conformance level claimed.

The term "user interface component<https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#user-interface-componentdef>" does also have a normative definition in the WCAG Glossary, such as
        user interface component
        a part of the content that is perceived by users as a single control for a distinct function
Note 1: Multiple user interface components may be implemented as a single programmatic element. Components here is not tied to programming techniques, but rather to what the user         perceives as separate controls.
Note 2: User interface components include form elements and links as well as components generated by scripts.
Example: An applet has a "control" that can be used to move through content by line or page or random access. Since each of these would need to have a name and be settable independently, they would each be a "user interface component."

although "interactive" and "functional" are not defined, the term "functionality<https://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#functiondef>" is defined, such as
processes<https://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#processdef> and outcomes achievable through user action

So, in my opinion, the "user interface components" are "mechanisms" explicitly provided in content (not platforms, not user agents, nor assistive technologies) that include both functional and interactive components because there is little difference between the two, and it was the intent of the working group to be "inclusive and comprehensive" by using 'AND" of all user interface components, including both ones that function, such as a button the causes a change in the page, process or outcome, while an interactive component that causes a change in the user interface component itself, such as a checked or unchecked checkbox, not necessarily elsewhere on the page, process, or outcome.

my proposed edit:
The intent of this Guideline is to help users with disabilities by presenting content in a predictable order from page to page and by making the behavior of functional and interactive user interface components predictable."
and add additional glossary term or further explanation in the introductory paragraph in understanding 3.2 Predictable:
Note 3: Functional user interface components (such as a button) may causes a change to the content, process, or outcome while an interactive user interface component may cause a change to the user interface component itself.  Example: A checkbox can by changed itself from checked to unchecked and back interactively by the user action.

I copied the "Understanding WCAG" editors so they can log this suggestions and update the text in the next errata and if/when the WCAG normative glossary will be updated.  My understanding is that WCAG 2.1 will NOT change anything normative in 2.0, only "add" to 2.0. So we could see an errata to the understanding WCAG document sooner.
Phill Jenkins
Senior Engineer & Accessibility Executive
IBM Research Accessibility

From:        Joseph Yang <joesaiyang@gmail.com<mailto:joesaiyang@gmail.com>>
To:        WAI IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org<mailto:w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>>
Date:        01/25/2018 02:05 PM
Subject:        Guideline 3.2 question

What is the difference between a functional component and an interactive component?

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Received on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 00:16:52 UTC

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