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Re: Guidelines - events

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@srl.rmit.EDU.AU>
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 12:16:34 +1100 (EST)
To: WAI GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
cc: WAI UA group <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.981028120518.13952A-100000@sunrise>
(Note for UA people - the discussion comes from page authoring and which 
events should and should not be used - the initial premise was that all 
device-dependent events should not, although hopefully some could be 
replaced by 'logical events - ones which can be activated by keyboard, 
voice input, etc)

If onKeyPress passes no information about which key was pressed, then it 
could be mapped, along with onClick, to a new onActivate by UAs, 
providing a pathway for transition to the 'logical event' which we could ask 
for in future HTML.

There may be equivalents to onMouseDown, onMouseUp which should be 
considered at first in the context of making selections - I don't know 
how to do this using the keyboard in any browsers although I understand 
that mapping a mouse to the keyboard is offered by Windows systems. How 
this would translate to voice systems (or mobile phone systems, with 
voice and a limited number of keys) I am not sure.

But I do think that until we have some ide of how to proceed with this 
the page-authoring guidelines should recommend against it. I know that 
people will ignore that where they feel they need a rollover highlight 
for their client, but they can decide that this will not compromise 
accessibility without throwing out the whole guidelines. (Have some faith 
in the audience)

Charles McCathieNevile

On Wed, 28 Oct 1998, Nir Dagan wrote:

> I don't think that recommending against using 
> onClick and similar attributes is that good.
> The reason being that it may encourage people
> to do the wrong thing.
> For example one can write a gracefully transforming  
> JavaScript thing with:
> <A href="some-url" onClick="some-script">some text</A>
> Now if we disallow using onClick he may write 
> <A href="some-script">some text</A>
> that (depending on the script) may work just as before with
> Javascript on. But doesn't work otherwise.
> (The second construct is invalid as some-script will not 
> be a valid URL but validators don't report errors in CDATA 
> attribue values.)
> Another problem with excluding all these atributes, is that they 
> constitute all the "intristic-event" generic attributes, so it would 
> be very difficult to use scripts to the extent that script fans 
> will forget about the WAI.
> I think we should find the analogies between mouse events and 
> keyboard and speach and make a note of that in User-Agent guidelines.
> One should remember that the names of the attributes are 
> platform specific due to the fact that most were introduced as 
> vendor extentions, but some of them have clear analogies: 
> onClick and the sugested onActivate, for example.
> Regards,
> Nir Dagan                            
> Assistant Professor of Economics      
> Universidad Pompeu Fabra
> Barcelona (Spain)
> website: http://www.nirdagan.com
> email: nir.dagan@econ.upf.es
> "There is nothing quite so practical as a good theory." 
> -- A. Einstein
Received on Tuesday, 27 October 1998 20:20:20 UTC

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