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Simpler Point of Regard?

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 02 Dec 1998 07:27:53 -0500
Message-ID: <36653249.6322C916@w3.org>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@srl.rmit.EDU.AU>
CC: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
> The point of regard is the term which covers what the user is looking at
> right this minute. 

Hi Charles,

That's not how it is defined in the 12 Nov 1998 guidelines [1]:

   "The point of regard describes where the user is expected 
   to interact with the rendered information."

Further on:

   Which of the three mechanisms - insertion point, selection, 
   and focus - is used to designate the point of regard depends 
   on context. 

The term "Point of Regard" attempts to capture something that
isn't perfectly well-defined (it's a user-interface issue) but
that might at times be established by a cursor while at other
times by the focus. 


> For a graphic browser this is what is in the window at
> the moment. This differs from the Insertion point, selection and user
> focus, which should all be in the same place when they all exist. (Except
> during drag-and-drop editing, where the insertion point is moved first,
> and the others follow.) The Insertion point/focus/selection can all be
> left at a point which is moved out of the point of regard in a browser
> where point of regard is moved by some means such as a scrollbar.

I think your version of point of regard is interesting and simple
and I wonder how it would affect the current guidelines/techniques:

|[Technique: 5.2.5] [Priority 1] 
|      Keep track of the user's point of regard in each view 
|      and put it within the viewport when the user returns to 
|      the view. 

In 5.2.5, Charles' definition is probably what's intended:
"Please return to the data last in my viewport, be it
a screenfull, a pagefull, or a point in a serial stream."

|[Technique: 5.2.6] [Priority 2] 
|      Provide the user with information about how much of the 
|      document has been viewed (i.e., the location of the point 
|      of regard). 

Do we mean "Up to a specific point designated by a cursor, the
focus, or the selection?" Or "Up to a specific point that is
the beginning of the data in my viewport?"

|Guideline 5.6: Allow the user to search for information on the page
|   When a search matches, the point of regard is moved 
|   to the matched location. 

Does this mean that the viewport moves to expose the matched search
text? Or does it mean that the selection is moved to the matched
search text? Or both?

QUESTION: Should "point of regard" be defined as the beginning of the
content in the viewport? Would that be useful to describe 
the desired behavior?

If so, we must more precisely identify when selection and focus
are meant (e.g., which moves after a search matches).

 - Ian

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org) 
Tel/Fax: (212) 684-1814 
Received on Wednesday, 2 December 1998 07:27:27 UTC

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