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RE: Simpler Point of Regard?

From: Denis Anson <danson@miseri.edu>
Date: Wed, 2 Dec 1998 08:04:00 -0500
To: "Ian Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>, "Charles McCathieNevile" <charlesn@srl.rmit.EDU.AU>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
The point-of-regard issue ties in with table management, I think.  Point of
regard is more than just the top of a screen view, it can be a sub-component
of the screen.  For example, when I look at data in a table, I generally
look at a single cell of the table at a time.  (That's why the data is
organized into cells, after all.)  As I move through the table, my point of
regard moves from cell to cell, even though, (since I am more or less
able-bodied) nothing on the screen changes.

When an author uses a "roll-over" script, the idea is that, when the
attention of the user reaches that point, something happens.  The
presumption is that the mouse pointer will follow point of regard.  However,
this is not a selection, or a focus, just the current location of the mouse

I can think of two ways to implement a moving point-of-regard.  One would be
through the system carat/insertion point, which has no real function in a
browser unless in a form, and the second would be through an enhanced
"mouse-keys" feature, that might allow moving the mouse pointer through
inline as well as block mark-up.  In order to implement roll-overs, you'd
have to do inline markup as well as block, I think.

Denis Anson, MS, OTR
Assistant Professor
College Misericordia
301 Lake Street
Dallas, PA 18612

Member since 1989 of:
The International Association of Assistive Technology Professionals

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org]On Behalf
Of Ian Jacobs
Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 1998 7:28 AM
To: Charles McCathieNevile
Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Subject: Simpler Point of Regard?

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 08:02:45 UTC

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