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Events and Browsing/Editing tools

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 19:21:37 -0500 (EST)
To: WAI UA group <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>, WAI PF group <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.04.9812151912470.6043-100000@tux.w3.org>
One of the problems with the current HTML Event model is that it makes
very poor assumptions about User Agents. Essentially, it assumes that they
have the keyboard/mouse combination generally used by MSIE, Netscape, and

One class of User Agent which does not conform to this is the
combined browsing/editing tool. Examples of such tools include Amaya
and Microsoft Word. These tools use specific events differently, because
they rely on the mouse to control point-of-regard, focus and selection of
active elements in a way which stand-alone browsers do not have to allow.

For these tools to interpret device-specific triggers such as onMouseover
events the standard paradigms for editing, which are common to most visual
platforms and software, must be suspended. On the other hand, if the event
triggers which are currently device-specific were more logically based,
such as onActivate, onHover, onHyperActivate (??), (allowing
differentiation between the active focus and the point-of-regard /
selection) they could be remapped to the traditional paradigms for each
kind of activity. This would make it easier for developers to produce more
flexible tools, as the browser/editor combinations have the flexibility to
be, without having to forego the use of dynamic content which is becoming
so popular and is potentially so useful.

--Charles McCathieNevile -  mailto:charles@w3.org
phone:(temporary) +1 (617) 258 8143  http://purl.oclc.org/net/charles

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative -  http://www.w3.org/WAI
545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, USA
Received on Tuesday, 15 December 1998 19:21:38 UTC

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