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Requirements for "easy access" checkpoints (10.8, 2.3)

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 16:13:34 -0400
Message-ID: <395A5C6E.F533BA94@w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org

Checkpoints 10.8 and 2.3 as listed in "Determining Conformance to the 
User Agent Guidelines 1.0" [1] are the following:

   Checkpoint 10.8  Ensure that frequently used functionalities 
                    are easily activated in the default input

   Checkpoint 2.3  If content available in a viewport has equivalent 
                   alternatives, provide easy access in context to 
                   the alternatives. 

1) For 10.8, I propose that the minimal requirement is for
   one-stroke activation in the default input configuration.
   I propose that the set of frequently used functions be 
   whatever the minimal requirement for checkpoint 10.5 turns 
   out to be.  Refer to Kitch's proposal [2].

2) For checkpoint 2.3, Jon has already proposed [3] (I'm paraphrasing):
   that the UA can either render primary and alternative content
   or the alternative in place of the primary.

   I think that there are other solutions that would also satisfy the
   easy access requirement, such as these:

     - Provide a link to the alternative content, readily available

     - Allow the user to query the primary content for alternatives
       in the user interface (e.g,. through a context menu). For this
       to work, you would need to be able to select the primary content
       and then query the UA for alternatives, and of course the
       must be accessible, etc.

     - Allow the user to toggle a switch globally so that all 
       alternatives are rended inline.

     - Allow the user to toggle a switch globally so that a link is
       available for each alternative (inline).

   I also think that "configuration" and "control" are both important
   in this context: I may want to tell the UA one time "Always give me
   text equivalents". I may also want to query objects one at a time for
   their equivalents.

   Jon refers to an exception case: "multi-media checkpoints that 
   require the option for simultaneous rendering of primary and 
   alternative equivalent content." (Checkpoint 2.4). 

   Some comments:

   1) I'm nervous about telling user agents how to design their
      user interface, except where we have clear requirements (such
      as implementing a focus). 

   2) A given piece of content may have several alternatives. Consider
      IMG in HTML, which has both "alt" and "longdesc". The HTML spec
      doesn't say how longdesc has to be rendered.

   3) What about something like this:

       Provide single-stroke access to equivalents, either by
       allowing the user to turn on and off rendering of equivalents
       or by providing direct access (e.g., via a link or context
       menu) to equivalents rendered in a separate viewport.

       a) What about control v. configure?
       b) "Turning on and off rendering of equivalents" doesn't say
          whether primary content is to be rendered at the same time
          or not. This eliminates the need for Jon's exception case.

 - Ian

[1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/2000/05/ua-minreqs
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2000AprJun/0525.html
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2000AprJun/0394.html
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Wednesday, 28 June 2000 16:13:38 UTC

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