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Proposal: Single command input and edits to checkpoints about "easy access" (2.3 and 10.8)

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 22:56:56 -0400
Message-ID: <397D01F8.24A954C3@w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org

The term "single command" is used in the UA Guidelines
in two checkpoints (from the 7 July draft [1]):

   10.5 Allow the user to configure the user agent 
        so that the user's preferred  one-step 
        operations may be activated with a single input
        command (e.g., key stroke, voice command, etc.).

   10.8 Ensure that the default input configuration allows 
        easy activation of frequently used functionalities.
          Note: Make the most frequent operations easy to 
                access and operable through a single command. 

The exact meaning of "single command" needs clarification. 
Here are some questions:

1) For keyboard access, does "single command" mean one
   keypress only? Or can single command include modifier keys?

2) What's the maximum number of keypresses that can be
   considered to constitute a single command?
   Is "Ctrl-X Ctrl-O" a single command? What about "Ctrl-x x"?

3) How do various OS facilities (such as StickyKeys)
   fit into the problem? If combinations of modifier keys and
   other keys are considered single command, does the usage
   of StickyKeys change that?

4) What happens if the user agent enters a particular input
   mode, which changes the input configuration temporarily so
   that a new set of functionalities are one keypress away. Do
   these keypresses count as single keypress since the user had
   to do something else to enter the special input mode (e.g.,
   table navigation mode where single keys may be used to navigate
   around the cells of the table)?

5) What corresponds to single keypress for voice input?
   It's probably not "single word" since I imagine being able to
   say "Page Down". Don't forget internationalization when
   trying to define the minimal discrete input act. I ask those
   with experience designing voice-operated interfaces to 
   comment here: how does one express the minimal input
   act (e.g., what occurs up to the next pause of more than
   ms milliseconds)?

6) What about other input methods such as button activation?
   Graphical UI is part of input configuration.

The following proposals offer a definition of "single
command input" and way to avoid related but different terms
that might cause confusion in checkpoints 2.3 and 10.8.

Proposal 1) Definition: Single command input

  In this document, single command input means that the 
  action required of the user is the simplest that can be
  recognized by the user agent for a particular input method.
  For the keyboard, this means "single key input", i.e., a 
  single key press, without modifier keys such as "alt", "control", 
  "apple", etc. For voice input, "single voice command input" 
  means an individual vocal cue, though the number of words
  in a command may be more than on (e.g., "Activate link", 
  "Page down", etc.) and should be few in number. 
  For graphical user interface components, single command input means
  direct activation of the UI control (i.e., buttons, not menu
  items) with a pointing device.
  Note that any navigation through UI controls (by pointing
  devices or keyboard navigation) does not constitute single
  command input. Double command input means two single commands
  (e.g., a modifier key and another key), triple means three, etc.
  The user agent may change the input configuration dynamically,
  and this may affect the set of single command bindings. The set
  of single command bindings is relative to an input configuration.
  For example, when the user is entering text, the number of
  single key input bindings may be reduced significantly. 
  Or, if the user agent offers a special "table 
  navigation mode" for cell-to-cell or cell-to-header navigation,
  those single key commands exist within the context of the
  table navigation mode. 

 Note about proposal 1: Delete the part about different input modes  
  from the note after checkpoint 10.5 since now it's in a definition.

Proposal 2) Checkpoint 2.3

  At the 20 July teleconference [2], we discussed eliminating
  the expression "easy access" in checkpoints 2.3 and 10.8.
  The proposal was to use "single command", which I find very
  confusing (using the term "single" to describe two different
  but closely related concepts is a mistake). 

  For checkpoint 2.3, refer to my proposal [3], which uses the
  term "easy access" but explains the techniques that would meet
  the requirement. I hope that this proposal satisfies the
  resolution from the 20 July teleconference [2]:
    "No objections to modification of Jon's proposal for modification
     RESOLVED.- accept new proposal with modifications."

Proposal 3) Checkpoint 10.8

  For checkpoint 10.8, Jon proposed [4] the following wording:

     10.8 Ensure that the default input configuration 
          allows one step activation of frequently used 

  Rather than "one step" (or "single step") I propose saying 
  something like this:

       10.8 Ensure that the default input configuration 
            offers single or double command access
            to functionalities the user is likely to use 
          Note: For example, the default configuration 
          might allow history navigation with arrow keys
          alone, modified arrow keys (e.g., Alt-left arrow)
          or both.

Notes about Proposal 3: 

 a) Some background about the goals of checkpoint
    10.8 provided by Charles in his review with some developers [4].

 b) There is no resolution marked in the 
    20 July minutes about checkpoint 10.8. 

 _ Ian

[1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/WD-UAAG10-20000707
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2000JulSep/0097.html
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2000JulSep/0132.html
[4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2000JulSep/0032.html
[5] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2000JanMar/0243.html
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Monday, 24 July 2000 22:57:04 UTC

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