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

From: mark novak <menovak@facstaff.wisc.edu>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 14:06:00 -0500
Message-Id: <v01540b0eb5a36d839ba7@[]>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
hi Ian, Jon, and others...

see comments at MN below:

>I think the concept of "single command" as proposed by Ian [1] is a unique
>concept to the keyboard and I proposed that like checkpoint 1.3 that
>checkpoint 10.5 be only about the keyboard.  I propose that we say that
>checkpoint 10.5 is a special case of both checkpoint 10.4 and checkpoint
>1.3.  This way we can use the term "single command" to mean a more generic
>command in checkpoints we talk about configuration and single command would
>include concepts like a speech utterance, key press with or without a
>modifier key, or clicking an object with a mouse.  In checkpoint 10.5 we
>can use the term "single key press" and make it clear that this is without
>a modifier key.
>What do people think?
>[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2000JulSep/0134.html
>Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP


>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?

MN:  I'm probably out of step with the group, but like to add a
comment on this. I think the concept of "single command" should not imply or
be retricted to " a single keypress" when referring to a keyboard, nor
to a single "utterance" when referring to a voice input system, etc.

While it will be more difficult to define, I'd suggest that a "single command"
encompass "a-singular-user-input  to  a-user- agent-action".   For
example, if the user types "control+ h" (presses the control and
then types the _h_ key [could also use StickyKeys to do this]), to navigate
to the next header,  this would be an example of a "single command" even though
it required two keys to be pressed.  Likewise, in an audio interface, I
might say/voice "next header", a short utterance of two words, but still a
"single command".

If we really *want* to  describe keyboard input in this manner, I'd rather
see this
"single command" defined in terms of "none, one, or more modifiers combined
with a single non-modifier key" press.  That gives you several options:

ctrl+ x

but not

ctrl+x, ctrl+y

where x and y are any non-modifier key...

Another example:

In IE, I can type "alt+f" to open the file menu, and then "p" to print.
I'd consider
this two commands.  Or, I could type "ctrl+p" to print, which I'd consider
one command.  (some people might call these accelerator keys, others short-cut
keys, etc.)

If we are describing voice input, then this "single command" is whatever
the utterance required per user agent action.  For example, "open file menu",
"page up", "print", etc.   There isn't a direct link between number of words
and "single command".

In either keyboard or voice input case/example, a good user interface will
allow the user to reconfigure the bindings for frequently used keys/voice
command or utterances, such that these types of distinctions between what
is a single command and what else, quickly becomes blurred.  Also, again
in the keyboard model, keys can and do get remapped based on the "element"
or GUI component with keyboard focus.

therefore, I'd suggest backing away from this a bit :

- single command or single input command is "device dependent", meaning
you either make, for example,  checkpoint 10.5 very generic, or you make it
very specific

- single command or single input command is not directly related/limited to a
single key press or a single word utterance, but "could" be user configured
as such via a checkpoint like 10.8

>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"?

MN:  see previous....shouldn't be linked to number of keypresses..

>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?

MN:  doesn't in my opinion

>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)?

MN:  related, see above...

>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
>          functionalities.
>  Rather than "one step" (or "single step") I propose saying
>  something like this:
>  <NEW>
>       10.8 Ensure that the default input configuration
>            offers single or double command access
>            to functionalities the user is likely to use
>            frequently.
>          Note: For example, the default configuration
>          might allow history navigation with arrow keys
>          alone, modified arrow keys (e.g., Alt-left arrow)
>          or both.
>  </NEW>
>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 Tuesday, 25 July 2000 15:01:30 UTC

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