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RE: Clarifications to definition of "active element"

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@uiuc.edu>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2001 11:26:32 -0600
Message-Id: <4.3.1.2.20010129112529.01386728@staff.uiuc.edu>
To: "Hansen, Eric" <ehansen@ets.org>, "'Ian Jacobs'" <ij@w3.org>, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
The  specification used to create the content determines if content is or 
can be active, not whether it is in the DOM, since some user agents may not 
have a DOM.

Jon


At 10:56 AM 1/26/2001 -0500, Hansen, Eric wrote:
>I find some aspects of this confusing.
>
>The statement "Content determines what is an active element" makes one
>wonder how the word content is being used. Is it correct that since
>"content" is what is in the DOM, then the DOM holds all the information that
>this definition says determines whether an element is active or not?
>
>One ambiguity is that it is hard to tell how you are using the term "active"
>in this description. One the one hand, the term seems to be used to mean
>"activatable" (via triggering), such that an "active element" is one that
>could (under some circusmstances) be activated. The description make one
>wonder if an active element is one that is not only activatable but is also
>in its active state; for example, what does it mean to "deactivate" an
>element: (a) to turn an active element into an element that is _not_ an
>active element (i.e., from triggerable to untriggerable) or (b) to change an
>active element from its active state to its inactive (though still
>triggerable) state?
>
>I think that this needs to be clarified.
>
>Also, from the description it is not clear why the notion of "applicability"
>is relevant.
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Ian Jacobs [mailto:ij@w3.org]
> > Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2001 7:34 PM
> > To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
> > Subject: Clarifications to definition of "active element"
> >
> >
> > Hello,
> >
> > Based on some comments from Eric, I've attempted to clarify
> > the definition of active element. The key clarifications are:
> >
> >   1) Content determines what is an active element.
> >
> >   2) The state of the user's interaction with the document may
> >      limit which elements are active (examples are given).
> >
> >   3) Not all user interactions involve active elements (e.g.,
> >      text selection and copying to the clipboard).
> >
> >   4) The role of "active element" is subject to applicability.
> >
> > The full definition follows.
> >
> >  - Ian
> >
> > <DEFINITION>
> > An active element is a piece of content with associated
> > behaviors, that the user may trigger (or, "activate") either
> > through the user interface or through an API.
> >
> > Content always determines what constitutes an active element. For
> > instance, the HTML 4 [HTML4] specification defines a number of
> > active elements: links, image maps, form controls, element
> > instances with a value for the "longdesc" attribute, and element
> > instances with scripts (event handlers) explicitly associated
> > with them (e.g., through the various "on" attributes). The role
> > of an element as an active element is subject to applicability.
> >
> > The state of the user's interaction with that content may limit
> > which elements are active. For instance, an element may be
> > "deactivated" by a script as the result of the user's interaction
> > with the content. Or, an element may only be active during a
> > given time period (e.g., during part of a SMIL 1.0 [SMIL]
> > presentation). Or, the user may be viewing content in "read-only"
> > mode, which may deactivate some elements.
> >
> > The user may interact with content without necessarily activating
> > active elements. For example, selecting an element's text and
> > copying it to the clipboard is clearly user interaction but does
> > not make that element an active element. (The element may also be
> > an active element, but only by virtue of how the author has
> > encoded it, not by virtue of the selection functionality provided
> > by the user agent.)
> >
> > The consequence of triggering an active element depends on the
> > element. For instance, when a link is activated, the user agent
> > generally retrieves the linked Web resource. When a form control
> > is activated, it may change state (e.g., check boxes) or may take
> > user input (e.g., a text entry field). See also the definition of
> > event handler.
> >
> > Most operating environments use the content focus to indicate
> > which active element will be triggered on user demand.
> > </DEFINITION>
> >
> > --
> > Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
> > Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
> > Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
> >

Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
MC-574
College of Applied Life Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL  61820

Voice: (217) 244-5870
Fax: (217) 333-0248

E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu

WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua
Received on Monday, 29 January 2001 12:24:31 UTC

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