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Re: Clarifications to definition of "active element"

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 02:53:16 -0500 (EST)
To: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
cc: WAI UA group <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0101300247010.22623-100000@tux.w3.org>
Comments at CMN

  At 07:33 PM 1/25/2001 -0500, Ian Jacobs wrote:
  >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.
  >
CMN I think the above is really clear and helpful.

  >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.

CMN I found the second paragraph extremely confusing. As far as I can tell
the User Agent in fact is the ultimate determinnat of whether there is a
behaviour associated with an element. As it is pointed out, there may be one
sometimes, due to the user agent playing around with scripts. And I don't
understand what the applicability reference means. I suggest just removing
this paragraph.

  >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.
  >
CMN I thought this was useful clarification. But it is not clear whether the
User Agent is responsible for making sure that things which are sometimes
active can always be navgiated to or not.

  >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.
  >
CMN I don't think these two paragraphs add much more than bulk to the
definition.

  >Most operating environments use the content focus to indicate
  >which active element will be triggered on user demand.
CMN I thought this was a definition of what focus was. Is it meant to be
that?
--charles
  ></DEFINITION>
Received on Tuesday, 30 January 2001 02:53:17 UTC

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