W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ua@w3.org > January to March 2001

Re: Clarifications to definition of "active element"

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 10:30:46 -0600
Message-Id: <>
To: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Cc: WAI UA group <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
The outline behavior Charles describes is not defined by the author or 
specification, but by the user agent.  I therefore don't think this is 
content in the sense that we have been using the term.  It seems to me this 
is just a different view of the author supplied content and it may or may 
not be synchronized or linked to another view generated by the user 
agent.  In general we want to encourage the use of specifications, rather 
than convention for defining whether an element is active or not.  The more 
user agents make up there own behaviors the more people will use them, 
breaking interoperability that the W3C and WAI in particular would like to 


At 12:53 AM 1/31/2001 -0500, Ian Jacobs wrote:
>Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
> >
> > Well, in this sense active elements come from the authors understanind of
> > HTML, but that isn't the definitive characteristic. The definitive
> > characteristic of an active element is the fact that it has behaviour
> > associated with it. There may be a constraint that this does not include
> > behaviour that is generated by the User agent, but I think this is wrong.
> >
> > Example:
> > A user agent constructs an outline view of a page, by extracting the 
> headers.
> > This is represented as a seperate page, that can be navigated to with a
> > standard command. (Lynx does this all the time. Amaya does it too, but 
> always
> > opens a new window. Mozilla composer does it in the same window. The
> > representation, not the outline view, is what I mean is implemented). In
> > addition, the user agent adds linking behaviour to these items, which links
> > them to the coresponding point in the original document. I would argue that
> > no behaviour is specified by the content, and that the user agent has
> > attached the behaviour. As a technique for implemnenting a requirement of
> > UAAG.
>Why do you say that the user agent has attached the behavior? The
>definition says that what is active is determined by content, not
>the author. If the user agent implements the navigable outline view
>in HTML, then HTML links define the behavior. What is the format
>that the user agent is using to implement this outline view? Where
>does the user agent store the fact that selecting a particular
>entry links to an original location in the document? In this case,
>the user agent is the author of the content, but the content still
>is where the user agent (as user agent now, no longer as generator
>of content) locates the linking semantics.
>  - Ian

>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
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 Wednesday, 31 January 2001 11:28:44 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 14:49:29 UTC