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Preliminary Thoughts on Guideline 7 Observe operating environment conventions

From: Kelly Ford <kford@windows.microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2007 07:06:46 -0800
To: WAI-UA list <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D704CCE9AA2AC346951C3AB7D2A5CA0E024638B09F@NA-EXMSG-W602.wingroup.windeploy.ntdev.microsoft.com>
All,

I was to look at guideline 7.

7.1 Respect focus and selection conventions (P1)

The issues here talk about not all browsers allowing keyboard selection of text.  I know IE is one such situation here.

That said I think this needs to remain a P1 and we need to strengthen the requirement here and give more detail in notes/technical details to ensure this is seen as a priority.

There's also an interesting issue that can be problematic relative to selection and AT products, screen readers in particular.  As we know, the default behavior of screen readers is to load web pages into their buffered view (virtual mode and such) in most user agents.  Today this is definitely for IE and Firefox for sure with most screen readers.  As a result when the user does text selection, he or she is actually selecting text from the virtual view.  In most cases this means that things like markup and such are lost.  JAWS 9 beta is actually changing this to try and include markup and allow the user to determine how text selection should happen i.e. from the virtual  view or the user agent default view.

My point here is to ask what we think the responsibilities are of a user agent here.  At minimum I suppose would be that the DOM and accessibility APIs need to allow an AT product to accurately select text with all appropriate markup i.e. maintain a link between the virtual view and what the user would get if they were selecting text with a mouse, keyboard or another input device.

This is also important if the user agent has features that are dependent on selection of text.  That is suppose you have a feautre that lets you do something with a block of text that's selected.  The AT user needs a way to select text in their view of the page and still get access to this feature.

This is also why is it important that user agents improve on keyboard selection of text.

If folks think this is important I can try and come up with more text around this area.

With respect to the issues around AJAX controls and sticky keys and high contrast, I need to understand the current issues in greater detail before making a proposal.

As I mentioned, I'm not going to be able to phone in today until 1P Pacific.  If we can talk about 7 after that great, if not perhaps we can talk about it in mail or on another call.

Kelly
Received on Tuesday, 6 November 2007 15:07:08 GMT

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