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popups to provide more information

From: Becky Gibson <Becky_Gibson@notesdev.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 17:54:03 -0500
To: wai-xtech@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF55F62E79.22FAFB91-ON8525728A.007C531B-8525728A.007DD012@LocalDomain>

I'm going to borrow an example from Yahoo to discuss the appropriate roles 
and behavior to use for popups.   Some yahoo pages have a link that will 
use Ajax to make a search request for more information and display the 
resulting links in a popup on the page.  Find and click on the Iran and 
Iraq links in this page: 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070215/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_070215121462. 
A popup is displayed that contains more information. Focus is not put into 
the popup but with focus on the link that invokes the popup you can tab 
into the bottom of the popup by pressing shift-tab.  The popup contains 
help and close links at the top of the popup as well as links to more 
information and some structural links. 

This is probably a good example for ARIA live regions but since support 
for those will not be available until Firefox 3 I would like to consider 
implementations that can be used in Firefox today. 

One issue that comes up is should this be implemented as a link or a 
button.  The yahoo example implements this as a link. I would surmise that 
is done so the link will still work if scripting is not available.  But 
the link also has a visual indicator next to it of a small double down 
arrow, I assume to indicate that it opens a popup.   My first question is 
should this be given a role of link or button?   Using button gives the 
opportunity to also include the haspopup property.  Currently haspopup is 
only available on buttons and menus.  I think we should encourage ARIA to 
allow the haspopup property on any element.

My other proposed behavior for this type of more information popup is:
1) the popup should get the role of dialog
2) focus should be placed into the popup when it is opened
3) the popup should be made modal via scripting - focus can not leave the 
dialog except by clicking another link or closing it
4) the popup can be closed by pressing escape or via a close button

thoughts?

Becky Gibson
Web Accessibility Architect
                                                       
IBM Emerging Internet Technologies
5 Technology Park Drive
Westford, MA 01886
Voice: 978 399-6101; t/l 333-6101
Email: gibsonb@us.ibm.com
Received on Thursday, 22 February 2007 22:54:19 GMT

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