W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > February 2007

Re: popups to provide more information

From: David Bolter <david.bolter@utoronto.ca>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 20:47:59 -0500
Message-ID: <45E23C4F.2040003@utoronto.ca>
To: Becky Gibson <Becky_Gibson@notesdev.ibm.com>
CC: wai-xtech@w3.org

Hi Becky,

Sorry all, I'm jumping in late on this thread but I'm going to reply to 
some lonelier parts of Becky's message:

Becky Gibson wrote:
> 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.  

That shift-tab maneuver is not-intuitive for me. Focus needs to be placed in the popup.  BTW you can press enter when focus is on the link to invoke the popup.

> 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.

I think this is reasonable. I think it is becoming common to have popups in the form of tooltips over all kinds of things. Note that I'm assuming here that we are talking about popups ranging from complex 
dialogs to simple tool tips. I imagine web2 will start to blur even those distinctions (I've been following the button vs link discussion).

> 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?
I think I agree on all points. I strongly agree that focus needs to be placed into the popup. It is hard to imagine a keyboard user interacting with a popup dialog ui without intuitive/typical keyboard (tab) navigation. 

Received on Monday, 26 February 2007 01:48:12 UTC

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