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Re: DOM3 Events last call comment on DOMActivate from Forms WG

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 03:10:09 +0200
To: w3c-wai-pf@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>
Message-ID: <op.vkydi7o3wxe0ny@widsith.local>
For what it is worth, DOMActivate is largely my fault (although credit for  
good stuff is due to Rich Schwerdtfeger, Al Gilman, Philippe le Hegaret  
and many others).

The idea at the time was to replace the UI events around at the time with  
a set that were based on intentions rather than hardware-specific  
interactions, because I predicted that the existing problems of people  
building interactions that required a specific hardware paradigm would  
only get worse over time. I think that came true...

In the meantime, abstract intention-based events were added in parallel.  
Given the lack of good interoperable implementation and the ability to  
continue doing what they had done and figuring it more or less worked, Web  
developers didn't take them up, and the hardware-based events became more  
and more common.

Meanwhile, browser vendors and others worked to make the hardware-events  
sort of abstract (being able to fire a click in multiple ways, or adding  
extensions that synthesised events from a non-WIMP interface). So the  
abstract events continued to rot.

(Again, that wasn't a surprise, as discussed at the time).

Doug's suggestion in the original thread [1] is that we give up  
DOMActivate as a failure, and accept that the click event has effectively  
taken the role, for now. The Web APIs group (one of the fore-runners to  
Web apps) actually resolved that in 2006 at its first meeting, and I think  
we were right at the time and still do.

Meanwhile, there is now momentum to specify a better approach to events,  
and make it work. I think that deserves support as the best way to use our  
energy to get something better.

[1] starts at http://www.w3.org/mid/op.vkrt1cousmjzpq@steven-750g (the  
message Gregory forwarded).

Cheers

Chaals

On Mon, 18 Oct 2010 15:48:13 +0200, Gregory J. Rosmaita  
<oedipus@hicom.net> wrote:

> ---------- Forwarded Message -----------
> From: "Steven Pemberton" <Steven.Pemberton@cwi.nl>
> To: www-dom@w3.org
> Cc: "Forms WG" <public-forms@w3.org>, "XHTML WG" <public-xhtml2@w3.org>
> Sent: Mon, 18 Oct 2010 14:23:28 +0200
> Subject: DOM3 Events last call comment
>
> In section
>     http://www.w3.org/TR/DOM-Level-3-Events/#event-type-DOMActivate
> it says
>
> "Warning! The DOMActivate event type is defined in this specification  
> for reference and completeness, but this specification deprecates the  
> use of  this event type in favor of the related event type click. Other  
> specifications may define and maintain their own DOMActivate event type  
> for backwards compatibility."
>
> This is the wrong approach, and should not be done.
>
> In the decade since DOMActivate was introduced markup languages have  
> adopted DOMActivate as the 'proper' abstract device-independent version  
> of activation, and it has been widely implemented, and adopted in  
> documents.
>
> Having to rename all uses of DOMActivate will involve a lot of editing,  
> a lot of re-educating and a lot of re-tooling.
>
> The advantage of a centrally standardised DOMActivate is that it is  
> interoperable and works cross-namespace having the same semantics  
> everywhere. If each namespace has to define its own DOMActivate, making  
> generic markup that will work across namespaces will be  
> hard-to-impossible.
>
> Another problem is that if true hardware events, like click, get mixed  
> up with the abstract events like DOMActivate, then it will be harder to  
> differentiate between hardware events when you need them, and abstract  
> events when you don't.
>
> As Apple's resent proposal to W3C[1], discussed on the Hypertext  
> Coordination Group, the correct way to process events is to process the  
> hardware events when you need to, and to use the abstract events when  
> you can.
>
> Deprecating DOMActivate is going in the opposite direction, is a  
> retrograde step, and should not happen.
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Steven Pemberton
>
> User Interface Independence for Accessible Rich Internet Applications
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-dom/2010JulSep/att-0106/UserInterfaceIndependence.html
> ------- End of Forwarded Message -------
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> CONSERVATIVE, n.  A statesman who is enamored of existing evils,
> as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them
> with others.         -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
>             Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
>  Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
>


-- 
Charles McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg lærer norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals       Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
Received on Friday, 22 October 2010 01:11:19 UTC

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