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Re: [affordances] Call for Participation: PWG Affordances Task Force

From: Teixeira, Mateus <mteixeira@wwnorton.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2018 19:28:56 +0000
To: "deborah.kaplan@suberic.net" <deborah.kaplan@suberic.net>, "W3C Publishing Working Group" <public-publ-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <42CD7D39-F01B-4BF2-9C3B-8625678C19B8@wwnorton.com>
Thank you, Deborah, Laurent, and Jasmine. This conversation on pinning down precise language is helpful.

I agree that the scope of the TF work is the first kind of affordance Laurent brought up—those provided by the user agent.

<rant>Publication-level affordances, or indeed features, are out of scope, and I’m personally not convinced that they would be something that can be normatively “specced”, but rather could be addressed more informatively in authoring guidelines and best practices, outside of this TF’s wheelhouse. In this context, affordances provided by a specific publication built with Open Web Platform technologies would be the same affordances provided by those Open Web Platform technologies, extended by those affordances provided by the UA.</rant>

In thinking about features vs. affordances, I always find it helpful to think of an affordance as something that comes with context (e.g., a publication in a reading environment – how do I know, contextually, that I can navigate through different content documents) rather than something that is built-in to, as Deborah put it, actively trigger a user’s behavior or interaction within a pre-assumed context (e.g., “use this set of arrow buttons to navigate”). This is similar to, and ties into, the distinction between a normative specification and its many possible implementations.

On 3/7/18, 12:28 PM, "deborah.kaplan@suberic.net" <deborah.kaplan@suberic.net> wrote:

    I'd definitely like to encourage people who are intimidated by the jargon term to think of these as "features," as Jasmine and Katie said. I understand why, technically, we are distinguishing between "features" (which are active abilities of, say, a reading system) and the more passive "affordances" of a publication (action possibilities, as Laurent quotes). For our actual documentation and product we need to be careful about the precision of language, and distinguishing between features and affordances. But in laypeople terms, think "features". It's close enough that people who think of these as features should still be able to contribute to the conversation.
    (This email brought to you by my whining at Benjamin until he explained to me in a way I understood about the difference between affordance and feature.)
    On Wed, 7 Mar 2018, Laurent Le Meur wrote:
    > Starting from https://github.com/w3c/wpub/issues/149#issuecomment-369876025 and Benjamin's feedback, I suggest that we first defined the term in our context. And in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affordance, Gibson's definition is of
    > no real help for us. I personally prefer the information given in the section "As perceived action possibilities" -> those action possibilities that are readily perceivable by an actor.
    > In a generic way, an entity provides an affordance to an actor. And we are dealing with an actor - the User - and two entities: the User Agent and the Web Publication. 
    > So we get two kinds of affordances:
    > 1/ The User Agent (after having loaded a Web Publication) provides affordances to the User (think about the reader mode in Firefox)
    > 2/ The Web Publication itself provides affordances to the User (think about interactive ebooks)
    > My take is that our work as a task force is to focus on item 1 = what the User Agent must/should/may present to the User as possible actions (for enjoying a great reading experience). 
    > Would there be a consensus around that interpretation? 
    > Cordialement, 
    > Laurent Le Meur
    > EDRLab
    >       Le 6 mars 2018 à 18:17, Jasmine Mulliken <jasmine.mulliken@stanford.edu> a écrit :
    > Hi, Katie. In this context "affordances" refer to the what web publications can offer that current electronic reading experiences don't necessarily--at least in a web browser. You could also see them as "features." Here is the
    > open list we'll be looking at: https://github.com/w3c/wpub/issues?q=is%3Aissue+is%3Aopen+label%3Atopic%3Aaffordances
    > Hope this helps!
    > Best,
    > Jasmine
    > From: Katie Haritos-Shea <ryladog@gmail.com>
    > Sent: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 8:29:20 AM
    > To: Schindler Wolfgang Dr.
    > Cc: Teixeira, Mateus; W3C Publishing Working Group; Garth Conboy (garth@google.com); Ivan Herman; Jasmine Mulliken; Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken
    > Subject: Re: [affordances] Call for Participation: PWG Affordances Task Force 
    > Mateus and Jasmine,
    > Question: Is the 'affordances' the same as the term 'accommodations' that is used in the US?
    > Thanks!

Received on Wednesday, 7 March 2018 19:29:24 UTC

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