Re: AERT 12.3

aloha, chaals!

you are quite right in pointing out that any number would be arbitrarily 
chosen, but the fact remains that the LEGEND and FIELDSET elements _do_ 
increase accessibility -- and usability -- by breaking up forms into 
manageable chucks, and by properly identifying individual controls as 
belonging to a sub-set of fields...

if one of our goals is ensuring interoperability, then FIELDSETs are 
indispensable...  if i were using a mobile device to fill out a form, i 
personally would want to be able to turn on "verbose forms mode", where the 
LEGENDs are spoken in conjunction with the individual LABELs defined for 
individual form controls...  this is how most screen-readers enunciate 
dialog boxes and property sheets (read field label if present before 
reading control label and announcing the state of the control, for example 
"checkbox checked" or "radio button not selected"), and how JFW operates in 
"Forms Mode" when MSIE 4x or 5x is running...

FIELDSET, in this light, is analogous to the SUMMARY attribute defined for 
the TABLE element -- a mobile UA could offer the user a means of listing 
the number of tables contained in a document, and by using the information 
contained in the SUMMARY attribute, provide the mobile user with the choice 
of reviewing the contents of the TABLE or bypassing the TABLE...  likewise, 
a mobile device should not only be capable of alerting the user that there 
are X number of forms are contained in the page; but could also use the 
semantic information contained in LEGENDs defined for FIELDSETs to give the 
user a richer summary of the size, scope, and nature of the form, before 
the user decides to move-to the form and fill it out...

so, i'm holding fast to my stance that, while it is an arbitrary number, 10 
is much too high a triggering threshold to do provide any real slash 
tangible benefit to the end user, whether he or she is using a pervasive 
device or a mainstream UA in conjunction with assistive technology

just my 5 guilders' worth (hey, i've got to get rid of that damn dutch 
money somehow!)

  At 11:56 AM 5/26/00 -0400, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>Any number is going to be an arbitrary choice. One reason why 10 makes as
>much sense as any other is that most mobile telephone-based devices haev 10
>number keys (and a couple of others as well...)
>Charles McCN
>On Fri, 26 May 2000, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
>   aloha, brian!
>   thanks for taking the initiative on this...
>   in regards 12.3.2 you wrote:
>   quote
>   Technique 12.3.2 [priority 2] Check for FIELDSET elements if form controls
>   found
>             Evaluation:
>                Element: FIELDSET
>                Requirement: Should have FIELDSETs if more a total of more 
> than
>            10 INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT or BUTTONs.
>   unquote
>   why the number 10?  i typically use a FIELDSET for any grouping of related
>   form fields, so i would suggest that the user be allowed to configure the
>   triggering number to any value equal to or greater than 2
>   the contextual/orientational information that can be obtained from a
>   FIELDSET is invaluable to the serial output device user, and to braille 
> and
>   speech users in particular...
>   gregory.
>Charles McCathieNevile    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
>W3C Web Accessibility Initiative            
>Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053
>Postal: GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001,  Australia

Received on Friday, 26 May 2000 12:20:36 UTC