Discussion and proposed wording for Errata for checkpoint 7.4

Current wording:
7.4 Until user agents provide the ability to stop the refresh,  do not 
create periodically auto-refreshing pages.  [Priority 2]
For example, in HTML, don't cause pages to auto-refresh  with 
"HTTP-EQUIV=refresh" until user agents allow users to turn off the feature.

Example of a common practise that would not conform to this checkpoint that 
we ought to consider:
A financial institution has an application for a loan on their Web 
site.  The user fills it out and their information is sent to the 
server.  The server has a lot of processing to do, including contacting 
other servers to gather information to verify the application and determine 
amounts, interest rates, find someone to buy the loan, etc.  Since this 
takes some time, as soon as the user submits the application a page is 
displayed that says, "We are processing your application.  Please wait."

The only push technology I know of is channels.  Are there others?  This 
seems to me like it would be implemented with a client-side pull of some 
sort.  Does the browser ping the server every so often for data and if 
there is none displays "please wait?"  If that's the case then the browser 
ping could be manual.  However, it if took long enough a person could get 
really annoyed with the "product" and the company could lose 
business.  Therefore, I don't think a manual "pull" should be the default.

In general, I don't think this sort of practise should be banned.  The user 
should have long enough to read the message.  If not, they will see the 
results of their application which is what they should be expecting when 
they press "submit" anyway.

Proposed rewording to be added to Errata:
7.4 Until user agents provide the ability to stop the refresh,  avoid 
creating periodically auto-refreshing pages where a user might miss 
important information or be confused by quick changes in content.  [Priority 2]

Although this might appear to be addressing "minutae" that some do not 
believe we should take the time to discuss, people are trying to conform 
with WCAG 1.0 and will be for some time.

wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
madison, wi usa
tel: +1 608 663 6346

Received on Friday, 4 August 2000 17:14:23 UTC