RE: Bug 1649 Definition of "Programmatic Reference"

I would also support the use of the word "Hyperlink" instead of
"programmatic reference" in 2.4.5. 

"Programmatic Reference" is our term that we made up, and has never been
used in this context (to my knowledge). As such it requires an extra
cognitive load for people reading the guidelines to understand SC 2.4.5.
That is the only appearance the term makes in the 2.0 Guidelines.

Three people have asked me why we don't just say "Hyperlink". My
understanding of the rationale is that it is an HTML specific word, but I
think Christophe might make a good point. 

"After all, web content is 'hypertext' (HTTP: HyperText Transfer 

The only other reason I can think of for using "programmatic reference" is
that in the "How to Meet..." doc we include HTML techniques "Frame titles",
and "Providing alternate text for the area element" But frame element has
been deprecated, and the Map element is a kind of hyperlink so I don't see
those as good reasons for not using the word Hyperlink. 

Perhaps we could ask our "non-HTML" technology representatives like Loretta
(PDF) and Andrew Kirkpatrick (Flash) for some input. Would you folks have
any objection to the word "Hyperlink" in 2.4.5?

Perhaps there will at some time in the future be a reason not to include the
word hyperlink, but I think the trade off of better understanding might make
the word "Hyperlink" worth considering over "programmatic reference" in the

David MacDonald

.Access empowers people
            .barriers disable them.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf
Of Christophe Strobbe
Sent: Friday, January 06, 2006 4:53 AM
Subject: Re: Bug 1649 Definition of "Programmatic Reference"

At 02:16 6/01/2006, David MacDonald wrote:
The term " Programmatic Reference " is used but not defined. I think it is 
being used here to mean something functional (e.g. a link or control) that 
causes a contextual transition, but I'm not sure. "2.4 L2 SC4: The 
destination of each programmatic reference to another delivery unit is 
identified through words or phrases that either occur in text or can be 
programmatically determined."]
programmatic reference

A cross-reference method to enable the retrieval of a specified delivery 
unit or movement to another part of the same delivery unit. A link or 
control that causes a contextual transition.

The definition looks good. "cross-reference method to enable" could also be 
replaced with "relationship that enables"; "link" in the last sentence 
could be replaced with "function"; and it is the activation of the 
link/control that causes the contextual transition, not the link/control 
So it would become:
A relationship that enables the retrieval of a specified delivery unit or 
movement to another part of the same delivery unit. A function or control 
that can be used to cause a contextual transition.

What do you think?

David also wrote:
A Google search  makes it appear that we are the first ones to use the term 
"Programmatic Reference" in this manner.

The proposal for the definition makes me wonder why we don't use the term 
hyperlink. After all, web content is 'hypertext' (HTTP: HyperText Transfer 
Protocol). Even VoiceXML files are text (before speech synthesis is applied 
to them) and use URLs to relationships with other files or anchors in files 
(e.g. in the attributes 'next' and 'nextitem' of the 'goto' element, the 
'next' attribute in the 'choice' element, the 'src' attribute of the 
'subdialog' element and the 'next attribute of the 'link' element).
"Programmatic reference" has other connotations; for example, reference 
variables for objects in object-oriented programming languages are also 
"programmatic references".


Christophe Strobbe

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Departement of Electrical Engineering - Research Group on 
Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 - 3001 Leuven-Heverlee - BELGIUM
tel: +32 16 32 85 51 


Received on Friday, 6 January 2006 14:47:50 UTC