Re: Discussion: Change to SC 2.6.2 Orientation

Alastair wrote:

> (in plainer English): Don’t lock the orientation unless there is no other

Question: if Alastair needs to use plainer language to explain what we
want, why aren't we also using plainer language in the actual SC text?

It also appears that the proposed text is morphing a fair bit in this
thread. The last concrete proposal I read comes from Steve:

Content is operable in all display orientations supported by the user
agent, except where display orientation is essential.


A mechanism is available to view and operate content in all display
orientations except where the display orientation is essential or not
supported by the user agent.

Personally, I like the second option better, as it doesn't out-right forbid
authoring a 'default' orientation, as long as a mechanism is available for
individual users to override that default.

I think this is the best of both worlds: it allows content authors some
control over initial presentation, while still leaving individual users the
ability to personalize the content for their specific situation.

It also avoids the debate around the term "lock", which here
to have both a technical meaning ("*...even if there's a mechanism to
change it, the orientation is locked. The example is that given in the
GitHub issue: a button that calls the lock() method to lock the orientation
when the user presses it.*
​" ​
- Jason White)
​, as well as a more general non-technical understanding of the term
"Locked" (a.k.a. "The screen is in a fixed display orientation, and I as an
individual user cannot change that display orientation")​. If further
disambiguation is required there, then that should fall to the
Understanding document, which could expand on the differences/similarities
between the lock() method (a scripting function) versus "locked"
orientation (a presentation state).

Finally, it seems that there would be value in the Screen Orientation API
spec for a Warning Note related to this, along the lines of "avoid this
whenever possible, and if you must, provide a means to 'unlock' the screen
orientation" [sic]. I will take that item to the APA WG for further


On Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Alastair Campbell <>

> > Essential is definitely not applicable for a user agent restriction.
> Since it’s under user agent control, the first condition wouldn’t make any
> sense and could not be evaluated.
> I’m not sure how any part of that is about the user agent?
> What I was trying to get to was (in plainer English): Don’t lock the
> orientation unless there is no other way.
> So rather than any assumption about orientation (portrait, landscape,
> diagonal, circular??), trying to say don’t restrict it.
> You’ve probably been down that route and I’m not seeing the issue, but my
> last attempt would be:
> “Content does not restrict the orientation unless one display orientation
> is essential.”
> > A mechanism is available to view and operate content in all display
> orientations except where a restricted display orientation is essential or
> controlled by the user agent.
> I must be missing something, are we trying to get people to *test* in
> different orientations, or prevent them from *locking* orientation?
> Surely a user-agent will display in whatever orientation the user wants
> (and that it has), unless the author does something to lock it?
> Cheers,
> -Alastair

John Foliot
Principal Accessibility Strategist
Deque Systems Inc.

Advancing the mission of digital accessibility and inclusion

Received on Wednesday, 18 October 2017 15:42:10 UTC