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RE: Seeking guidance...

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 10:07:51 -0400 (EDT)
To: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0004141003200.7892-100000@tux.w3.org>
Hmm. I think we are thinking the same thing and I am explaining it
badly. Here goes again...

In ordinary web pages of the early 90's almost the only thing that could be
active was links. They had one kind of behaviour - activate them and they go
somewhere else.

After a number of years we have discovered that on the web it is useful to be
able to seperate that into two pieces. As well as being able to activate
something (for example a link), we can focus on it, and when it gets the
focus (or mouseover - i.e. when it knows that we are looking directly at
it) it can highlight itself through some kind of active behaviour.

By activate, I do not mean triggering this highlighting behaviour, but
getting it to do something more - for example if it is a link, following
it. Of course there are elements that have a focus behaviour but nothing more
- by the definitions I am using these cannot be "activated".

(The terminology is from the DOM specification, which has a much better
effort to describe how to make this work properly for XML, including XHTML,
than the HTML 4 specification.)


Charles McCN

On Fri, 14 Apr 2000, Bruce Bailey wrote:

  One does NOT select (click) onMouseOver items to activate them.  In the same
  fashion, one should NOT have to select (return/enter key) onFocus items to
  activate them!
  onFocus is rarely used.  Having it work as a "false link" only contributes
  to its neglect.
  > -----Original Message-----
  > From: Charles McCathieNevile [mailto:charles@w3.org]
  > Sent: Friday, April 14, 2000 9:23 AM
  > To: Bruce Bailey
  > Cc: david@davidsaccess.com; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
  > Subject: RE: Seeking guidance...
  > This is a late response, so may be a bit off to one side...
  > The analogy works like this: Some people move a pointer around with a
  > mouse. When the pointer is on an active object, that can be activated,
  > typically with a click. From the keyboard people move a focus
  > from element to
  > element, and when the focus is on an active element that can be activated,
  > typically by pressing the return / enter key, or an arrow.
  > cheers
  > charles mccn
  > On Mon, 10 Apr 2000, Bruce Bailey wrote:
  >   > Using IE, I can tab between selectable objects.
  >   > But, the object is not activated until I hit enter.
  >   Right, and the onFocus/onMouseOver script SHOULD occur when you
  > TAB (and NOT
  >   require you to press enter).  This IS what happens when you use the
  >   keyboard.  In order for the onFocus to be triggered by the
  > mouse, however,
  >   one must click (select) the item with the onFocus attribute.
  > This is NOT
  >   like onMouseOver!  This is NOT the modality users have come to expect!

Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Postal: GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001,  Australia 
Received on Friday, 14 April 2000 10:07:52 UTC

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