Re: Comments and questions on latest UA guidelines

Some comment/response pairs snipped entirely. My annotations begin CMN:

On Tue, 2 Mar 1999, Jon Gunderson wrote:

  Replies using JRG:
  At 02:11 PM 3/1/99 -0600, wrote:
  >Below are some comments and questions that have come up as we (IBM Special
  >Needs) looked at the February 10th UA Guidelines while re-evaluating our
  >Home Page Reader product. Our comments are preceded by CL.
  >4.4.13 [Priority 3]
  >     Allow the user to turn on and off automatic page forwarding.
  >CL: Is this referring to when there is a link that is automatically
  >activated after a script-specified amount of time? Are there any user
  >agents today that provide this control feature?
  JRG: I am not sure if any borwsers provide this functionality. 

This refers to forwarding of pages after a specified period. As well as
the use of scripts, a very common technique is the use of Refresh as an
HTTP-Equiv (although it isn't actually part of HTTP, I believe).

Lynx provides the forwarded address as a link, rather than following it.
As far as I know it does not autmatically refresh (although I have never
felt the need to check the documentation)
  >5.3.3 [Priority 1]
  >     Allow the user to search for a link based on its attribute values.
  >5.5.4 [Priority 1]
  >     Allow the user to search for a form control based on its attribute
  >CL: I have seen several questions about which attribute values but no
  >answers. We are really interested in knowing which specific attribute
  >values an end user would be interested in searching for.  Should these
  >checkpoints really be  a priority 1?
CMN: probably not. (In my opinion).

  Attributes for links can be considered markup used to group links like a
  navigation bar.  The Web Content guidelines describe methods to markup
  groups of links. 
  Attributes for forms include relationships between text labels and form
  controls.  A user can search for a label and have the form control receive
  the focus.  There are two methods:
  1. Explicit Labeling:
  <P><LABEL FOR=name>Name</LABEL><P>
  <P><INPUT TYPE=text NAME=name ID=name>
  The ID and the FOR attibutes provide the link between the label and the
  2. Implicit Labeling:
  <P><LABEL FOR=name>Name<INPUT TYPE=text NAME=name ID=name></LABEL>
  In this case the LABEL wraps around the control element.
  In either case a person could use a search method to find name and move
  focus to the control.
  >5.3.4 [Priority 1]
  >     Allow the user to move the focus to a link based on its integer
  >(tabbing-order) position.
  >CL: I assume this means, for example,  moving directly to link 5 out of 25
  >links on a page. Do users really consider this a priority 1 type of
  JRG: This is a technique used in lynx and is one method to efficiently move
  through a page with a large number of links.  
  >5.3.8 [Priority 1]
  >     Allow the user to navigate among elements with associated long
  >5.3.9 [Priority 2]
  >     Allow the user to search linked long description text (i.e., in
  >another document). In case of a match, the focus should be moved to the
  >link in
  >     the current document.
  >CL: Why would a user want to navigate just among elements with long
  >descriptions or search for text that is just in long descriptions? I don't
  >think users would think of elements with long descriptions as a set or
  >collection of elements like they think of links, tables, or forms. They may
  >think of images with their ALT text and long descriptions as a set. Even
  >so, I don't think 5.3.8 is a Priority 1.
  JRG: In the actual implementation, especially for sequential access, it is
  more efficient to have a function that moves through "active elements" on a
  page.  There fore the same command would sequentially move through links,
  form controls, longdescription links and other active content.  It is
  broken up in the guidelines to clearly indicate what elements should be
  included in navigation.  Of course you want the user agent to orient the
  person to the type of element that has just received focus.
  >6.2.4 [Priority 2]
  >     Allow the user to navigate sequentially among block elements (e.g.,
  >paragraphs, lists and list items, etc.)
  >CL: Can this checkpoint  fully define block elements for clarification?
  JRG: Block level elements are defined in HTML 4.0 DTD specification:
  While HTML DTD is a very specific and technical about block level elements,
  the concept for our purposes is to allow the user to move through
  functional blocks of information in a document easily.  The functional
  blocks probably correlate very closely to the DTD specfications for block
  level elements.  The functionality is intended to let the user easy read
  through and be oriented to the rendered elements of a document with a
  minimum set of commands.
It would seem to me that the DTD definition can be used as is. We should
probably explain (or even quote) this in the techniques.

From my exalted position of "just another member of the working group
(smile)", I would like to second Jon's thanks for your comments.

Charles McCathieNevile

Received on Wednesday, 3 March 1999 11:11:16 UTC