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Fwd: Re: AGENDA: W3C WAI User Agent Telecon 22 December 1999

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 11:08:47 -0600
Message-Id: <4.1.19991222110813.00b0ab80@staff.uiuc.edu>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
as per my action item belo
  21.DP: Send to the list techniques for how to use and control focus to
not have new windows cause problems for usability. In particular, how
     this will work with ATs.

There are two parts to this and this is overview material and should be
more specifically guided by other interoperable implementations.
part I.
the ua will make available through standard system api a notification
that allows discression of the user for focus and also allow
configuration of this discression.  An example of what might be done is
found in Microsoft internet explorer when dealing with whether or not to
auto download or open certain types of objects.  

In this way, the spawning of an object which would ordenarily grab focus
is passed to a focus controll so that focus can be achieved either by
defauld, on command or not at all via user command or configuration. 
The flow is like this:
page tells ua that something is about to happen, ua calls tree module to
decide which branch to follow.  Module checks configuration for
predefined action.  If action is found, module passes information to
ui.  if predefined action is not found, default action takes place.  

part II.
Most assistive technologies if not all, have a passive role with respect
to what an application does in regard to focus and also with regard to
the ui.  It is usually up to the ua or the ui to determine focus or so
it would sem.  AT developpers need to build in the capacity for users to
configure certain actions across the ui such that if I open an
application, I might want that app to stay in the background and for my
current session to continue.  An example of a problem with this is in
Icq where if I set icq to pop up messages on the screen from people on
my contact list, typing a key can wipe out the message, replacing it
with the reply dialog in which is placed whatever Keystroke I entered
following the pop up in that dialog. it with.  The excepted
configureable at response would be to tell me that something has
happened and allow me to ignore it untill I am ready for it.  Even
though icq has a configuration option for turning off pop ups, many apps
do not.

Working together the ua by providing the information to the ui in a
standard way and the at being configurable for handling it, and the ua
being configurable for handling it where the at cannot or untill it is
or where the at is not present, can solve this problem even though it is
partly a useability issue.
Hands-On Technolog(eye)s
Touching The Spider Web
voice 301-949-7599
end sig.

Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Chair, W3C WAI User Agent Working Group
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
College of Applied Life Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL  61820

Voice: (217) 244-5870
Fax: (217) 333-0248

E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu

WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua
Received on Wednesday, 22 December 1999 12:10:56 UTC

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