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Discussion of checkpoints 7.6 and 7.7

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 01:34:41 -0400
Message-ID: <391CE971.3A660EA1@w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org

Per my action item of the 11 May teleconference [1], please
consider this proposed clarification to checkpoint 7.7.

* Background

In the 7 May Guidelines [2], checkpoints 7.6 and 7.7 are:

7.6 Allow the user to navigate efficiently to and among
    important structural elements identified by the author. 

7.7 Allow the user to configure structured navigation.

This version of checkpoint 7.6 is the result of discussions
around issue 233 [3]. We modified 7.6 but did not modify its
companion, checkpoint 7.7. 

In discussions about minimal requirements for checkpoint 7.6, it
became obvious that there are two aspects to this checkpoint:

a) Navigation capabilities. How should the user be able to navigate?
   A proposed minimal requirement is forward sequential navigation
   of the elements identified in the next point.

b) The set of navigable elements. A proposed minimal requirement is
   all elements, except that when the author has provided information
   about important elements (e.g., known according to specification),
   that the default set be the important elements (i.e., less than
   all elements).

Here are some questions that may be asked about checkpoint 7.7:

  Q1: What type of configuration is being required,
      configuration of the navigation capabilities, the set
      of elements, or both?

  Q2: If about configuration of the set of elements, is the 
      requirement to be able to choose any subset of the elements 
      in the document? Or just from among some element types
      (e.g., headings, forms, tables)?
      How does the user agent allow configuration for
      XML applications about which it knows nothing (as opposed
      to HTML, where the user could choose from among some known
      element types)?

  Q3: Is the requirement that the user be able
      to change the set dynamically (control) or only statically
      (configuration)? Might there be a difference in priority between
      a configuration reequirement and a control requirement?

Proposal 1: Make 7.7 only about configuration and leave it a P3:

   7.7 Allow the user to configure the set of elements 
   navigable according to checkpoint 7.6.
  However, refer to question 2 above.

Proposal 2: Make dynamic control a P2 requirement that is part
   of checkpoint 7.6. Structured navigation would include,
   therefore, the ability to select whether to explore the
   contents of an element. There might be two approaches to
       a) A skip functionality. This is an additional
          navigation capability beyond sequential.
       b) Shrink/Expand subtrees. This option change the
          set of navigable elements.

   There are probably advantages to both. The ability to hide content
   can help people get a better sense of a document's overall 
   structure when they have more than serial access to it. 

I don't consider these strong proposals and I look forward to
input from the Working Group.

 - Ian

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2000AprJun/0359.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/WD-UAAG10-20000507
[3] http://cmos-eng.rehab.uiuc.edu/ua-issues/issues-linear.html#233

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Saturday, 13 May 2000 01:34:49 UTC

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