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Minority opinion on resolution of issue 112.

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 13:56:16 -0500
Message-ID: <388DF1D0.5706EEF7@w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org

I am sending this email to document the (minority) opinions held by
Charles McCathieNevile, Gregory Rosmaita, and Ian Jacobs about
the resolution of issue #112 [0]. 

User agents must make known the current input configurations 
       (e.g., keyboard bindings) to the user. Is there a need 
       to distinguish author-supplied input configurations
       from user preferences?

WG RESOLUTION: Yes. P1 for user-supplied configs, P2 for
  This resolution is reflected in checkpoints 10.1 and 10.3 of the
  21 January 2000 UA Guidelines [1]. The resolution was made on
  20 January 2000 [2].

We do not agree that it is useful to distinguish between input
configurations (keyboard configurations, voice configurations, etc.)
that are supplied by the author and those set by the user. To the
user, it is only the end result that matters. The answers to the
following questions should not depend on whether the configuration
came from the author or the user's preferences:

 -  How does my user agent work?
 -  What input commands are available to me?
 -  What happens when I activate them?

Some members of the Working Group have argued for two checkpoints
of differing priorities for these reasons:

  1. the UA doesn't know what to expect from author-defined
     UI controls, or necessarily what to do with them or where to
     look for them
  2. author-defined UI controls may conflict with OS and UA
     UI controls / keybindings
  3. documenting/exposing/supporting author-defined UI
     controls could be accorded a lower priority than UA-defined
     UI controls

All of the above objections have been addressed by members
of the UA WG, and techniques to expose, trigger, and provide
a cascade order for conflicting commands have been reviewed
by the WG, and incorporated into the Techniques document.

Since ultimately the user agent is the only entity (not the author,
not the user) that "knows" what the input configuration is
(after taking into account user preferences and author-supplied
configurations), we consider that it is the user agent's responsibility
to make that information known to the user. We see know reason
to distinguish in priority between author-supplied configurations
and user preferences because, to the user, they have the same weight.

Thank you,

 - Ian

[0] http://cmos-eng.rehab.uiuc.edu/ua-issues/issues-linear.html#112
[1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/WD-UAAG10-20000121 
[2] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/2000/01/wai-ua-telecon-20000120.html

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel/Fax:                     +1 212 684-1814 or 212 532-4767
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Tuesday, 25 January 2000 13:57:02 UTC

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