ACTION-181 Investigate / review interactive and enabled for contradictions.

I was asked to look into possible issues with 'interactive element' -  
and 'enable element'.

The first thing to say is that 'interactive element' is only referred  
to in the document from the glossary, and further, from the 'enable  
element / disable element' defn.

Looking at our 2 defns:

enabled element, disabled element
An element with associated behaviors that can be activated through  
the user interface or through an API. The set of elements that a user  
agent enables is generally derived from, but is not limited to, the  
set of interactive elements defined by implemented markup languages.  
A disabled element is a potentially enabled element, that is not  
currently available for activation (e.g., a "grayed out" menu item).

interactive element
Elements that by specification or by programming have associated  
behaviors to be executed or carried out as a result of user or  
programmatic interaction.(e.g. in HTML 4 [HTML4] the interactive  
elements include: links, image maps, form elements, elements with a  
value for the longdesc attribute, and elements with event handlers  
explicitly associated with them).

I think there is a a very good case to either amalgamate or remove  
the defn of 'interactive element' as it is included in the defn of  
'enabled element, disabled element'.

In addition, based on the OED definitions I think we are OK with the  
interplay of activation / deactivation and enable / disable:
Enable: To make possible or easy; also to give effectiveness to (an  
action). (1620 O. SEDGWICKE Christ's Counsell) esp. in Computing. To  
make (a device) operational, to turn on. (1962 Gloss. Terms Automatic  
Data Processing).

Disable: To suspend deliberately the functioning of (a technical  
device or facility); to deactivate. (1932 Bell Telephone).
Activate: To make active, move to activity (1626 BACON Sylva). Our  
defn is: To execute or carry out the behaviours associated with an  
enabled element in the rendered content or component of the user  
agent user interface.



Simon Harper
University of Manchester (UK)

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Received on Thursday, 7 May 2009 09:23:11 UTC