Need for a mixed state on buttons?

Do we need an indeterminate state for buttons? I don't see one in the 
current ARIA specification. 
Very often toolbar buttons need an indeterminate state beyond just 
pressed.  Consider the toolbar for a rich text editor. Generally the 
pressed state of each button on the toolbar is set to match the current 
selection or text insertion point in the editor itself.   If the user 
creates a selection that has some bold text and some italic text but the 
entire selection is not bold and italic, the toolbar buttons for bold and 
italic may be set to an indeterminate state.   I don't see a way to 
accomplish this in the ARIA button description.  Is this something that 
should be supported? I know it is included for checkboxtristate.    MSAA  
has STATE_SYSTEM_MIXED where definition indicates that the state of a 
three-state check box or toolbar button is not determined. The check box 
is neither checked nor unchecked and is therefore in the third or mixed 
state.  Also, the  AT-SPI equivalent is STATE_INDETERMINATE and provides 
the toolbar button example as one of the use cases. 

Becky Gibson
Web Accessibility Architect
IBM Emerging Internet Technologies
5 Technology Park Drive
Westford, MA 01886
Voice: 978 399-6101; t/l 333-6101
blog: WebA11y

Received on Monday, 13 August 2007 21:09:59 UTC