some WAI comments on CSS3 Basic UI



These comments were developed in the Protocols and Formats working group.
They have had some of the rough edges knocked off them in that process,
but are certainly open to clarification and refinement.  We don't claim
to have absorbed all the context for the current document completely.

If there is anything in these comments which is not clear, or appears to be
un-implementable, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss these points
with you before you make a final determination on a disposition.

Thank you for your consideration of these comments.

Al Gilman, Chair
W3C/WAI Protocols and Formats Working Group


1. Automatic icons

Specific Reference:

The document introduces the new 'icon' value for the 'display' property of
an element and adds an 'icon' property which identifies a resource which
replaces the element in the rendered content if the the value of 'display'
is 'icon.'

However, it goes on to include an 'auto' value for the 'icon' property which
is "as defined by the user agent."

But there is no clue as to when the user agent will use one icon vs. another.

Does this not open wide a barn door for entire UIs to be constructed without
the faintest semantic clue in the 'content' as to what is going on?

The standing problem with the "separation of content and presentation"
afforded by CSS is that there is no standardization of the 'class' tokens
that govern the selection of style rules.  This innovation perpetuates or
exacerbates that problem, in that there is no basis in any standard taxonomy
for the selection of UA-supplied icons.

Delivery contexts where we would be interested in the re-binding of elements
where the author's presentation used display:icon and icon:auto would include:

Simplified verb vocabularies, for severe learning disabled -adaptive 
as described in

a similar verb-vocabulary-reduction transform for operability from a 
telephone or
computer number keypad.  Used in mobile device transform and for users with 
fine motor control but bad gross motor strength.

Personalized verb-vocabulary-transformation for auxiliary communication device
uses with a large but personal vocabulary of one-button utterances.

Anyone else with high cost of input symbol actuation needing a normalization of
the verb vocabulary as part of optimizing the binding of shortcuts.

2. Directional [focus] navigation introducing hyperlinks?  Don't.

Specific Reference:

The specification introduces a mechanism by which a stylesheet can identify
multiple navigation destinations (hyperlink equivalents) bound to an element
in the document which are navigated-to and given focus on receipt of
directional-navigation user-input events.

Each navigation destination may be an arbitrary URI-reference i.e. off the
current web page, and the back button is by [the draft] specification broken.

This functionality should not be included as drafted here.  Navigation
destinations associated with an element are content, not style.

The equivalent functionality should be implemented by

a) in the content, creating vectored, that is to say multiple/selectable
hyperlinks using the results of the currently-active consultation on linking.

b) in the styling, binding arrow keys or other directional-navigation UI
events to these navigation arcs using the keyboard-control facilities
established in section 8.2 above.

3. More to come

There are a few more comments we are working on the reference links for.

Received on Thursday, 31 July 2003 12:46:08 UTC