Why do all KMessageBox methods call exec()?

Peter Korn Peter.Korn at Sun.COM
Thu Oct 7 20:09:43 BST 2004

Hi Olaf,

Olaf Jan Schmidt wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> [Adriaan de Groot, Donnerstag, 7. Oktober 2004 00:45]
>>I need a KMessageBox with a timeout
> What do you need it for?
> Timeouts are always a potential accessibility problem, because you cannot 
> know how fast people are reading, typing and clicking. If you have low 
> vision, or a motoric handicap, then having a message box with a timeout 
> is a real obstacle.
> Is there no other solution rather than a timeout?

The U.S. Section 508 regulations may prove informative here.

See http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/508standards.htm#PART%201194 and 

   ยง1194.22(p) When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and
   given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.

While this specifically applies "Web-based intranet and internet information 
and applications" and not "Software applications and operating systems", I 
think it is a good guideline and one worth following for software.

We faced a similar problem with the timeout dialog for entering your password 
when waking up GNOME xscreensaver (and this was specifically an issue when 
used with GOK in single-switch mode).  We decided to do two things:

  1. provide a desktop GUI for lengthing the timout
  2. re-set the timeout every time the user entered a key into the password
     text-entry field

We decided to NOT expose an additional control on the password dialog for 
"seeking more time", because we felt that would actually take longer for the 
user to interact with than simply resetting every time they inserted a keystroke.


Peter Korn
Sun Accessibility team

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