Understanding Pointer Cancellation


People with various disabilities can inadvertently initiate touch or mouse events with unwanted results. Up-Event activation refers to the activation of a component when the trigger stimulus is released. For example, for touchscreen interaction the event would be triggered when a finger is lifted from the touchscreen at the end of a tap. There is a distinction between when someone touches a screen and when they remove their finger. On a mouse there is a difference between mouse down (initiating a click) and mouse up (releasing the finger). Authors can reduce the problem of users inadvertently triggering an action, by making activation on the up-event. This gives users the opportunity to move their finger or other pointer (e.g. mouse) away from the wrong target once they hit it. If touch down activation is necessary, there are several options:

Generic platform activation/click events generally trigger on up and when they do, they are also allowed. For example, in the case of mouse interactions, the "click" event in JavaScript triggers on release of the primary mouse button, and is an example of an implicit up-event.

Examples of where timing of the activation is essential would be: