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[Fwd: [wmlprogramming] I think we need to update GAP (accesskeys are now broken)]

From: Luca Passani <passani@eunet.no>
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 00:31:50 +0200
Message-ID: <49D299D6.5090904@eunet.no>
To: MWI BPWG Public <public-bpwg@w3.org>

Hi,

I know I promised I would not care about Best Practices anymore, but you 
may want to hear about this latest development in Safari on Nokia's 
devices, because it breaks one of the BPs. Specifically, the one about 
accesskeys:

http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/#ACCESS_KEYS

In short, accesskeys are no longer a good idea and their adoption 
shouldn't be advocated, regardless of the fact that XHTML Basic 1.1 
accounts for them.

Cheers

Luca

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	[wmlprogramming] I think we need to update GAP (accesskeys are 
now broken)
Date: 	Wed, 01 Apr 2009 00:06:20 +0200
From: 	Luca Passani <passani@eunet.no>
Reply-To: 	wmlprogramming@yahoogroups.com
To: 	wmlprogramming@yahoogroups.com



People, I think I need to go back and change/remove one of the GAP 
practices:

http://www.passani.it/gap/#ACCESS_KEYS

"[ACCESS_KEYS] Use the 'accesskey' attribute to implement keyboard 
accelerators on menus."

I always knew that many browser/devices ignored accesskeys, but still 
adding accesskeys wouldn't hurt. In particular, I knew that Nokia's 
webkit did not support accesskeys.

It was brought to my attention that recent versions of the Safari 
browser on Nokia S60 devices now supports keyboard accelerators to 
implement browser functions (back, bookmarks, zoom in, zoom out, 
search...).

http://www.vasanth.in/2009/03/05/e71-keyboard-shortcuts/

These keyboard accelerators rely on numeric keys, so programming access 
keys for a page is now effectively a bad practice. If you tell users to 
use access keys, they will get confused as hell on the Nokia webkit browser.

I tried this personally on the GAP templates with my newly re-flashed 
Nokia N95 8GB:

http://www.passani.it/gap/templates/

you press "3", and rather than  activating the third link, the browser 
will go back to the previous page.
For the record, here is the list of Safari new keyboard accelerators:

[0]: Home page
[1]: Bookmarks              
[2]: Search in current page
[3]: Back               
[8]: Page overview              
[9]: Web address field
[*]: Zoom in
[#]: Zoom out

<rant>Honestly, I don't like this. Unilateral attempts to re-define the 
way people programs mobile sites make the mobile web a progressively 
harder platform for everyone.</rant>

Having said this, what is to be done? my suggestion is that we change 
the [ACCESS_KEYS] GAP rule into [NO_ACCESS_KEYS] and explain why access 
keys are a bad idea for a whole bunch of mobile users.

BTW, should we have a capability: xhtml_support_accesskey to mark 
whether it's OK to use accesskeys for a given device?

Luca




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Received on Tuesday, 31 March 2009 22:32:44 UTC

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