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Re: Underline element.

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2007 14:02:39 +0000
Message-ID: <477501FF.4070804@splintered.co.uk>
To: public-html@w3.org

Patrick Garies wrote:

> Perhaps <button accesskey="O"><kbd>O</kbd>pen</button> with appropriate 
> CSS applied would be a better solution

Hmm...interesting. Certainly "feels" more semantic.

> Of course, either way, the hint might not help the user much since the 
> actual access keys would vary between UAs/hardware (e.g., modifier keys 
> may be required (such as Alt or Alt+Shift) and/or the key(s) may already 
> be assigned or non‐existent in particular software/hardware and, thus, 
> ignored, re‐assigned, or simply execute multiple (possibly problematic) 
> actions at once).

Apart from menu items (where it would read something like "Close 
Ctrl+W"), I don't think the modifier key is usually shown in 
applications (e.g. the actual "File" menu title, which sports an 
underline under the F without needing to clarify what the modifier is). 
This assumes that the particular application/page/document/etc follows 
platform conventions (e.g. on Windows ALT is the modifier key for menu 
item shortcuts, in all apps, so there's no need to specify that ALT 
needs to be used to activate a menu shortcut in the first place).

As for the non-existent/already assigned case, that's one of the reasons 
why I'd tend to think that it should be up to the UA itself to give 
visual clues as to what accesskey assignment is currently in place. On 
UAs that don't support it, for some reason, the misleading visual clue 
simply won't be there, avoiding confusion.

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Co-lead, Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
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Received on Friday, 28 December 2007 14:03:17 UTC

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