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[Bug 13565] New: User option to use unmodified keys as shortcuts

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2011 03:35:16 +0000
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-13565-2495@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=13565

           Summary: User option to use unmodified keys as shortcuts
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: All
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Keywords: a11y, a11ytf
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: HTML5 spec (editor: Ian Hickson)
        AssignedTo: ian@hixie.ch
        ReportedBy: gcl-0039@access-research.org
         QAContact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: mike@w3.org, public-html-wg-issue-tracking@w3.org,
                    public-html@w3.org, public-html-a11y@w3.org
        Depends on: 13555,13564


The draft HTML5 spec is contradictory on whether user agents can map shortcuts
to unmodified keys. The example in 7.4.2 (The accesskey attribute) says that a
user agent can use a key unmodified, but 7.4.3 (Processing model) says the user
agent can assign its choice of "a combination of modifier keys" but does not
specify that no modifier key is a valid option.

Some components use unmodified letters, numbers, and punctuation marks as
keyboard command. This can be handy for users who want to make keyboard input
as efficient as possible, including some users with disabilities, but for other
users with disabilities it can be a significant problem because everyday text
input can trigger a large number of seemingly random actions if it's entered in
the wrong context. Therefore user agents should be permitted to make this
available as a user option.

    * Use case: Tom uses speech recognition to input text and commands, and
he's working in a Web-based word processor while in the background another Web
app or browser add-in is downloading a large file. He's in the middle of
dictating a letter the background task steals the activation to notify him that
the download has completed. Suddenly the text that was supposed to go into a
letter is interpreted in the new context as dozens of commands. Tom looks at
the browser and finds that his project in that context has been altered or
deleted altogether, and also that display options have changed and he has no
idea what command would server to restore them. This is bad. Instead, Tom
should be able to go into his browser's preference settings and clear a check
box to disable the use of unmodified keys as commands and shortcuts. When the
Web app starts up, it asks the browser whether the letter "u" is available as a
shortcut and is told that it is restricted by policy. Therefore the app goes
down its list of preferred keystrokes, determines that Ctrl+U is available, and
configures itself to use that instead. It may even display an indicator on its
status bar warning the user that non-default keyboard commands are being used.
The user can then go into the app's configuration screen to find out the
current keybindings.

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Received on Wednesday, 3 August 2011 03:35:20 UTC

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