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RE: HTML focusable areas feedback

From: Matt Rakow <marakow@microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2014 01:12:48 +0000
To: Travis Leithead <travis.leithead@microsoft.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, "ian@hixie.ch" <ian@hixie.ch>
Message-ID: <804059f1b76c456b90f01e20dbacfbd9@BL2PR03MB260.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>
Thanks Travis!

I'm looking forward to hearing the working group's thoughts on this.  Aside from the accessibility impact I mention below, it occurs to me that this will impact the touch keyboard behaviors that we discussed at the recent web input brainstorming f2f [1].


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2014Jul/0050.html

-----Original Message-----
From: Travis Leithead 
Sent: Friday, July 11, 2014 12:04 PM
To: public-html@w3.org; ian@hixie.ch
Cc: Matt Rakow
Subject: HTML focusable areas feedback

Re-posting this mail from Matt (MSFT):

Hi all,

I've been investigating keyboard scrolling for scrollable regions within a page (i.e. overflow:scroll) which omit tabIndex, and in particular how they interact with focus.  The current browser behaviors are highly non-interoperable with one another.  For example:

-IE allows scrollable elements without tabIndex to be focused via mouse click, but they cannot be tabbed to.
-FF allows scrollable elements without tabIndex to be focused via tabbing to them, but not by clicking on them.
-Chrome does not allow scrollable elements without tabIndex to be focused via any means, but they can still be scrolled with keyboard if you click on them first.

I was looking at the definition of focusable areas [1] and the tabindex focus flag [2].  These specify that scrollable elements are focusable, but not suggested to have their tabindex focus flag set or be tab-accessible.  This would imply that IE's behavior is currently compliant with the spec -- the element is focusable but not reachable by tabbing.

That said, I don't think this is great behavior.  This means that users without a pointing device are generally unable to target and scroll these regions using only the keyboard.  I'd like to see scrollable regions added to the list of suggested elements which have the tabindex focus flag set by default to enable this scenario better.  "Draggable" elements are already included in the list in a similar spirit.  IE would be willing to make a change to this behavior if other browser vendors will also make this change.


[1] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/editing.html#focusable-area
[2] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/editing.html#specially-focusable
Received on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 01:13:23 UTC

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