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[whatwg] On accessibility

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 13:04:21 +1000
Message-ID: <4490CE35.2070508@lachy.id.au>
Alexey Feldgendler wrote:
> On Thu, 15 Jun 2006 08:09:43 +0700, Lachlan Hunt 
> <lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au> wrote:
> 
>> Accesskey implementations need to be seriously improved if they are to 
>> be retained.  There's significant evidence to show that there are very 
>> few, if any, safe keys available which don't clash with existing 
>> shortcut keys in browsers.
> 
> What Opera does makes sense. Maybe it should be standardized.

The exact user interface shouldn't be standardised, browsers should be 
free to implement whatever system benefits their users.  But a note in 
the spec that strongly suggests implementations choose a method that 
avoids key conflicts with other browser and system shortcut keys.

In any case, has there been any research done on the use of access keys 
in websites?  Are there any common use cases they're used to fulfill? 
For example, Dive Into Accessibility recommends using digits only and 
suggests the following:

Access key 1
     Home page
Access key 2
     Skip to main content (the navigation bar skip link)
Access key 9
     Feedback

http://diveintoaccessibility.org/day_15_defining_keyboard_shortcuts.html

A few others are also listed by Jukka
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/forms/accesskey.html

Home page can be semantically identified using rel="home".  Main content 
can be differentiated from the navigation, headers, footers, etc. 
because of the new <nav>, <header> and <footer> elements.  Feedback 
could be identified using a link with rel="contact" or something like that.

If those, and other use cases, were semantically identified, then UAs 
could implement their own keyboard shortcuts that would work the same 
across many websites.  It also solves the device independence and i18n 
problems with accesskeys because different systems could use whatever 
input device they like and/or whatever key combination they like and the 
user would be guarenteed they they always perform the same function, no 
matter what site they're viewing.

-- 
Lachlan Hunt
http://lachy.id.au/
Received on Wednesday, 14 June 2006 20:04:21 UTC

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