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Re: onclick and onkeypress scripting technique issue

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 12:13:17 -0400 (EDT)
To: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
cc: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0204171207390.19434-100000@tux.w3.org>
Hi Phill,

yes, there is a new issue to deal with here, at the same time as dealing with
a legacy issue - IE has linked some events, but not all of them, other
developers have implemented the spec as is, and the result is that it is hard
for authors.

My initial thoughts are that it would be useful if IE had a deliberate "fire
the mouse" action that could be keyboard generated, or if the specifications
were written to unify the mouse and keyboard models, but having an
unspecified half-way solution is not serving us in the long term. On the
other hand, it should be acknowledged that they have helped some people in
the short term.

I recommend that people interested in this question consider the PF working
group as a venue for further discussion - there are several groups working on
event models including HTML, and SVG. I realise the member-only nature of
that group means people will have to join it and agree to the confidentiality
requirements, but consider that the work there is valuable.


Charles McCN

On Wed, 17 Apr 2002, Phill Jenkins wrote:

  >To: HTML techniques editors
  >In the WCAG HTML techniques [1] about making scripts directly accessible,
  >it says to <quote> provide redundant input mechanisms. In other words,
  >specify two handlers for the same element such as "onclick" with
  >"onkeypress" <endquote>.  This practice seems to be causing problems
  >because the IE 5.5 browser (for example) sends two events to the server
  >when using the keyboard, but only one event when using the mouse.  IE maps
  >the keyboard to some mouse events, such as allowing the user to tab to the
  >form controls and pressing the enter key instead of using the mouse to
  >trigger the event, so the second onkeypress event is not necessary.
  >1. Is it IE that has a bug?  What about Netscape, Opera, Lynx, etc
  >2. What about the assumption of the User Agents capability and other
  >software standards?
  >508 and UAAG all require the ability to do with the keyboard what can be
  >done with the mouse.  IE and other browsers should allow the user to
  >the controls with only the keyboard.  Techniques and standards should not
  >require or put burden on the content author that causes problems,
  >especially when the burden should and is being handled by the user agent.
  >Why add on keypress when the device or agent is capable of the mapping?
  >So, what is a web developer to do?  Following the techniques causes
  >The technique seems to have been established in Feb 1999, or at least that
  >is when the issue [2] was raised and resolved.  But, in my opinion,
  >resolved incorrectly with today's browser capabilities and today's UAAG
  >standard [3].  In other words, a new issue should be logged.
  >[1] Directly Accessible Scripts
  >[2] Device independent
  >[3] UAAG requirement
Received on Wednesday, 17 April 2002 12:13:20 UTC

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